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Hiddenness: Hidden In The Ark

Hiddenness: Hidden In The Ark

“And when she could no longer hide him, she took for him an ark of reeds, and plastered it with resin and with pitch, and put the child in it, and laid it in the sedge on the bank of the river.” Exodus 2.3 (Darby)

As we saw in the previous article, although Moses was just a mass of worthless molecules to Pharaoh, to God he was a “a mass of shining gold.” A load to be carried surely, but upheld by faith it became bearable.

The Preparation by Faith

“She took for him an ark of reeds and plastered it with resin and with pitch”

It’s with great interest that we see a second hiding place so soon after the first. Could it be that Jochebed, through ingenuity and intellect, was making a final attempt at saving the young child’s life? I think we’ve learned enough about her character to see that this ark, plastered with resin and with pitch, was constructed with the same faith that led Noah to prepare an ark “to the saving of his house” Heb 11.7

The Peace of Faith

“and put the child in it”

This confident Levite woman could not comprehend the complete meaning of the burden. She did not live to see the extent of Moses’ 120 years of service. Like Job, it was not for her to receive the full explanation, but to know the presence of the Lord in the present, He “carried them all the days of old” Isaiah 63.9. With confidence she put the child in, not with the assurance that her plastering work was of impenetrable quality. Not with the confidence that the resin and the pitch was of impermeable nature, rather that the Lord would guide and garrison the child to safety.

The Practicality of Faith

“and laid it in the sedge on the bank of the river.”

Jocehebed’s ark lacked the Egyptian elegance of the ark (רוןֲא ,ʾaron, Gen 50.26) that carried Joseph’s towel-wrapped remains. Her ark was, however, made with the memory of his parting oath, ”God will surely visit you” Gen 50.25. This Levite did not have pure gold and acacia wood available to her, but the ‘contents’ of her ark would one day grow up and receive the contents of the “holy ark” (2 Chron 25.3). Is this not a reminder that the first step in the greatest events of Scripture is simply the step of faith? Before the ‘ark of the covenant’ Num 10.33, would contain the ‘words of the covenant’ Ex 34.28, a simple woman, by faith, fitted and filled an ‘ark of reeds.’

`But then,’ replied the younger man, ‘Why all this mystery?
I would not mind so much, perhaps, if only I could see
The why and wherefore of it all, and what is hid within
This ugly outer covering of coarse, dark badger-skin.’
The other gently answered, ‘No, ‘tis not for us to pry
Into God’s mysterious providence with unanointed eye.
Our part is just to shoulder what His wisdom may assign;
Faith neither questions nor resists nor doubts the will Divine.
God often wraps His purpose round that none can comprehend
What the meaning of the burden is until the journey’s end;
But when the staves are then laid down, and dark veils all unfold
The heaviest load has sometimes proved a mass of shining gold.
— “Whom the Lord loveth” J.M.S Tait
John Lennox on the Existence of God

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The Christian Apologist

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