“She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. “This is one of the Hebrew babies,” she said.” (Exodus 2:6 NIV84)
Moses’ mother could not bear the thought of leaving the fate of her newly born son into the hands of Pharaoh’s misguided policies. She decided that if her son’s destiny was to end up in the Nile, then she would make sure it was done her way. While she places her son into the basket she will soon place in the Nile, she is really placing her son into the hands of her God who may be merciful and rescue her son from the deadly decree of the king. As the basket begins to float away, the boy’s sister watches with sorrowful, but hopeful, anticipation. To her amazement, just at that time, Pharaoh’s daughter comes to the river to bathe and sees the basket floating. She sends a servant to retrieve it. She opens the basket and sees the baby boy and has compassion for him. What irony! Pharaoh’s own daughter would have a hand in his undoing. She would prevent the death of a Hebrew boy that will 75 years later be used as a redemptive instrument to free the Israelites from Pharaoh’s clutches. How did God do it? What amazing strategy did He follow? He used the God-given characteristic of compassion. To Pharaoh’s daughter the child was worthy of love and identity–two things Pharaoh had long forgotten.
What about you and me? Are we in the middle of some divine irony? God has this uncanny way of forcing our own sense of reality to become an accusing finger into our own soul. If that is happening in your life, know it is because God wants to challenge you to see things differently before something bad takes place. For Pharaoh, his daughter’s finding this little boy and bringing him into the palace was intended to be a wake up call that he was off base. His refusal to see it properly will bring about what we see in the remaining chapters of the book of Exodus. Divine irony needs to cause us to stop and think. It needs to freeze us in our tracks and give us an opportunity to rethink our current perspectives.
May we see the divine ironies in our lives as opportunities to put ourselves in check and get right with God.