Let’s be honest, who doesn’t love royalty (I can’t be the only one who woke up at 4 am to watch the royal wedding)? Which of us, as little girls, didn’t dress up and pretend to be princesses or queens? As children we get these ideas of how royalty should behave. We sit up straight, we speak in softer tones, we sing to woodland creatures, all in an effort to imitate what we perceive a royal to be. I think a lot of times we forget that the bible is overflowing with royal female examples that we as women can learn from. The goal for this study over the next few weeks, will be to look at royal women of the bible (good and bad), and draw some valuable lessons from each of their lives.
Let’s start with a princess known only as, Pharaoh’s daughter, from Exodus 2:5-10. Not much is known about this woman, who is undoubtedly one of many children of the reigning pharaoh, but what we know of her is enough to leave an impression. Let’s look at the 5 verses she appears in:
“Now the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river , while her young women walked beside the river. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her servant woman, and she took it. When she opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the baby was crying. She took pity on him and said, “This is one of the Hebrews’ children.” Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and call you a nurse from the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?” And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Go.” So the girl went and called the child’s mother. And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her. “Take this child away and nurse him for me, and I will give you your wages.” So the woman took the child and nursed him. When the child grew older, she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. She named him Moses, “Because,” she said, “I drew him out of the water.”
We meet Pharaoh’s daughter bathing in the river, when she sees a basket floating nearby. Her curiosity gets the better of her and she sends someone to get the basket. Upon opening it, she finds a squealing, helpless, little, baby boy. What woman’s heartstrings wouldn’t be tugged when they find a child abandoned in a river? So the princess “took pity on him” (Exodus 2:6) and decides to keep the child. If I could only use one word to describe this woman it would be “compassionate.” This princess of Egypt, who has lived a life of luxury seemingly blind to the hardships of others, has immense compassion. She finds a child of slaves, marked for death by her own father, and not only does she save this child but she raises him as a prince of Egypt. Her compassion for a people that are not her own, a people that despise her and her country, is what allows Moses to become the leader he needs to be.
When I read this story, I can’t help but wonder if Jesus was thinking about it as well when he told the parable of the Good Samaritan. In the parable, found in Luke 10: 30-35, a Jewish man is traveling to Jericho when he is attacked and left for dead by highwaymen. A passing Samaritan, who are the enemies of Jews just as the Egyptians were in Exodus, “had compassion” (Luke 10:33) on him and saves his life. The striking similarities between these two stories has always intrigued me. The Samaritan and the Pharaoh’s daughter have compassion on those that view them as their enemies.
In the world today, Christians are viewed as the enemies of fun, freedom, and whatever else people want to blame us for. Sometimes, its hard to find compassion in our hearts for the people who mock or spurn us for our beliefs. We have to remember that having compassion for someone does not mean agreeing with, or condoning, everything they do. It means loving something that God created enough to forgive when they hurt you and help them despite it all. Pharaoh’s daughter had immense compassion for a people that despised her, which eventually helped lead them to their freedom. Likewise, our compassion for others, as Christians, could lead someone to freedom in Christ Jesus.
Verse of the Week: “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,” Colossians 3:12