Friday, June 3, 2016

WOMEN OF FAITH: FROM PHARAOH'S DAUGHTER TO CHILD OF GOD

BITHIA:
THE CHILD SHE RESCUED, RESCUED HER
17 The sons of Ezrah were Jether, Mered, Epher, and Jalon. And Mered’s wife bore Miriam, Shammai, and Ishbah the father of Eshtemoa. 18 (His wife Jehudijah bore Jered the father of Gedor, Heber the father of Sochoh, and Jekuthiel the father of Zanoah.) And these were the sons of Bithiah the daughter of Pharaoh, whom Mered took (1 Chronicles 4:17-18)
Some of the greatest women in history came out of Bible history had phenomenal impact, yet they were the unlikeliest heroines of all time! We have looked at some of the main ones in the recent past – Rahab, RuthHannah, Anna and Mary. (Click on names to read the articles).  One such heroine of the Bible is Pharaoh’s daughter! All through 3500 years of history, she is always a footnote. She is well thought of, but always sidelined in the light of the greater story of one of the greatest men who ever lived – Moses!

Still, it was this young woman – Pharaoh’s daughter (Merri, according to tradition) who actually called the baby Moses. Merri called him Moses, derived from the words “Mo” (meaning Son) and “Sheh” (meaning ‘to draw out’). Pharaoh’s daughter adopted and called him Moses (Moshe in Hebrew) because she draw him out of the water, in the  wicker basket. He became her son,  and was most likely childless since her bath in the river Nile was a ritual to the pagan Egyptian god of fertility. As a princess, she already had her own private quarters and exquisite private rooms to be attended to, for matters of hygiene. Also, as a sidebar, the River Nile ran red with blood during the Ten Plagues as a punishment from God for that same pagan idolatry. Each one of the plagues was a specific punishment against that specific pagan idol, which the Egyptians worshiped.

Merri, most likely in her late teens or early 20’s when she “found”, named and raised Moses as her own, obviously fulfilled a role selected for her by the Mighty Hand of God. After Moses was banished to the Midian wilderness when he was 40 years old, Merri would have been around 60 years old at the time. So when Moses returned at age 80, after being sent by God to tell Merri’s father to “Let My people go”, she would have been close to or at 100 years of age!

Here is the reason God kept her alive – to reward her! Merri was constantly in the presence of Moses’ birth mother. A Hebrew woman, Yochabed nursed her own son and cared for him in favor and safety, in the very house of the ruler of the greatest country on earth at the time!  Merri undoubtedly heard about and witnessed first-hand, what a true and amazing God, the God of the Jews was! Scripture never tells us how or when, but Pharaoh’s daughter Merri later became known as Bithia, according to the ancient Rabbis! Bithia is the Hebrew word for “daughter of Yahweh”! At some point,  she ceased being the daughter of the Egyptian ruler, and became a Child of the Living God!

Then comes the surprise overlooked Scripture which almost nobody reads, outside of a seminary. 1 Chronicles 4:17-18 (see above) records some of the most incredible turn of events ever. Here is what it says:
- Bithiah (Pharaoh’s Daughter who rescued Moses) married Mered, a Hebrew man.
- Bithiah had three children: Miriam (named after Moses’ sister); Shammai  and Ishbah.
- Bithiah left her Egypt behind and all its pagan ungodliness and crossed into deliverance across the Red Sea, with the people of God!

This incredible revelation that Pharaoh’s Daughter left Egypt during the Exodus with the Israelites is instructive to us in the 21st century, for the following reasons:
1. The circumstances of your birth means nothing to the Plans, Purposes and Power of God. We have no choice where we were born, who our parents were or the environment in which we grew up. We do have a choice whether to obey God and reach out in human kindness and decency. By so doing, we could be altering the course of history, as Bithiah did!
2. Not only is our lifestyle of Faith observed, but the more authentic we are in following and serving God, people notice. This can lead to many things, namely either a rejection of our straight and narrow morality or an embrace of True Truth/True Faith by the unsaved because they know us by our love.
3. Lifestyle evangelism is important as it demonstrates WHO and WHOSE we are, but we must share the Truth of God, so others can know WHO HE IS! This is really the crux of the matter. If we do not share the Gospel and the road to Salvation, by explaining as best as we can, what God has done for us through Christ, then all we will be is nice and harmless Christians. In this case, the devil has nothing to fear from us, and has us right where he wants us. 
4. Following the God of heaven brings untold blessings.  When she was the Egyptian princess Merri, she dipped into the pagan ritual bath of the River Nile to “enhance fertility”, but it was only when she became Bithiah – the daughter of Yahweh, and married a Hebrew man (Mered) that God gave her three children. This is reminiscent of Abraham’s barren wife Sarah, who erred in forcing Hagar on her husband, while God had a huge blessing for her to bear Isaac at age 90. We cannot know the Ways of the Lord but we can surely worship because of the Wonder of our Great God.
5. Do not neglect humble beginnings. Self-pity is never an admirable attribute at any time. But God has chosen the foolish things of this world to confound the wise. Wisdom comes from an acknowledgement of the awesome Power and Sovereignty of God and His rule over the affairs of mankind. Once we, as mere mortals, come to an awakening of this Truth, the sky is the limit as to the potential in our lives. In times of trials and tribulations, circumstances dictate certain responses, but we do not have to stay there. The greatest men and women of Faith were delivered from UNDER the circumstances and their own personal Egypts, but the God Who sees the end from the beginning. Where there is life, there is hope to those who submit to the direction and Lordship of the Master, the Creator, the Lord of all things - Jesus Christ.

Bithiah, Pharaoh's daughter, married a man from the Tribe of Judah - the same tribe from whence cometh the Lion of Judah - the Lord Jesus!
"For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, THAT HE WILL INSTRUCT HIM (from Isaiah 40:13)? But we have the mind of Christ..." (1 Corinthians 2:16)



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