Women of Welcome
Pharaoh’s daughter and her servants must have been stunned. What they had found, they now had to face. A vulnerable child was crying in the same river where other children had not survived. Was he hungry or sick? Where was his mother? None of them could nurse (that we know of), and bringing him back to the palace seemed unthinkable. Or was it?
It’s common for daughters at some point in their lives to assert their own will against even the kindest of fathers, but defying a pharaoh was surely unlike any modern-day teenage rebellion.
As the chief justice of the royal court, the supreme commander of the army, and the high priest of all religions, pharaohs were divine kings in Egyptian culture. They were considered the mediator between the gods and man, carrying complete authority in all aspects of life. The “right” things in Egyptian culture were defined by what Pharaoh loved, and the “wrong/unworthy” things were defined by what he hated.
With no previous history or relationship with Joseph (Ex. 1:8), Pharaoh hated the ever-growing Hebrew people. Therefore, all Egyptians were to follow suit. Egyptian citizens benefited from this kind of reign and religious culture, making it even more reason for them to fall in line.
But the royal family—including Pharaoh’s daughter—would have been the most loyal followers of Pharaoh’s wishes. Pharaoh’s daughter likely didn’t know or worship God, but God used her (an outsider) and her extraordinary compassion to save his people. The irony of this story is inescapable. The evil plans set in motion by the most powerful person in the region were soon eroded by the compassion of his own daughter.
Throughout Scripture, we see how the unfolding of God’s sovereign plans has always included unlikely characters. As Christians, we believe and trust in His sovereignty. It’s what gives us hope when the world’s evil seems unrelenting.