by Roger Thomas

This content is part of a series.

What's a Mom Worth? (1 of 8)
Season of the Family
Roger Thomas
Exodus 2:1-10
May 11, 2003

"Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you." Pharaoh's daughter, of course, didn't know what she was asking or whom she was talking to. The Egyptian princess had just found a tiny baby boy floating in the Nile. She recognized that it was a Hebrew baby. Whether she calculated the risk of disobeying her father's orders or not, we don't know. Whether from a compassionate heart or an attempt to fill a void her in life with a baby, an emptiness that all the money in the kingdom couldn't satisfy, she rescues the baby and makes him her own.

Sort of makes him her own! Even a princess has her limits. Surely she couldn't be expected to actually raise a child. She had other things to do—princess things! When she hears the suggestion that she find a Hebrew woman to care for the child, she jumps at the idea. Hebrew women seemed very good at that. In fact that was why her father had ordered the Hebrew infants killed. The Hebrew women were so good at raising babies that their people had started outnumbering the Egyptian population. That could only spell trouble, her father had reasoned.

So a Hebrew woman was found to raise baby Moses. Apparently the princess didn't have a clue that the poor Hebrew nanny who showed up was actually the baby's mother. If she had known, she might have simply said, "Isn't that convenient." She might even have called it a coincidence. It was neither. It was the Sovereign plan of the Lord of the Universe, the God of the Hebrews, who had big plans for baby Moses! But that's another story for another day.

The princess's instructions and promise raise an interesting question. "Take the baby and I will pay you," she says. How much do you pay a mother? What is the going wage for a Hebrew nanny who raises a prince of Egypt? How much is a mother worth?

There's a particular episode of the TV sit-com Everybod ...

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