Kept safe

For the Lesson titled "God the Preserver of Man" from December 3 - 9, 2012

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Like modern-day psalmists with their urban gospel pop sound, Mary Mary had their biggest hit with “Shackles (Praise You).” Here’s the refrain: “Take the shackles off my feet so I can dance / I just wanna praise You / I just wanna praise You.” That’s what the story of Moses does too; it praises God for freedom from oppression received through our Father-Mother’s loving protection and guidance. This week’s Bible Lesson, “God the Preserver of Man,” focuses on this story and its teachings on the nature of God.

In the very brief story of the birth and upbringing of Moses there are echoes of the early stories in Genesis. When it says in Exodus 2:2 that Moses’ mother “saw him that he was a goodly child” (citation 3), it is similar to Genesis 1, where it repeatedly says God saw that what was created was good. And then in Exodus 2:3, Moses’ mother daubed an ark with pitch and put him in it to protect him, just the same way that Noah had sealed his ark with pitch in order to protect his family and other living creatures from a flood (see Genesis, chaps. 6–8). The repetition of these themes from Genesis in Moses’ story suggests that God’s creation is continuously manifesting itself. And the care and protection in these stories imply that God’s creation is never separate from God’s love. We know God best through love. Mary Baker Eddy writes that “…Love imparts the clearest idea of Deity” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 517, cit. 2).

One of my favorite parts of the Moses story is when Moses’ older sister Miriam is watching baby Moses from the banks of a river. She keeps an eye on her baby brother and then she is able to reconnect him with their mother (see Exodus 2:4, 7, 8, cit. 3). Keeping guard or observing is the original meaning of preserve from the Latin praeservare, according to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. That’s what God is doing the whole time. And no wonder Miriam was later called a prophetess (see Exodus 15:20); she had long been expressing God’s protecting care.

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The Touch of Class
Prayer provides the means
December 3, 2012

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