From Everlasting to Everlasting
By Alan Parks
My thoughts of late have centered on Moses. He’s a fascinating character, isn’t he? The story of his birth and early years in Exodus 2 is a study of the magnificence of God’s plan. Many years had passed since Joseph’s death, and Egypt had crowned new kings who had no knowledge of Joseph saving their land in a time of famine. The number of Hebrews in Egypt had grown so large that Pharaoh now feared them. After all, he knew that if an army attacked Egypt and the Hebrews joined them, they might defeat Egypt. Thus, Pharaoh instructed the midwives to kill all male Hebrew babies.
Thank God the midwives chose to obey God, not Pharaoh! And so, when a beautiful son was born to Amram—a Levite—and Jochebed, his mother hid him for three months. But the day came when Jochebed could no longer hide him, and the thrilling story of her little ark of bulrushes and reeds, waterproofed with bitumen and pitch and set afloat in the Nile River, comes to life. I smile every time I read it.
The baby’s sister, Miriam, follows his journey on her side of the river until the little boat floats up to Pharaoh’s daughter. The God who can harden hearts can also soften them, and He softens the heart of Pharaoh’s daughter at the sight of the beautiful Hebrew boy. Miriam asks if she can fetch a nursing mother from the Hebrews, and soon, Jochebed reunites with her son.
Pharaoh’s daughter names him Moses, which means “drawn from the water” in Hebrew and is close to the Egyptian word meaning “son.” Moses becomes a glorious picture of the safety in Christ. If we ever wonder if the great Architect of history is intimately involved in everything, this story is thrilling confirmation.
What drew my thoughts to Moses was the only Psalm attributed to him, Psalm 90. In it, Moses expresses truths about God’s eternality and humankind’s frailty. I’ve always marveled at his insight in verse 10: “The days of our lives are 70 years; and if by reason of strength they are 80 years. . . .” Consider the advances in science and medicine since Moses was alive. And yet, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, the average lifespan is 73 years for American men and 79 for American women.
But Moses also addresses the big picture. In verse 1 of his prayer, Moses writes, “Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.” And he ends verse 2 with “Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.” Generation to generation is one way humankind measures time, but God measures it from everlasting to everlasting.
The words dwelling place stand out to me. Moses’s life of 120 years was divided into three segments: 40 years in Pharaoh’s palace, 40 years in his father-in-law’s home, and his last 40 years in the desert leading the children of Israel. In none of those 40 years do we read of him having his own home or dwelling place. Yet, with remarkable wisdom, Moses offers truth for all of us: Even if we live in a house that we own, a condo, or an apartment, it’s a temporary dwelling at best. Each generation can find its ultimate dwelling place in Him, and believers, ourselves included, belong to the God who dwells from everlasting to everlasting. Through His marvelous grace, we’ll spend the everlasting forever with Him.
The great Hall of Fame chapter—Hebrews 11—summarizes Moses’s life in verses 23–29. Five times, the writer says, “By faith.” His extraordinary life was characterized by faith in God. We live in trying days, as Moses did. This groaning creation is crumbling all around us, and our daily cry is “Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20) Things we’ve taken for granted may be taken from us in the future. Yet we can rely on the same God and on the same truths as Moses: “Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations” and “Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.”
Alan Parks is a commended worker based in Texas.
Originally published in Missions magazine, May 2023. For more content, sign up for a free subscription (US) to Missions at CMML.us/magazine/subscribe.