Friends, this is the last chapter of the Under His Wings workbook. You can always come back and draw chapters for study and discussion from the archives here. I hope you’ve enjoyed the summer doing this together. You can share, but please give credit. @sherrieeldridgeadopiton.blog
The Story of Moses
Numbers 11, 27, Deuteronomy 33-34
The time of Moses’ death was fast approaching. He was at the ripe old age of 120.
“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Go up to this mountain of Abarim, and see the land which I have given the sons of Israel. When you have seen it, you too will be gathered to your people” (Numbers 27: 12-13).
Moses must have wept as he stood with the people on the banks of the Jordan River, looking across to the Promised Land. How dear they had become to him! He had carried them “as a nurse carries a nursing infant” right up to the border of the land which they had spent a lifetime searching for (Numbers 11:12). Standing together on the riverbank, he gave his final blessing. Adoption themes are woven throughout. One sentence in particular revealed his perception of adoption. “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms” (Deuteronomy 33: 27).
As he said these words, it was as if his life passed before him. Looking all the way back to his birth, he saw the arms of Jochebed, his birth mother, holding and nursing him. He saw the arms of his adoptive mother, Hatshepsut, rescuing him from death, caring for him and loving him. But beneath all those arms, he saw another set of arms holding him securely—the everlasting arms of God.
Even though his heart was breaking, he took every opportunity to minister to the needs of God’s people.
First he reminded them of their position with God. He said, “Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between his shoulders” (Deuteronomy 33:12).
Secondly, he reiterated God’s opinion of them. “For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession. The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the Lord loved you and kept the oath he swore to your forefathers that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh, king of Egypt. Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping His covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands” (Deuteronomy 7: 6-9).
Afterwards, he climbed to the highest part of the mountain where he could see a spectacular view of the Promised Land. The faithfulness and goodness of God were the last things he saw before he took his last breath.
Afterwards, the same arms that carried him throughout life became the arms that carried his body to the grave. God was taking such intimate care of his own, for “no man knows his burial place to this day” (Deuteronomy 34: 6)
Moses, the adoptee, had been the object of God’s special care from birth until death. He had now received the ultimate healing—death. He was finally at home, face to face with the Lord he adored.
- Do you think Moses was afraid of death? Why or why not?
How Moses Saw God
Moses now was coming to the end of his walk with God here on earth and he saw Him as Abba, which means “father.” He realized that his heavenly Father had carried him from the womb to the tomb.
Take a close look at how Moses’ concept of God enlarged and changed during his life time:
- Jehovah, the Being who is absolutely Self-Existent, the One who in himself possesses essential life and permanent existence.
- El-Shaddai, the Mighty One and Source of satisfaction
- Jehoval-rophe, the Healer of life’s sicknesses and sorrows
- Jehovah-shammah, the God who makes his presence real
- Jehovah-jireh, the One who will provide the sacrificial lamb (Jesus) for my redemption
- El Roi, the God who sees
- Jehovah-tsidkenu, the God of righteousness and the only one who gives acceptance
- Jehovah-rohi, the Shepherd
- Jehovah-M Kaddesh, the God who sets me apart for his peculiar possession and to his holy service
- Jehovah-shalom, the God of all peace
- Jehovah-nissi, the God who is my Standard of victory in life’s conflicts
- Emmanuel, God with us
- Adonai, the Sovereign Lord and Master of my life and service
- Abba, my Heavenly Father
Now look back over the last 12 chapters and chart how your concept of God has changed. It is not necessary to use the Hebrew terms. Just put it in your own words.
How Other Adoptees Feel
Check the statements with which you agree and explain why you checked them on the lines that follow:
- It’s awesome to know that God’s arms were the arms supporting my birth and adoptive mothers’ arms.
- I need to know that when I die, I will not see death, but only the face of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.
- I feel overwhelmed as I look back at God’s care for me throughout my life.
- It’s really true! God does keep his promise to never leave me or forsake me.
- I don’t feel alone anymore.
- I now know I was adopted for a purpose—his purpose.
Learning about Adoption
The Missing Face
An adoptee searches for a face in a crowd that resembles her own, believing that if she could only see the face of her lost birth mother, the hurt would magically disappear. The grief would be resolved. The life-long repercussions of losing our birth mother would evaporate.
Though we may search, reunite and even rejoice together with our birth relatives, there is still another missing face. It is the face of the one in whose image we were created. The face of the one who loved us so much that he died for us. The face of Jesus Christ. The moment we see him face to face in heaven, every need will be satisfied and every tear wiped away. The healing will be complete and the validation unimaginable.
Perhaps David was referring to this when he penned the words of Psalm 17:15: ‘And I—in righteousness I will see your face; when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness.”
A single thread in a tapestry
Though its color brightly shine
Can never see its purpose
In the pattern of the grand design.
And the stone that sits on the very top
Of the mountain’s mighty face,
Does it think it’s more important
Than the stones that form the base?
So how can you see what your life is worth?
Or where your value lies?
You can never see through the eyes of man.
You must look at your life,
Look at your life through heaven’s eyes.♦
(Printed with permission from Destiny and Deliverance: Spiritual Insights from the Life of Moses)
The Awesome Legacy of the Orphan
Perhaps when all is said and done, beneath the anger of many adoptees is the primal fear of being forgotten. Forgotten by the one who gave them birth. Forgotten by the biological father whose name they may not even know. But most of all, forgotten by God.
Through searching the scriptures, I learned that far from being forgotten, the orphan is the object of God’s special care and protection.
- He does what is necessary to preserve the orphan’s life (Jeremiah 49: 11).
- He gladdens the orphan’s heart with the bounty of providence (Deuteronomy 24:19).
- He feeds them from the ‘sacred portion’ (Deuteronomy 24: 19-21).
- He defends the cause of the fatherless, giving food and clothing (Deuteronomy 10: 18; Isaiah 1:17).
- He hears even the faintest of cries from the orphan. (Exodus 22:22-24)
- He becomes a father to them (Psalm 68:5).
- He considers helping orphans an unblemished act of worship (James 1:27).
- He provides what the orphan is searching for—love, pity and mercy (Hosea 14: 3).
- He blesses those who provide for the orphan (Deuteronomy 14:29).
- He has a unique plan for the orphan in history (Esther 2: 15).
- He strongly warns judges who issue unrighteous decrees and the magistrates who cause oppressive decisions against the orphan (Isaiah 10: 2; Malachi 3: 5).
- He is pleased when nations and people treat the orphan justly (Jeremiah 5: 28).
- He will draw nigh and be a swift witness against oppressors of the fatherless (Isaiah 10:2).
- He commands others not to remove the ancient boundary stone or encroach on the fields of the fatherless (Proverbs 23:10).
Which of the bulleted statements is most significant to you? Why?
Putting My Feelings and Needs into Words
- When and where do you look for “the missing face?”
- How do you feel when God says he is holding you right now in his everlasting arms and has been even before you were born?
Have you felt forgotten by God or others, such as your birth family, in the past? Explain.
- What do you need the most from God right now?
Writing Letters TO and FROM My Birth Mother and My Adoptive Parents
- Write a letter TO your birth mother. Imagine that she is on her death bed and you are writing her one last time. What would you say?
- Write one last letter FROM your birth mother. How would she respond to your parting thoughts and what would she want you to know?
- Write a letter TO your adoptive parents, expressing your feelings toward them after working through this book.
- What do you think they would say to you, after learning what you have often What do you think they would say to you, after learning what you have often silently struggled with? Write a letter FROM them.
Letters TO and FROM My Birth Mother
Letters TO and FROM My Adoptive Parents
Digging Deep for Answers to My Adoption Questions
- Your birth mother gave you the gift of birth, but who gave you the gift of life? See I John 5: 11-12.
- What is the secret of coming to terms with unanswered adoption questions? See Philippians 4: 11-12.
- Where are the answers of all your adoption questions? See Deuteronomy 29: 29
- How has your life changed as a result of this study?
Thoughts, Insights, Goals and Prayers
The Hebrew concept of time is like a person rowing a boat. We see where we have been, we back into the future. I can clearly see that God has been there with me all along. I am not stuck in the past, I am rowing into the future, moving forward, proactive, with my focus, my mindset, on God, who is sovereign. He sees the past, the present, and the future all-at-once. Morning after morning in my quiet time, I bring myself back to the Cross of Christ…as I bow before Him, I experience anew His forgiveness, redemption, mercy, and grace, as I sense His blood dripping over the Crown of Thorns pressed into His brow, onto my heart, covering my sin, and I get up from my knees wearing His Robe of righteousness as I face the day ahead…rowing into the future.
At last we have learned to see our adoption experience through God’s eyes. How refreshing! You and I have been like the baby eaglet that learns to fly by flying first on the mighty wings of the mother eagle. Looking down upon your adoption experience as you fly, you can see that you truly were adopted for a purpose—his purpose!
Fill your name in the blanks:
“For the Lord’s portion is _______, ________his allotted inheritance. In a desert he found _______, in a barren and howling waste. He shielded _______ and cared for _______and guarded __________ as the apple of his eye, like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them on its pinions” (Deuteronomy 32:11).
God bless you, dear friend for walking through this journey with me.
May you soar on!
August 30, 2020