The Pharaoh’s Daughter – Bible Study—Week #1
Click on the following title to print today’s devotional: LOOK WHAT I FOUND–ANIPPE’S FEAR
That late, great philosopher of the 1960’s—the Beatles’ John Lennon (*grin*)—said there were two great motivators: fear and love.
In The Pharaoh’s Daughter we meet a young girl, Anippe, whose life is full of one and devoid of the other. Fear becomes Anippe’s nemesis when at age five she witnesses her mother’s death in childbirth. Love seems a distant dream for this young girl who is used as a pawn by powerful men.
As Anippe grows into womanhood, she must marry a handsome soldier and leave the familiar environs of her brother’s palace. Terrified of childbirth and Egypt’s northern Nile Delta, Anippe’s fear builds layer upon layer until the walls around her heart are nearly impenetrable. Fear becomes paralyzing, consuming, and life-altering.
For many today, fear is a prison. A taskmaster. A charlatan. It threatens rain on a cloudless day, keeping us chained to a corner of lamplight when beyond the curtain waits the noonday sun.
Take a moment…
Consider some your life experiences. Have they created layers of fear that guard your heart? If you struggle with fear, what might have been some sources?
- Divorce – parents or your own
- Death – someone close to you as a child or as an adult
- Poverty/living in want – as a child, in your past, or currently
- Abuse – physical, mental, emotional, spiritual
- What other sources may have sprouted fears that enslave you?
Fear and Love
Though fear began shaping Anippe at a very young age, she is also quite intuitive when it comes to love. Listen to her observations about her younger sister, Ankhe:
“Ankhe is too little for lessons, and she doesn’t know about love either. Will she ever love? Or will she be like Abbi Akhenaten and live forever with a broken ka?”
Even at age five, little Anippe realizes that some people live with a broken spirit and find love nearly impossible to give—or receive.
Write 1 John 4:18-19 on the lines below and discover the Bible’s perspective on the two great motivators: fear and love.
The Biblical Story
READ: Exodus 2:1-10 to familiarize yourself with the biblical story of Pharaoh’s daughter and then answer the following questions based on your 1 John 4:18 understanding of love and fear:
- In the lines below, write FEAR or LOVE to describe what you think might have been Jochebed’s primary motivation in each circumstance (your opinion—no right or wrong answers):
- Hiding Moses for three months:
- Placing him in a pitch-covered basket on the Nile:
- Sending Miriam to watch from a distance:
- Returning Moses to Pharaoh’s daughter after he was weaned:
- In the lines below, write FEAR or LOVE to describe what you think might have been the primary motivation of the Pharaoh’s daughter in each circumstance (your opinion—no right or wrong answers):
- Sending her female slave to retrieve the basket from reeds:
- Seeing the Hebrew baby crying—and letting him live:
- Agreeing to let a Hebrew woman nurse the baby:
- Adopting the Hebrew child as her own:
God’s Word for Today:
Notice 1 John 4:18 says that “perfect love drives out fear.” Only God loves perfectly, so only God can drive out all fear. But to the degree that God’s love impacts us—to the level that we trust Him, know Him, experience Him—we can be free from fear.
So, let’s talk about love, both how God loves us and how we are to love Him. In his book, The Four Loves, C.S. Lewis describes four Greek terms that describe love, each having a slightly different nuance:
- Storge – affection
- Philia – friendship
- Eros – romance
- Agape – unconditional love
Can you fill in these blanks?
- The first three loves (storge, philia, and eros) are based on F__ __ __ __ __ __ __.
- But agape is an act of the W__ __ __.
I’ve always been taught that agape is unconditional—the love God has for us—but I’d never seen it described as an act of the WILL. The other three types of love—storge, philia, and eros—are FEELING based.
Let’s look at a familiar passage to examine the impact of these subtle differences on Peter’s relationship with Jesus—and how it could impact our relationship with Jesus as well.
“When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you agape me more than these?’
‘Yes, Lord,’ he said, ‘you know that I philia you.’
Jesus said, ‘Feed my lambs.’ Again Jesus said, ‘Simon son of John, do you agape me?’
He answered, ‘Yes, Lord, you know that I philia you.’
Jesus said, ‘Take care of my sheep.’ Again Jesus said, ‘Simon son of John, do you agape me?’
He answered, ‘Yes, Lord, you know that I philia you.’
Jesus said, ‘Take care of my sheep.’
The third time he said to him, ‘Simon son of John, do you philia me?’
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, ‘Do you philia me?’
He said, ‘Lord, you know all things; you know that I philia you.’
Jesus said, ‘Feed my sheep.’” John 21:15-17 (NIV, emphasis added)
- Which love did Peter seem to value more?
- Given the choice, would you rather have someone feel love for you or choose to love you? Why?
- Why do you think Jesus seemed to push Peter for a love of the will (agape) rather than emotion-based love (philia)?
As the story of The Pharaoh’s Daughter develops, we see characters doing the hard work of relationship building, and their decision to love changes to genuine affection. From the following Scriptures, list some of the things we’re called to do after we choose to love God in order to transform our relationship into feelings of genuine affection.
- Romans 15:30
- 2 Corinthians 8:7
- Philippians 1:9
- 2 Thessalonians 1:3
- 1 John 2:5
God Himself encompasses every nuance of love in any language—Hebrew, Greek, English, etc. 1 John 4:8,16 reminds us that, “God is love.” What do the following verses tell us about how God’s love flows to us and through us today?
- John 15:9
- John 15:13
- Romans 5:5
- Romans 8:35,38-39
- 1 John 4:9
For Personal Reflection:
How can you choose to show love to someone in your life this week?
How can you decide to show your love to God this week?
How can you know you are loved by God?
Come Back Next Week!
- Please take a moment to ponder today’s lesson and submit a question in the COMMENTS section below.
- Next week, I’ll give in-depth answers to some of your questions in a short video clip embedded at the top of the blog post.
- Each question submitted will serve as an entry in the drawing for a necklace, engraved with the Aaronic blessing, “May the Lord Bless and Keep You,” based on Numbers 6:24. We’ll give away one necklace each week for our four-week Bible study!
Winner of the Release Day FB Page Contest: Charlotte Perotti
Congrats, Charlotte! Enjoy your Amazon gift card. 😀