The Pharaoh's Daughter

Look What I Found—Anippe’s Fear

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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.  😀

Comments 15

  1. I believe that the readers could get to know you and understand you more/better (thereby knowing And understanding your characters more/better) if you could make yourself totally transparent by going to the unpleasant places in your life… Would you tell us what your fear is/was? I realize that opening yourself up to past wounds and hurts can be painful for some people. For me, I have learned that the purpose for a life lesson is to share my experience rather than to hide or bury it. Someday I hope to have you read my story. It has a very happy ending!

    My fears led me to Jesus… The story of my life is called “The D Words”… There are lots of really hard circumstances and words that shaped my life; and I will tell you that there is only one of those words that comes close to describing my rise from the ashes of Hell: “deliverance”. For me, I now fear The Lord… But before that… WOW… I had a long list of irrational fears… Not any more! thank You Jesus!

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      I’m with you, Teri. My fears led me to Jesus, too, and I think it’s a great idea to have me share a little about how my fears affected that decision next week in the video. There’s always a little bit about my story in all my characters, so you’re also right about that. 😉

      I’m so thankful for “D Words” because I love seeing what Jesus has done with your life, my friend! Thanks for sharing and for being a testimony of his servant’s heart.

  2. In the conversation between Jesus and Peter . . . Why did Jesus change to philia the last time he asked? And were these the ‘original’ Greek words from the gospels or your guess as to which words were used? I couldn’t tell.
    Either way, it made me think, do i love him because I feel it, or because I choose to? Most days, it is a bit of both.

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  3. I had an unusual conversation with our church librarian today while I was volunteering with her. We talked about a book that was about why God has rules and is He really a caring God or a vengeful God. I stated that I always felt like God treated as children are treated. That parents make rules for their children to keep them safe and to show their love. There are reasons for the rules and it is the same with God. I also felt like there were times when I needed to go crawl up in His lap to get the reassurance I needed. I trusted Him to do that. How often do you crawl into His lap to get you through the tough times? I too wondered about the change in the love term in Jesus’ conversation with Peter. Is it because He recognized that that was all Peter could give Him at that time? Isn’t it wonderful that God loves us willingly?

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      I think a lot of Christians see God as vengeful. I know I did until I began studying the Old Testament. That’s one of the reasons I began writing OT biblical novels–to show the LOVE of God that is just as real in the OT as it is in the NT. You had a wonderful answer for your friend, Connie. Thanks for sharing it. 😉

  4. 1John says that love casts out fear. I have accepted Christ into my life. I have asked for forgiveness. But, there is still lots of fear inside me from life’s circumstances. 1John also says that he who fears has not been made perfect in love. Is there a daily prayer to help ease those fears?

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      Great question, Angie. I’ll pray about that and see how the Spirit leads. It’s one thing to know what is SUPPOSED to happen. It’s another thing to live it out. We want to be a DO-ERs of the word!

  5. Hello fellow Christian ladies, this is Irene chiming in. It has been my personal experience that fear, for any reason stems from the unknown. I fear that which I do not know or cannot predict. That’s because man is unpredictable whereas God is predictable. We know through history and through our faith that no matter what the circumstances He does and will always love us. What human can be that predictable? Sure we love our children, our spouses, our relatives and our friends but is that agape or philia? Is it a conscious love to love one’s family and friends? While we were very young most of us were taught that Jesus loves us because the Bible tells us so. As we grew into adulthood we witnessed this love for ourselves, and we are still learning that God loves us unconditionally, and no matter what we do, if we repent wholeheartedly we can be redeemed. He never reminds us of our faults and our mistakes. Instead it is His Saving Grace that heals us. That is Agape and not philia. In Christ’s Agape, Irene.

    1. You’re so right about fear and the unknown, Irene. It’s a matter of control, isn’t it. As long as i have the illusion of being in control, I have no fear, but the moment I know control is lost, fear takes over. The known and unknown, controlled and uncontrolled, are human triggers of fear that only trust in a perfectly loving God can conquer.

  6. Pharoah’s Daughter, what an inspiring book! Oh how I wanted to read more. When I reached the last thirty pages I deliberately slowed down so that I could really relish it. It couldn’t have come at a better time in my life. Anippe feared more than anything in her life dying in childbirth. Although I am way past that in my life, I too have fears that are crippling me. I know in my heart and in my mind that these fears are unfounded. I know that God is bigger than anything I am fearing. I guess what I fear so much is that I have told so many lies that if I am found out the consequences for me could mean the end of my marriage. At the time they seemed necessary and harmless. I thought that I was in control of my circumstances. Much like Anippe I thought the means justified my actions, although lying is never justified, especially to your spouse. I have not found the courage yet to tell the truth. I know that lies have a way of blowing-up in one’s face. I would love to come clean but I guess I’m too afraid. I need to really pray harder so that I trust God to do what is best for me. Obviously I cannot do what’s best for me. Please lend me your prayers. In God’s Glory, your friend, Irene

  7. I read this book last week and enjoyed it so much. I was drawn to a lot of the characters. Their intense love while parallel
    with their fear. There is so much to learn from the various characters. Is there some “fear” that is good or should love
    erase all fear? I know that fear does not come from the Lord.

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      Great question, Margaret! I’ve already recorded the video for tomorrow, but I’ll answer briefly here. Passages in Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Isaiah, and Micah mention fear and wisdom or fear and knowledge as couplets that complement each other. In that way fear is good when it leads us to deeper knowledge and understanding (as the fear of God does). But when fear makes us hide or run away, it often reveals sin or doubt in our lives. And you’re absolutely right…this latter kind of fear most certainly doesn’t come from the Lord. So glad you enjoyed the book! 😉

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