June 2017  
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Northside Journal: Mother's Day 06


Exodus 2:1-10 


With Mother’s Day coming we need to look at one of the bravest mothers in Biblical history. The woman’s name was Jochebed, the wife of Amram (Ex 6:20). Now you may think, “Who in the world is Jochebed?” The answer is in the son to whom she gave birth, Moses.  This mother of Moses is a beautiful example of what mothers should be and even beyond that, as an example of how we must be willing to care for our children and give them over to the Lord.  If we can do this, we will see by this lady’s example, how God’s blessing will be ours also.  We need to examine three things concerning this brave lady.  First, in spite of the fact that she was commanded to kill her son, she protected him at the risk of her own life.  We will see the provision she made for him to escape death once he was too old to be hidden and the providence of God that gave this precious child back to her.


The Hebrews (Israelites) were captives in Egypt during the time of Moses’ birth, and according to the second chapter of Exodus, Pharaoh (king of Egypt) saw the danger of a growing population of Israelites who lived as slaves in their nation.  At first, he attempted to have the midwives kill all baby boys during delivery, but their fear of God would not allow them to do such a thing.  Once he saw they would not carry out his plan, he sent soldiers throughout the territory inhabited by the Hebrews with instructions to find all baby boys and kill them.  During this terrible time, Jochebed and Amram had a third child born to them.  They were already blessed with a son (Aaron) and a daughter (Miriam), but this child was just as loved and just as wanted as the first two were.  I remember, when our second child was about to be born, wondering if I could love another child as much as I loved our first. I also worried that somehow I would lose some of that love for the first when the second would come into our world.  But what a blessing was in store for me when Sonya was born and I discovered that I did love her as much as Tami, and amazingly, rather than losing a portion of love for our firstborn, that love was multiplied.   So it should be with each of us.  God has granted us the blessing of procreation, giving us children born from our own flesh to love, nourish, and share our lives with.  The voice of Pharaoh demanded the death of the children – in our world today, we may not have a Pharaoh who desires to kill our children, but we have deadly enemies who desire to do the same thing.  The voice of the abortionist who tells you that baby is just tissue that you can throw away.  That “tissue” is the precious life of a child given to bless you, not curse you.  The voice of the drug dealer who tells you the high will be beyond your imagination and it won’t hurt your baby at all.  The voices of the tobacco and alcohol dealers, who entice you to drink up or smoke up, because it won’t hurt your baby. These voices want to steal the life and health of that precious gift of life you have been given.  God’s Word declares us to be adulterers and adulteresses when we give in to the voice of the enemy, who chooses to bring destruction rather than life.  James 4:4 declares, “Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity (the enemy) with God? Whoever therefore, wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”   It is our responsibility to protect our children from the evils of our world, rather than hope they make out all right.  We are commanded to “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”(Proverbs 22:6).  To train is a “hands on” activity, unlike teaching and lecturing.  I cannot train my child unless I am with him/her and doing what I want them to learn.  We need to invest time in our children, quality time.


Jochebed would not give her son to Pharaoh, nor would she have given him over to worldly voices, rather she chose to hide him and protect him from the command of the king.  For three months she concealed her little son, until his noises brought jeopardy to his life.  It was then that she made provision for him, a basket of bulrushes, covered with pitch, making it waterproof, and placed it in the reeds by the river’s bank.  There she told her daughter, Miriam, to watch over him and see what God would do.  The New Testament book of Hebrews gives this testimony about Jochebed; “By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king's command.” (Heb. 11:23)  This was not a desperate act, this was an act of faith.  She believed that God would do what she could not do, care for her child.  I know of parents who live in fear that something will happen to their child, they worry themselves and their children to a point of exhaustion fearing to have them out of their sight.  Somewhere we have to trust God with the children we love and rest upon His promise that He will always be with us.  We must warn our children of the dangers of this world.  We must train them how to live godly lives… but we cannot live their lives for them.  We have to do all we can do and then trust the Lord to do what we cannot do.  Jochebed did not place Moses on the bank and hope that things would come out all right.  She prepared for his safety, making the waterproof basket – even so, we must prepare for the time we let our children go.  We need to show them how to live, pray for them constantly, place within them a loving relationship with the Lord, and a healthy fear of straying from Him.  Then, when we have done all we can do… trust them to God.  Just as Jochebed sent Miriam to watch over that precious baby boy, we need to ask our Heavenly Father to watch over them and even ask that angels keep them safe, after all Jesus said they watch our children; "Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven. (Matt 18:10)  Don’t let fear steal the joy of watching them grow and mature physically and spiritually.  Whereas you and I cannot be everywhere all the time… God is!


Finally, we see the providence of God. You know the story, Pharaoh’s daughter came to the river to bathe and saw the basket among the bulrushes.  She then sent one of her maids to find what was inside. There she saw the beautiful little boy, and even knowing he was a Hebrew child, fell in love with him and took him to be her son.  Miriam immediately came to the princess and asked if she needed a “wet nurse” which, of course, she did.  The princess asked her to get someone to nurse the child and keep him until he was weaned.  Miriam then brought Jochebed to the princess, who hired her to care for the child.  That is just like God!  Her faith that God would provide is blessed with her ability now to not only raise the child without fear for his life, but also GET PAID to do it.  God can use whomever and whatever He desires to save His own.  He used the daughter of Pharaoh... not to teach and train in the ways of the Egyptian world, but to preserve life and prepare him for his calling. 


Jochebed kept him, nourishing him physically and spiritually.  Her heart must have been breaking when at last she gave him up a second time, by faith.  We don’t know just how old Moses was when he went to live with Pharaoh’s daughter, but we do know that he was old enough to grasp the truth of God’s call on his life and place within him a love for his own people that even the wealth and prestige of a throne could not steal.  Again, the New Testament book of Hebrews helps us understand this great love instilled in him by his parents; “By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter,  choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin,  esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.” (Heb. 11:24-26)


When he was a grown man, he returned to his people choosing to serve God as a slave rather than serve the gods of Egypt and rule the nation.  When we train our children… not send them to church… when we train our children… not wait for them to make their own minds up… when we train our children by walking the walk and talking the talk of God, we also can claim, “when he is old he will not depart from it”.