Summary: Many Christians do not know who Jochebed was, but the whole world knows of her third child, Moses.
A MOTHER’S FAITH
1 And a man of the house of Levi went and took as wife a daughter of Levi. 2 So the woman conceived and bore a son. And when she saw that he was a beautiful child, she hid him three months.
3 But when she could no longer hide him, she took an ark of bulrushes for him, daubed it with asphalt and pitch, put the child in it, and laid it in the reeds by the river’s bank.
4 And his sister stood afar off, to know what would be done to him.
5 Then the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river. And her maidens walked along the riverside; and when she saw the ark among the reeds, she sent her maid to get it.
6 And when she had opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the baby wept. So she had compassion on him, and said, "This is one of the Hebrews’ children."
7 Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, "Shall I go and call a nurse for you from the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for you?" 8 And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, "Go." So the maiden went and called the child’s mother.
9 Then Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, "Take this child away and nurse him for me, and I will give you your wages." So the woman took the child and nursed him.
10 And the child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. So she called his name Moses, saying, "Because I drew him out of the water." Exodus 2:1-10 (NKJV)
Exodus 2:1-10 tells of his birth and adoption by Pharaoh’s daughter. Exodus 6:20 gives us his parents names: Amram and Jochebed, both of the house (later the tribe) of Levi. They were parents of a daughter named Miriam, their oldest child, and a three year old son named Aaron. Many Christians do not know who Jochebed was, but the whole world knows of her third child, Moses.
On this Mother’s Day we pause to honor our mothers and to reflect upon the important contribution they have made to our lives. We cannot even imagine what our lives would have been like without them. The great American evangelist of the 19th century, Dwight L. Moody, often said that all he had accomplished in life was due to his mother! I certainly come nowhere close to that spiritual giant, but I can certainly say the same thing about my mother.
In speaking of mothers, one noted writer declared: “There is Monica, mother of Augustine, who when her son wandered far astray from her early teaching, never lost faith that God would bring him back, and by her love and prayers ‘dragged’ him from the mire and set him among princes.”
ILLUS: The story is told of a teacher who gave her class of second graders a lesson on the magnet and what it does. The next day in a written test, she included this question: "My full name has six letters. The first one is M. I pick up things. What am I?" When the test papers were turned in, the teacher was astonished to find that almost 50 percent of the students answered the question with the word Mother. No one would question whether or not they all got it right! Actually, that all did!
Let us now focus our minds and thoughts on Jochebed, the mother of Moses.
I. A MOTHER’S FAITH CHALLENGED
1. “Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.” Exodus 1:8 (NKJV). This was an unsettling event for the Israelites.
2. “So Pharaoh commanded all his people, saying, "Every son who is born you shall cast into the river and every daughter you shall save alive." Exodus 1:22 (NKJV)
Can we possibly imagine the fear that gripped the heart and mind of Jochebed, and every other expectant mother in Egyptian bondage, upon hearing the evil edict from the Pharaoh?
II. A MOTHER’S FAITH MANIFESTED
“So the woman conceived and bore a son. And when she saw that he was a beautiful child, she hid him three months. But when she could no longer hide him, she took an ark of bulrushes for him, daubed it with asphalt and pitch, put the child in it, and laid it in the reeds by the river’s bank. And his sister stood afar off, to know what would be done to him. Exodus 2:2-4 (NKJV)
The older Moses’ grew the harder it was to hide him. Sooner or later he would be discovered and if so put to death. It is embarrassing for a mother when she is trying to keep a baby quiet and the child doesn’t want to cooperate.