Summary: Is motherhood all sacrifice and no reward? No, for nothing done in God’s will is without its reward. This just shows us the humor of God, for out of Pharaoh’s treasury is coming the support for the child who will one day set His people free.
Mother had worked hard with her little girl in teaching her a part for a church program.
The little girl had gone over it again and again, but when she stood up in front of people
her mouth went dry and her mind went blank. She did not know what to say. Her
mother sat in the front and tried to calm her, and she tried to help by forming the
opening words on her lips. Nothing happened, but finally in desperation she whispered,
“I am the light of the world.” Immediately the girl’s face lit up and in confidence she
began, “My mother is the light of the world.”
We want to look at a mother who was indeed a light in a world of darkness. Jochebed
was the mother of Moses, and like many mothers she is only known because of her
children. Everything was against her being a good mother. Her husband was a little
more than a slave. Pharaoh had made it so that men could get no education and had to
do hard labor, and they had no political rights in Egypt. He made it miserable for all the
Jews, and he decreed that all boy babies were to be cast into the Nile. Miriam was
between 13 and 15 and Aaron was between 3 and 5, and so they were safe, but Jochebed
was expecting another child.
She must have hoped it would be a girl, for then it would be no problem, but God’s
plans do not always call for a life with no problems, and so she gave birth to a boy. It
was, in a sense, a twin birth, for not only a great man but a great mother was born that
day. We will see this as we see the way she handled the problem and the results of her
wisdom. We will see her greatness as we focus on 3 aspects of her mothering.
I. HER WISDOM.
She knew it was better to obey God than man. Her mother love refused to obey the
law of wicked Pharaoh. To him a baby was only a little enemy to be gotten rid of before
he became stronger. Like all powers of evil he worked in sheer brute force. One thing he
forgot, however, and that is that babies have mothers, and a mother’s love is stronger
than evil. Guided by the wisdom of God a mother’s love can outwit the devil himself. It
was through motherhood that God would send His Son into the world to defeat Satan.
God has found a faithful mother in Jochebed and through her he will raise up a
deliverer. The book of Hebrews says she acted in faith to save her child. She trusted that
this child was given her by God for more than crocodile food.
William James said a baby is, “A bundle of possibilities.” Jochebed felt this was the
case for her baby boy. She vowed that no Pharaoh was going to make her give up her
baby. The very fact that Pharaoh wanted to get rid of babies is a testimony to the power
of motherhood. With the right mother a baby can grow up and be a overwhelming force
for good, and that is why evil forces become baby killers. It must have been very hard
hiding a baby like she did. The tension must have been beyond endurance, and she
realized she could not go on hiding the child, but she was not going to give it up. How she
must have prayed as she worked out her plan. Things looked dark, but she faced the
dark future with the light of faith.
Sometimes you wonder about God’s timing. For 400 years Israel was in Egypt, and
God waits until Pharaoh orders all boy babies to be killed to bring the deliverer onto the
stage of history. God obviously loves a challenge, and He loves to see His people face up
to one and gain the victory. He deliberately develops a context of great danger. He knew
Jochebed would be a great mother, for that was the only hope for the survival of Moses.
She could have surrendered to the inevitable and obeyed this vicious law, as did many
other mothers, but by faith she decided to buck the system. She took the same radical
and paradoxical approach that God took. If He was going to give her a boy at just the
worst possible time, she, in turn, would hide that baby in the very spot where they were
drowning the babies-right on the river’s brink.
Logic would tell you that if babies are being thrown into the river it would be wise to
take the baby as far from that danger as possible, but the wisdom of a mother if often not