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.


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

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