Jochebed: Faith in the Face of Fear
I don't know about you, but I've enjoyed meeting for coffee with Sarah, Hagar, and Rebekah thus far. Today, we have Jochebed, Moses' mother, joining us. I'm intrigued with this Bible mommy who showed great faith in the face of fear. Imagine living in a time period when the head governing official mandated the killing of every male baby. Unthinkable. Yet, in the midst of this horror, God spared the life of one babe in order to raise up a leader to deliver His people. And He used an ordinary woman to accomplish His purpose.
Jochebed, I can only imagine that it took a lot of faith to place your baby in the Nile, along with crocodiles and who knew what else. You put your child in the very river where Pharaoh's murders took place.
Yes, it was daunting. But I didn't feel I had much of a choice. Moses' cry grew stronger by the day. I declare, that child had quite the set of lungs. Jochebed smiles. But I truly believe God showed the way of escape by giving me the idea of the basket. Still, it wasn't easy placing my precious baby boy inside and closing the lid. And launching the basket into the river, well, that took prayer and trust.
I'm sure you were glad to have his older sister, Miriam, stand guard.
Oh, yes. Miriam was always such a helper. When the Princess came to bathe in the Nile, along with her maidens, of course she spotted the basket. But Miriam thought quickly and asked the Princess if she could get a nurse from the Hebrews for the baby. You see, the Princess knew the child was a Hebrew slave. But she felt compassion for the babe and wanted to take him as her own.
How did that make you feel? That she wanted to take Moses to be her child?
Jochebed sighs. I felt both relief and grief. Relieved that God had saved my baby but sad that eventually, I would have to let him go. After he was weaned. But in truth, isn't that what every mother must do? Whether it's when a child is young, or when he's grown, we still have to let go.
So true. In rearing my three daughters, I came to understand that there was a "letting go"process at each stage of life. Birth released the baby from my body so that now I was not the only one interacting with my child. That first trip on the school bus proved another agonizing release. And so forth. But I grew with the child and learned to let go a little bit more with each phase. Thankfully, God never asked me to give up my child as you did Moses, at such a young age. He did ask me to surrender them emotionally and mentally to serve around the world in missions as adults. But God gave me some sweet surprises in return. Seven grandchildren to date are a few.
Oh, how special. Certainly a special gift for me was seeing how God trained and used my son, in fact, all my children, to serve Him for such a compelling purpose: the deliverance of our people. I couldn't have been more proud.
What would you say you learned from being a mother?
So many lessons. But I would say the three biggest: 1) Trust God. He knows what He's doing with your child. 2) Sometimes a parent must defy a civil authority in deference to God's will. 3) It's important to teach your child early on that God has a special purpose for his life that only he can fulfill. In short, teach your children then release them to do what God wants.
I've enjoyed our time together, Jochebed. Thank you for being a wonderful example of motherhood.
Jochebed blushes. Only by God's grace, that's for sure.
For more of Jochebad's story, read Exodus, chapter two and Hebrews 11:23. Next time, we'll pull up a chair and drink coffee with Samson's mom. Until next time, praying you grow as a Bible mommy.