To teach children the value of being bravely obedient to God, and having sustaining faith in Him, through the life of Jochebed, the mother of Moses.
Exodus 2:1-10 NIRV
Be on your guard. Remain strong in the faith. Be brave.
1 Corinthians 16:13
This month we will dedicate four weeks to learning about famous mommies in the Bible. These are women whom God called to be mothers — leaders in their households, bearer of children, daughters of God. We will study their lives, and by their experiences and examples, we will see what God wants us to learn from them.
This week, we will be discussing Jochebed (Jo-ke-bed). (Can you say that out loud?) She was also Moses’ mother. Who is Moses’ mother? Who is Jochebed?)
“To Amram she bore Aaron, Moses and their sister Miriam.”
From Numbers 26:59 we learn that Jochebed was married to Amram, and they had two children, Meriam and Aaron. At that time, the Pharaoh leader of Egypt was getting nervous about how big the Hebrew population was becoming. He became so scared that they would one day rise up and rebel against him, that he ordered all Hebrew baby boys killed.
But then Jochebed became pregnant, and gave birth to Moses. Now she knew that if anyone finds out about her new born baby boy, the entire family would be in big trouble. She knew she had to do something.
It’s a safe assumption to say that a lot of the Hebrews probably did kill off their babies. Maybe there was even a reward out for anyone who reports newborn baby boys, who knows? By this time, some of them have been tempted into idol worship, bowing to the gods of the Egyptians, and starting to follow their ways. They might have forgotten Jehovah God.
But Amram and Jochebed were strong in their faith during a time when many Israelites had become idolatrous. They knew that God was a covenant-making, promise-keeping God who provides and protects. And so when Moses was born, Jochebed hid him. She was able to hide Moses from the authorities for three months.
1 Be brave to trust
Our first key point today is a reminder for us to trust in God. Do you know that it takes a certain amount of bravery to put your trust in something? You could be the oldest, wisest, strongest Christian there is, you never miss your daily devotions, you go to church and life group and prayer nights and serve and praise and worship God with all your heart, and still (still!) two simple words can bring you down. Do you know what those two words are?
What if I fall? What if I fail? What if I don’t get it? What if I’m wrong? What if I lose? What if I die?
What if, what if, what if???
Jochebed might have had questions in her head at that time, we will never know. (When I meet her in heaven maybe I’ll ask her.) Let’s see, she might have been thinking, what if he cries out, and the neighbors hear? What if someone goes to their house? What if there was a surprise inspection? What if someone in town remembers that she was just pregnant and asks to see the baby to make sure that it wasn’t boy? There are so many areas for failure, so many challenges that she had to overcome.
But she pushed through her what-ifs and bravely trusted God in the most difficult decision that she could make for her son. It was literally life and death, not just for Moses, but probably for her and her entire family. It was a king’s decree after all, that they were all blatantly ignoring.
But instead of fear, she chose faith. She chose to be brave to trust in God no matter what.
2 Be brave to act
The second thing we learn from Jochebed in this story is the way that she acted on her faith. Yes, she trusted God, but she didn’t stop at just trusting Him in her heart. That’s simply where she started. She continued to be an amazing woman, a courageous mother, when she pushed through with her plan and actually went ahead and did it.
And it’s a very dramatic plan, wasn’t it? The optics are awesome: a baby in a basket, woven out of grass, floating on a river. What amazing bravery to actually hear this message from God, and follow through with it!
She didn’t just sit back and say, God will do the rest. She didn’t stay inside her house and just pray that she didn’t get caught. She had drive, endurance, courage! She did all that she could so that her baby would be saved! She sent her daughter to follow the baby down the river, who by the way, was so clever as to actually suggest her own mother as a caregiver to the baby. These women are awesome. Wow Mom indeed.
(Come to think of it, all the women in this story rock. Even the princess, who ignored her own father’s law and listened to her maternal instincts to take care of a crying, abandoned baby when the need arose.)
“faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead”
James 2:17b NIV
James 2:17 says that faith without action is dead. The love of God that is within us has to be activated in order to become real love, Godly love. But we have to be brave to make it so.
“Be on your guard. Remain strong in the faith. Be brave.”
1 Corinthians 16:13
This week through the life of Jochebed, we are reminded to be brave. To stand for our faith, and act out our love. To replace our what-ifs to God-wills. To be courageous instead of cowardly.
One simple act of bravery that we can do right now is to worship God. We show our faith in Him by proudly and loudly singing and praying of our love to Him. Are you ready? Let’s do it.
In Jesus’ Name – Darlene Zschech
King of My Heart – Steffany Gretzinger
Victor’s Crown – Darlene Zschech