She knew the danger when God blessed her with a child. It was the days of Thutmose I (approx. 1527 B.C.). As a tyrant Thutmose I feared the people’s possible revolt. Fear and narcissism drove him to infanticide. All the women of Israel knew they could loose their male children to Thutmose’s bloodlust. This woman probably quietly prayed for a girl, but she already had Aaron and Miriam and like every other mother, Jochebed knew the difference between pregnancy with a boy or a girl. Still, she was blessed, her womb was filled with new life. A tremendous mixture of emotion must have filled these prospective mothers. Would Jochebed be mortified or thrilled on the day she gave birth (Exodus 2:1-10).
Like good mothers, Jochebed would gladly give her life for her children. She had made a decision concerning her newborn children. If she were blessed with a boy, she would do everything in her power to protect and save her children. She was a slave under one of the most bloodthirsty despot’s in history. She existed on a whim. The whim of her task masters. The whim of any given prince and ultimately the whim of the Pharaoh himself. Her life did not belong to her already, giving it for something worthwhile made that potential sacrifice sweet. She could easily decide to risk her life for those she loved.
Therefore it was easy for Jochebed to not call a midwife, bear her son and secret him away under threat of death. She hid her child for three months. Then she did something that very few mothers have the strength, fortitude or faith to do. Jochebed lived a life few mothers live today, and lived it out for a purpose even fewer mothers can envision. Jochebed trusted God for all things in her life. She trusted His plan, even in this horrid time of slavery, bondage, beatings and murder. Though mankind was wicked, evil and hateful she trused God as merciful, gracefilled and loving. God would see her through, and see her new born son through, even if God were to take his life, she knew he would be preserved in Heaven. Still, she would do all in her power to save him.
God had a tremendous plan for this true selfless hearted mother. This is not to say others were not as selfless, but Jochebed was chosen. Jochebed had to completely trust God. She had to submit to giving him wholly over to God. She crafted a rough basket and made it water tight inside and out. She would place her child in the Nile and trust Him to God’s preserving power.
An amazing thing happens when children see selflessness, pure faith and endless love, they begin to exhibit these characteristics. Miriam, Jochebed’s daughter tracked the little arc while walking through the bull rushes. Consider this little girl’s thoughts as her mother asks her to wade in crocodile and hippopotamus infested water waist deep. Young and impressionable, but Miriam certainly knew the fear of death. Every day she did not carry her water pot correctly, when she did not move quickly enough, if she was caught distracted she probably felt the crack of the task masters whip. She joins her mother to save her brother. Tremendous testimony.
God rewards Jochebed’s faith. God rewards her loving selflessness. God rewards her life long practices. God saw to it that Pharaoh’s daughter was bathing. He carried the arc up-stream against the current to a place South of Goshen. Miriam reported what had happened to her brother. He was plucked from the Nile by the daughter of Pharaoh. Miriam spoke up, “Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee.” What incradulity that a Hebrew slave would be in the baths of the Pharaoh’s daughter. Yet, she is not chastized, but sent on an erroand for the palace.
Can you see God’s great love and providence. Jochebed nurses and cares for her own child, found in the Nile by the Princess of Egypt. The princess did not turn the baby over to the guard for immediate termination, nor did she throw the child back into the Nile as her father commanded be done. God affected her heart and, “she had compassion on him.”
The child turned man, Moses would lead 1.5 million people to freedom from Egyptian tyranny. Only God can use all these elements to complete His will. Only God can see throughout time to select the specific day and time when Jochebed should take her child to the Nile, release the arc to flow perfectly to the pools. Only God would know the exact time Pharaoh’s daughter was in the pools. Only God can arrange all these unconnected events and affect the heart of a woman to have compassion on a hated slave child. Did Pharaoh’s daughter have compassion on the children of Israel, or on the mothers because of her father’s murderous fears. However, speculation does not provide fact. Scripture clearly states her heart had compassion. God does not give the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).
Mothers, we celebrate you. God made mothers. He certainly knew the best of them in the day of Moses. He ceartaily knows the heart of Pharoah’s daughter who became a wonderful mother for Moses. He was instilled with tremendous character and moral integrity outside the teachings of Israel.
Mothers are a powerful, loving and greatly influencial force that God uses mightily throughout history. No wonder the scriptures command, “honor thy father and thy mother” and that this is the first commandment with promise? We see that phrase repeated eight times. Parents (fathers and mothers) are vitally imporant to children.
Mothers above all have a special gift though. They produce life! God’s blessing is their ability to bear life. Mothers, may you all seek to emulate the loving selflessness and faith of Jochebed.