One of the bravest women mentioned in the Old Testament is the Hebrew mother of Moses, Jochebed. She lived under cruel taskmasters, her people enslaved for hundreds of years. When the slaves’ numbers grew, Egyptian officials feared that the slaves might join enemy forces and cause an uprising.
On the sly, Pharaoh wanted the Hebrew midwives to kill any male child at delivery. But the women feared God more than the king’s edict and refused. When questioned about their disobedience, they reported the vigorous Hebrew women had delivered by the time they reached the woman in labor.
Those midwives, who feared the Lord God and guided new life into the world, could not smother newly sanctioned breaths. So, the ruling dynasty gave an order to all his people, “Every boy that is born you must throw into the Nile” (Exodus 1:22).
In that wicked culture, Jochebed, whose name means “the Lord is glory,” delivered a son. Did her heart pound with fear when she delivered a male child? Had she plotted ahead on how to spare this baby? Did she expect the worse or hope for the best?
By the time Moses reached three months old, his mother had finalized and almost completed her plans. She built a mini ark, made of papyrus reeds, coated inside and out with tar and pitch. By then she had reached the limits of her protection.
Matthew Henry (1662-1714) says that often when “men are projecting ruin . . . God is preparing . . . salvation.”
The minute a child is born, a mother is born, too. All types of mothers have rocked cradles, the good, the bad, and the worse. But there’s nothing more heartwarming than a wholesome bond between mother and child. Sweetness exists in that relationship like no other.
No doubt Jochebed’s first few months with Moses were bittersweet. And one day, preparations made, Jochebed chose to place her infant son in the reeds near the bank of the Nile, post big sister Miriam as guard, and trust God to have a plan for a river, a floating bassinet and a beloved infant.
Some mothers will be able to embrace their children this Mother’s Day. Other women are separated by miles, while some mothers are separated by rifts. Moms, if you have a good relationship with your children, cherish the blessing. If your relationship has a few cracks, gather your tools and work on a patch job as soon as possible.
If your relationship is completely strained, pray over them and, like Jochebed, place them in God’s hands — it may be time to put them in the boat. Remember, sometimes when we project ruin, God is planning salvation.
Happy Mother’s Day.
Index Card Verse for Week 18: “”You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you” (Isaiah 26:3).