JOCHEBED: A PORTRAIT OF A GODLY MOTHER
Exodus 2:1-10 (NKJV)
Moses Is Born
2 And a man of the house of Levi went and took as wife a daughter of Levi. 2 So the woman conceived and bore a son. And when she saw that he was a beautiful child, she hid him three months. 3 But when she could no longer hide him, she took an ark of bulrushes for him, daubed it with asphalt and pitch, put the child in it, and laid it in the reeds by the river’s bank. 4 And his sister stood afar off, to know what would be done to him.
5 Then the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river. And her maidens walked along the riverside; and when she saw the ark among the reeds, she sent her maid to get it. 6 And when she opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the baby wept. So she had compassion on him, and said, “This is one of the Hebrews’ children.”
7 Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and call a nurse for you from the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for you?”
8 And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Go.” So the maiden went and called the child’s mother. 9 Then Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this child away and nurse him for me, and I will give you your wages.” So the woman took the child and nursed him. 10 And the child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. So she called his name Moses, saying, “Because I drew him out of the water.”
Today is a day when we take the time to honor the one human being who unselfishly gives herself to her children time and time again, without asking for anything in return. If your life has been blessed by the touch of a godly mother, then you have enjoyed one of this world’s greatest treasures and blessings. Not everyone has enjoyed this great blessing but those who have will go to their grave remembering the love of their mother. We set aside one day a year to honor mothers. The majority of them deserve it, and they truly are VIPs. Abraham Lincoln declared, “no man is poor who has had a godly mother.” A Spanish proverb reads, “An ounce of mother is worth a ton of priest.” Someone else has said, “The instruction received at Mother’s knee, together with the pious and sweet souvenirs of the fireside, are never effaced entirely from the soul.”
In this passage, we are introduced to a woman named Jochebed (the mother of Moses). She stands out as one of the greatest mothers revealed in the pages of Scripture. Her selfless love and sacrifice made possible the exodus of God’s people from Egypt and literally changed the course of history. It would do us well this morning to look at the life of this great mother. As we do, we find characteristics that stand as reminders to all of our mothers teaching them what they should be as well. Yet, please do not think that I am speaking only to moms today. In this passage about this woman Jochebed, there are lessons that speak to every person here, whether they be male or female, young or old, saved or lost. God has a word for you this morning. Join me as we look together at Jochebed: A Portrait Of A Godly Mother.
I. V. 1 WE SEE HER CREDENTIALS
A. Jochebed was an Israelite, one of God’s chosen people. She was also a member of the tribe of Levi from which would come the priests and those who would carry out the duties of the Tabernacle and later of the Temple. She, and her husband Amram, were evidently very dedicated and religious people. They were willing to defy the order of Pharaoh and keep the commandments of God.
B. Every mother needs a relationship with the Lord. May I say that every child deserves a saved, sold out, dedicated mother? Nothing would make more difference in the lives of our children than having good, godly examples in the home. (Ill. There is a need for godly fathers too! In fact, everyone in the home needs a relationship with the Lord. God give us godly moms and dads!)
C. While we are one the subject, allow me to insert the truth that every person needs the Lord Jesus Christ! My friend, more than you need your next breath or your next heartbeat, you need Jesus Christ and His salvation. It is the one credential you need to miss hell and enter into heaven when you die – Acts 4:12; John 3:3, 7.
I. We See Her Credentials
II. V. 2 WE SEE HER COURAGE
A. Ill. The Decree of Pharaoh – Ex. 1:15-22. Jochebed refused to give in to a godless system that would have cost her the life of her son.
B. God give us parents who aren’t afraid to take a stand for that which is right in these dark, sinful days! Men and women who demand more for their children than the world can give them. Parents who are willing to say, “Enough is enough, my child is going to learn the way of the Lord!” People who will declare the same thing Joshua declared for His family, Josh. 24:15. (Ill. We need some courageous people in these times!)
C. (Ill. It is interesting to note that in our day, often the young people have more of a heart for God and His business than do their parents. It is a blessing when young folks live for God, but it is the parents who ought to set the example in courage and godliness for those who are following behind!)
(Ill. Once a little boy asked his father what a Christian was. For a long time, the father sat with the son explaining in great detail exactly what a Christian was supposed to be. When he was finished, he felt like he had done a pretty good job of describing a Christian, as well as himself. His illusions, however, were shattered when his son asked, “Dad, have I ever met one?”)
(Ill. A humble, consecrated pastor’s young son had become very ill. After the boy had undergone an exhaustive series of tests, the father was told the shocking news that his son had a terminal illness. The youngster had accepted Christ as his Savior, so the minister knew that death would usher him into Glory; but he wondered how to inform one in the bloom of youth that he soon would die. After earnestly seeking the direction of the Holy Spirit, he went with a heavy heart through the hospital ward to the boy’s bedside. First he read a passage of Scripture and had a time of prayer with his dear child. Then he gently told him that the doctors could promise him only a few more days to live. “Are you afraid to meet Jesus, my boy?” asked his devout father. Blinking away a few tears, the little fellow said bravely, “No, not if He’s like you, Dad!” How that preacher’s heart thrilled to hear those words. It meant his son had seen Christ in him. The boy did not dread meeting the Savior whom his father had so accurately portrayed.)
I. We See Her Credentials
II. We See Her Courage
III. V. 3, 9-10 WE SEE HER CONFIDENCE
(Ill. By confidence, I am referring to faith. Jochebed was a woman motivated by a strong faith in the will of a Sovereign God! Her faith was so strong that she was named, along with her husband, to God’s Hall of the Faithful in Hebrews 11:23. She needed this kind of faith to accomplish what she did for the Lord and for her son. She needed faith to:)
A. V. 2 Resist The World – The world was crying out for the death of her son, but this mother stood strong in the face of this attack and placed her son above the will of the world! (Ill. So it is today! The world demands that parents hand over their children and allow them to be trained and taught the ways of the world. But, our children need and deserve better than that! We need some parents who will teach their children the ways of God and steer them clear of the world and its devises. (Ill. Pro. 6:22; Deut. 6:4-9) It takes faith to go against the grain and raise your children for the Lord, but God will bless you, and them, for it!
B. V. 3b Release The Child – It took faith to place the child in the river. This was the same instrument which was being used to destroy the other babies, Ex. 1:22. It took faith for this mother to take her hands off the life of this child and leave him to the will of God. (Ill. It takes faith for us to let our children go, but that day is coming. Some parents live in denial and try to hold on to their children far too long, but the day is coming, sooner or later, when that child must be allowed to become an adult. It takes faith to just leave them in the hand of God, but the child who has a praying mother, a past filled with the Bible and training in the way of the Lord has the advantage and will do well.)
(Ill. When I talk about giving them up to be adults, I do not mean that we are to stop praying for them and that we are to turn on them. There are too many parents who can’t wait for the day when they won’t have to put up with their children anymore! I found a story that shows a godly mother’s heart – “Once a very poor girl from a small town went to the big city to earn some money to support her old mother. Soon after her arrival, she realized that an attractive girl can earn more money without working than by honest work.
“Recognizing her own assets, she became all too successful.
She pleased men and soon had money, jewels, and a life of revelry. Her mother was forgotten. What does a mother count when one dances to popular tunes?
“Years passed by. One day she was stricken with remorse and asked herself, `I wonder how my mother is. I have neglected her completely.’
“She took the first train to her village, arriving late at night. To her amazement, she found the gate of her house wide open. She knew her mother was always careful to lock it at night. Then she saw a light burning in the window of her mother’s bedroom. A lamp burning so late? Mother usually went to bed early. Might she be sick?
“When she crossed the threshold, she heard her mother’s voice: `Joan, is that you?’
“`Yes, Mother,’ she replied. `But how is it the gate is wide open so late at night?’
“`Since you left, the gate has not been closed.'”
“`But why is the light burning so late? Why aren’t you asleep?’
“`Since you left, it has never been extinguished. A loving mother’s heart waited for you.’
“You can be sure that when you desire to knock at the gate of heaven, it will be wide open to receive you.”
[Jesus, Friend to Terrorists by Radu Valentin. Living Sacrifice Book Company, 1995. Pages 94- 95.] )
C. V. 9-10 Raise The Child – After Moses had been found by Pharaoh’s daughter, Miriam and Jochebed were able to work things out to where Jochebed became the nurse for her own son. It took great faith for her to raise this child under those conditions. However, she was given the opportunity to teach Moses about Jehovah, about true worship and about right living. She had the opportunity to do her best by her son. (Ill. We are required to do the same thing! All we can do is our best by our children. May I say that they need love, acceptance, Bible teaching, preaching, church, godly examples to emulate and especially, they need a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ! If you give your children to God and then give them all the God you can, you have done your best. They then have a foundation from which they can grow and mature into healthy saints of God.)
How To Be A Stupid Parent
1. Discipline your children only when you lose your temper. Let them get away with anything until you’re fed up; then, in a spirit of hostility and anger, let ’em have it! Blow your top, holler, get wild, clobber them, and really make a brawl out of it. The children will get a bang out of you.
2. Don’t make yourself approachable, you might have to listen and reason with them. If you get too chummy, they’ll want to talk things over with you. And who’s got time to waste with kids? You’ve got more important things to do.
3. If they’ve done wrong, never let them forget it. Keep rubbing it in; they’ll loathe you for it.
4. Give your child all the spending money he wants; don’t make him earn it. Money in large quantities is an acceptable substitute for love. After awhile he’ll want only your money and couldn’t care less about you. It’s something like starving him on cream puffs.
5. Compare your child with someone else to make him smarten up. Use that beautiful expression, “Why can’t you be like Johnny?” He’ll despise you and Johnny both!
6. Mother and father should disagree in regard to the rules for their youngsters. Children will then learn to play one parent against the other.
7. Never let the kids think for themselves. They haven’t the equipment. (The reason may be in their heredity or environment.) Make all the decisions for them so they’ll never be able to handle life.
8. Treat them with suspicion. Never trust the sneaky little characters.
If they turn out well, it won’t be your fault. IT’LL BE A MIRACLE OF THE HIGHEST ORDER!
I. We See Her Credentials
II. We See Her Courage
III. We See Her Confidence
IV. V. 9-10 WE SEE HER CHARITY
(Ill. This refers to the wonderful way in which she gave out of her life.)
A. V. 2-3, 9-10 She Gave Of Her Self – She poured out her life into the life of her son. Isn’t that what every good mother does for her children? It is important that children give their mother’s the honor they deserve, Ex. 20:12. (Ill. In a very real spiritual sense this is what the heavenly Father has done for each of us! God gave His Own darling Son to save sinful man. God gave Heaven’s best for earth’s worse! He did that simply because He loves you!)
B. V. 10 She Gave Her Son – Very literally, Jochebed was raising her son to give him to the Lord. She gave up her son to save her nation, even though she didn’t realize all that she was doing. (Ill. According to the Bible, God gave His son for us! When He did, God knew exactly what He was doing. In fact, when Jesus came and died for our sins at Calvary, that was the greatest expression of love the world would ever see, Rom. 5:8. Jochebed gave her son for Israel. God gave His Son for the world, John 3:16, 2 Cor. 5:15 – He died for all! He died for you!)
I. We See Her Credentials
II. We See Her Courage
III. We See Her Confidence
IV. We See Her Charity
V. WE SEE HER COMPENSATION
A. Her son became a great man of God. He was the one man whom God had chosen to be the deliverer of the people of God and the one who was destined to be known as the Great Lawgiver Of Israel. I would imagine that Jochebed never realized his potential when he was a baby. I suppose that she lived the remainder of her life and never knew what God did with the life of Moses. In her own way, Jochebed rises as high as any mother in the Bible. I am sure that her reward in Heaven will be great. This mother’s love and sacrifice were vindicated in the way God greatly used her son Moses!
B. Parents, you never know who you are raising! Ill. Hannah (Samuel), Mary (Jesus)! Therefore, give them the best you have while you have them and turn out God fearing, God following young men and women who will live for the glory of the Lord! Young adults whom God can use for His glory out into the future. Young people who will instill that same values in their children that you have placed in them.
(Ill. Often parents think they have been successful when a child finishes college, or when they make lots of money in some prestigious position. However, true success cannot be gauged on such a worldly scale. When we see our children living for and in love with the Lord, then we have truly been successful. I would rather raise a child who would have none of this world’s goods or success, but who knew Jesus than to raise a multi-millionaire who would die and go to Hell!)
Jochebed (the mother of Moses) stands, even after all these years, as a true portrait of a godly mother. I wonder how we parents stack up against her witness this morning?
Perhaps there have been those who have heard this morning that have had their hearts stirred by the Lord. Maybe He has spoken to you about your soul and you know you ought to come and be saved this morning. Maybe He has spoken to you about your relationship with Him and how things aren’t like they used to be or like they should be, and you want to come and do something about it. Maybe He has spoken to you as a parent and has shown you areas in your life that are less than what they ought to be and you want to come and determine today that you are going to strive to be all God wants you to be. Maybe you just need to come and pray for your children. Maybe there are some children here who would like to come and pray for your parents. You know they have tried, but you haven’t tried like you could have. Today would be a great day for lives and families to be touched and brought to the place God wants them to be. As the Lord speaks right now, won’t you come and do what you need to do?