Many biblical women in the past have humbly set a launchpad for God to display His mighty works. One such unfamous woman is Jochebed.
History records that Jochebed was a Hebrew lady born around 1523 BC in Egypt. A daughter of a Levi and mother to Miriam, Aaron and Moses.
She lived during a time when the Egyptians oppressed the Israelites.
Hatred, hostility and hard labour were the facts of life. *
Around 1550 BC, a new kingdom/empire period had begun with the start of Egypt's 18th Dynasty of Kings. The new king (Pharaoh) was insecure about the Israelites that occupied Egypt. Pharaoh saw a potential threat to his rule because of their rising population and seeing how powerful they had become.
So, the Pharaoh began his oppression of the Israelite. Despite this, history states that Israelites multiplied and spread. When things did not work his way, he resorted to a genocidal method of killing all Hebrew newborn male babies. Failing to accomplish his purpose, he mobilized all Egyptians to deal with the Israelite threat. He gave orders to throw every Hebrew baby boy into the Nile.
Jochebed was pregnant during this empire. She was already the mother of two young children, Aaron and Miriam, at this time. Miriam was the oldest. Can you imagine the stress and fearful cry this mother and many across Egypt had at being asked to throw their newborn baby boy into the river Nile? Imagine the horror Aaron and Miriam went through at knowing they would have to throw their little baby brother into the Nile.
I am sure they were all edgy.
Yet Jochebed went against the mandate to destroy her baby boy and acted as a resourceful and caring mother. *
Jochebed prepared herself. She managed to hide the child and did not give up.
Three months into this journey, things did not look promising.
Jochebed knew she was no longer able to hide her child. I am sure Aaron and Miriam questioned every moment, 'Mamma, what would happen to the baby?'.
Instead of living in denial and painting a sad picture of hope, she devised a plan. She was serious about saving her child. She sensed that if God saved her baby for three months, he could extend her baby's life for much more.
Jochebed's actions spoke loudly about her trust in God.
She got a papyrus basket (made it leakproof), placed her baby boy in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. She made her move, and now it was time for God to make His.
She was genuinely fearless, and little Aaron and Miriam got to see this up close and personal.
Baby Moses was rescued from the basket by Pharaoh's daughter, who adopted Moses and brought Him up in Pharaoh palace. He grew up to be a leader who eventually delivered Israel's nation out of oppression.
A good friend of mine once shared with me her concerns about her kids and their well-being. It's natural for mothers to feel this way since care and provision are standard components of being mothers.
Often we feel threatened if this ability is not fully functional within us or circumstances robs us of being a good caretaker.
When worry strikes, it's good to remember that the same God who knew Jochebed and did wonders for her will bring your basket to safe shore.
Motherhood from Jochebed's view
Motherhood is more than a job or a responsibility. It's a ministry, and it takes work, that means sacrifice - sleepless nights, running mascara, raised tones, pockets of uncertainty.
Motherhood causes you to let go of your own life for the sake of your child. God does not deny the existence of trouble. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Tomorrow will have its own worries. (Matthew 6: 34, The Bible). However, he promises to care for those who trust Him enough to handle their matters. Give all your worries to him because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7, The Bible). God can sail your basket to safe shore.
Let go and let God be. We are stewards of the children God has placed under our care. Children are a gift from the Lord. (Psalms 127:3, The Bible). But in all this, we can never replace God from His position as the ultimate caretaker.
Motherhood is a high calling in an all-consuming task. Despite the pressure & exhaustion, your love doesn't dim - even in the most trying circumstances or with a rebellious child. The reward is worth the effort. Babies are a reward. (Psalms 127:3, The Bible)
Do watch this special mother's day video. Mother's Day 2021
Scripture taken from the International Children's Bible®. Copyright © 1986, 1988, 1999 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
* Texts reference from Woman's Study Bible (NIV)