Jochebed, Moses’ mother, showed fearlessness and faith as the mother of the future deliverer of Israel. She was also mother to Miriam and Aaron, who would play key roles at their brothers side in seeing the people of God to their promised land.
Jochebed is mentioned by name only two other times in the bible when her genealogy is recorded in Exodus 6 and Numbers 26. While we don’t know much else about this woman of God, we can still learn from her example and be fearless in our faith too.
“Now a man of the tribe of Levi married a Levite woman, and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months. But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him.
Then Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the riverbank. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her female slave to get it. She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. “This is one of the Hebrew babies,” she said.
Then his sister asked Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?”
“Yes, go,” she answered. So the girl went and got the baby’s mother. Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you.” So the woman took the baby and nursed him. When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying, “I drew him out of the water.” Exodus 2:1-10
What a dramatic way to trust God!
Not only did she hide her infant son for 3 months while Pharoah continued to murder countless other children, but she hatched a plan, with God’s help, to save him from his fate and put one of the most famous stories of deliverance into motion.
I cannot imagine placing my infant son into a basket in a large river like the Nile and letting go. I can only imagine the wrestling of faith it took to come to that decision. But oh how God was faithful!
The Lord used his big sister Miriam to seize the opportunity to bring Jochebed back into Moses’ life so that she could continue to nurse and raise him until he would become the Pharoah’s daughter’s son.
Jochebed’s fearless faith empowered her to do hard things.
I wonder what it was like for her. To choose to give up her son so she might be able to have him back, even for a short time? What was it like to hand him over after he was weaned? Not knowing what kind of man he would become under the Pharoah’s household?
Note: We do not know for sure where her faith was in all of this because the bible doesn’t detail her feelings or thoughts. It only gives us the events that happened, and I want to make sure that I don’t speculate too much because the fact is, only God knows!
What we do know is that when it came to the point of decision, Jochebed either pushed through the fear or boldly chose faith for the hope of her son’s survival.
But I still believe Jochebed knew who her God was and that He was faithful.
As a wife of a Levite, and a Levite herself, she no doubt grew up being taught the ways and Word of the Lord. I believe that Jochebed was acting in faith and placing her trust, and her child, in the hands of a very capable and protective God.
The fact that Miriam followed after the basket at a distance to see what would happen to him shows that they must not have known for sure how things were going to play out for little Moses. But God knew what He was doing and at just the right moment, the baby was saved.
What joy Jochebed must have had when Miriam ran back to her to tell her how God had moved on Moses’ behalf! How wonderful that she would be allowed to continue to nurse her son AND get paid to do it!
That is the blessing and favor of the Lord!
We, too, can place our faith fearlessly in God
Again, I don’t know what happened behind the scenes with Jochebed’s heart. But I believe that she acted with a fearless faith to save her infant son from being murdered. And she acted again as his nurse under the Pharoah’s daughter.
I believe God is the one who drove her to action and to accept His plan for little Moses. And that one day, the cruelty and slavery to their people would be relieved.
Godly Moms and Women make fearless faith – filled decisions every day just like Jochebed
We can trust that God has a plan and our part is never small as mothers or women in the Lord. The bible is filled with women who made decisions based on what they knew was right in the moment. And often, for the benefit of everyone around them, including their children, husbands and communities.
God chooses to use women in His Plan in some of the most unlikely and surprising ways. With one small decision of faith and subsequent action, they have often been responsible for the course of history. I think it takes a connected woman to recognize and act in those defining moments and Jochebed surely did.