Part 3 – Jochebed’s Faithfulness
Jochebed understood there would come a day when she would have to hand her child over to Egypt.
Knowing her time was short, she used every possible moment to educate him, and to pour into him. Later, when he is in the palace he will be taught by the priests, and the Egyptian scholars and philosophers, but the things he learned from his mother became such a part of him that their worldly teachings had no hold on him.
Jochebed’s sense of urgency, and faithfulness should be a pattern for us. In the Bible, Egypt is a type of the world. Like Jochebed, we won’t have our children for long; we too will hand our children over to world. And, the world will have it’s theories, and theology, and philosophers, and your child will have to make a choice about what to believe.
We are not told how long Moses got to stay with his mother. We do know it was long enough for him to see some of the dangers and the hardships of the Israelites. It was long enough for him to learn of their traditions which became such a part of Him that He later wrote the book of Genesis. It was long enough for Him to learn that He yearned for God.
Finally, the day comes when she must release him back to Egypt. Exodus 2:10 says, “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.’”
Perhaps Jochebed’s greatest fear was not the dangers of the Nile, or death from Pharaoh. Perhaps her greatest fear was the worldly influences of the Palace.
It would have been hard for Jochebed to give Moses up to an unknown world that was antithetical to everything she believed. One can only imagine the bitterness she would have felt as she gave him that last kiss, or that last instruction, or that last prayer. It would have been very lonely going home to a quiet house without him.
However, in the midst of it all, her faith prevailed. Jochebed’s prayer is that Moses will be kept safe from the worldly influences of the palace court. She reminds herself that the very One who had delivered her child from the dangers of the Nile, could keep him from the dangers of the worldly influences of the palace court.
She had done her part, and now she trusted God to do His part, and now God blesses her faith.
Hebrews 11:24 says, “By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.” Moses’s rejection of Egypt is the fruit of Jochebed’s prayers and obedience.
As we have seen, Egypt must have been an incredible place. And, Moses was given the very best Egypt had to offer. He was brought up in the palace, and he was treated as the grandson of Pharaoh. If he was seen in the streets, people would have “bowed the knee” to him. Everywhere he went he would have been treated with honor, and privilege.
If he chose to sail down the Nile, it would not be about the journey itself but the atmosphere. The ancient story, Story of the Green Jewel gives us an idea of what it would have been like for Moses just to take a trip down the Nile. in the story, the main character Snofru was bored and so his advisor suggests a boat trip down the Nile. It says, “twenty virgins who were fair to behold went into the boat, and they rowed with oars of ebony which were decorated with gold. His Majesty took pleasure in the outing, and the gloom passed from his heart as the boat went hither and thither, and the girls sang together with sweet voices”
He had within his reach all the wealth and treasures of Egypt, and all of the temptations that go along with it.
When he was old enough, he would have been educated in the best institutions of Egypt. There he would learn to read and to write, he would be instructed in music, mathematics, astronomy, and chemistry. He was trained as a political leader, and a soldier. In Acts 7:22 Stephen says, “Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and deeds.”
FB Meyer said, “While he was still in his early manhood the Ethiopians invaded Egypt, and threatened Memphis. Josephus says Moses was entrusted with the command of the royal troops. He immediately took the field, surprised and defeated the enemy, captured their principal city… and returned to Egypt laden with the spoils of victory.”1
So, this is who Moses was as a man of Egypt; he was mighty in words and deeds, but deep down he could never shake the memory of his parents suffering and bondage. And in the back of his mind, he always carried around the lessons he had learned while he was with his mother. She had taught him to pray, and she taught Him that God had promised to send a deliverer for Israel.
Somewhere along the way Moses began to understand that he was to be that appointed deliverer that he had heard his mother speak of so many times.
1 Meyer, F. B.. THE WORKS OF F. B. MEYER, Vol 1 (25 Works). Back to Bethel, Calvary, Guidance, Tried by Fire, David, Moses, Elijah and more!: 25 Classic Devotionals, Biographies and Teachings on the Higher Life (Kindle Locations 28262-28265). Kindle Edition.