Part 2 – Jochebed’s Faith
The Faith of Jochebed
You have to keep in mind, Israel has been in Egypt for over 400 years. Over the years, they have begun to meld in with the Egyptian culture. In Ezekiel 20:6-8 we’re told that God had told Israel “not to defile themselves with the idols of Egypt,” but they rebelled against God and would not obey Him. Then God said, “I will pour to My fury on them and fulfill My anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt.”
Israel worshipped the gods of Egypt, but not everyone…
There were still some families who remained faithful to God like Moses’s family. And, here they had this beautiful child, and they were gg to trust God for his life.
Ex 2:2 says that when Jochebed saw that he was a beautiful child, she hid him three months. We as moms always think our children are beautiful, but Moses was exceptionally beautiful. Josephus tells us that people passing by would stop to just gaze at his beauty, and the laborers would leave their work just to steal a glance at him.
We need to understand that hiding a baby for three months took incredible courage, as well as it was no easy feat. Babies cry and people report things. Hebrews 11:23 says Moses was hidden because his parents, “were not afraid of the king’s command.” As you read that you have to wonder, why weren’t they afraid? They knew the culture in which they lived; they knew the mind set; they knew Pharaoh’s command; so why weren’t they afraid? They weren’t afraid, because they were faithful to revive their hearts in the Scriptures. They had carefully kept themselves in the scriptures all those years while they were in Egypt.
They revived their hearts in Genesis 15:13 where God said to Abram, “Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. Afterward they shall come out with great possessions.”
Have you ever had a verse just leap out at you from your Bible, and you knew God was speaking directly to you? That phrase, “They shall come out,” must’ve just burned in the heart of Jochebed. That’s why she had the faith that she did.
She knew the promise of God; she saw he was an exceptionally beautiful child; and so she hid him for three months believing that he might be the deliverer for Israel.
Exodus 2:3 says, “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.”
So, she herself made the basket. One can only what must have been going through her mind as she made that tiny little basket. Surely she wondered if she would ever see her baby again. There had to have been doubts as she laid her baby in that basket, wondering if it was really a casket.
Moses was to be Israel’s deliverer—a powerful vessel of God. I’m sure Satan was right there assailing her thought life on a level we can’t even begin to comprehend, but she did not allow her mind to go there. She made a conscious decision to focus on the promises of God, and she did what God had called her to do. As she laid him in the Nile she kissed him, and held him as close to her as she could. She was probably crying just like any mom would do, and then she very tenderly and carefully placed him in the basket that she had prepared, and she put him in the Nile.
Verse 3 says it was she herself who laid him in the Nile. She had thought this through. It would be her alone that would put him in the Nile–not Amram, and not Miriam. And if that weren’t enough for a mother to deal with, she set Miriam on watch. Now she has two children to be concerned with. Keep in mind that the Nile river is not a safe river; it’s full of crocodiles and poisonous snakes. Jochebed was trusting in God for more than just protection from Pharaoh, she was also trusting God for protection of her baby and for her daughter from the dangers of the Nile.
Jochebed returns home fighting the natural anxiety that any mother would have over leaving her children. I can’t help but think she also fought self-pity. As women, we’re prone to that as well. Wouldn’t we think, “Lord, isn’t it enough that our life is so hard? Look at Amram. He’s struggling so much, and now you’ve taken away Moses. What’s next? Isn’t our life difficult enough?” But that’s not Jochebed. She steadies her mind on God; His plan, and His promises.
She releases all that she wants, desires, or had planned for her life, and she allows God to take the lead. This is a woman of incredible faith. Is it any wonder that Moses was a man of such faith? Moses’s faith is a blessing that God has chosen for Jochebed in return for her great trust in Him.
Of course we know the story from here. Pharaoh’s daughter draws Moses out of the water, and she gets Miriam to fetch Jochebed to nurse the child.
We can’t begin to imagine the joy that Jochebed experienced when they finally got baby Moses home and closed the door. Surely she would have been dancing with that baby! She would hardly be able to wait for Amram to come home so she could tell him. As women, we can’t wait to tell our news! And this was truly something to rejoice in! I’m sure this is the first moment that Jochebed has breathed in months. She knows her baby is safe now, and under the protection of Pharoah’s own daughter; she is even provided with wages for caring for the child.
Of course, Jochebed knows she will eventually have to return Moses to Pharoah’s household, but right now just the thought that he’s safe, and that she gets to hold him in her arms and nurse him is enough for her.
There’s a wonderful spiritual principle that makes Jochebed a woman for the times. Jochebed is learning to take one day at a time. She doesn’t look behind in bitterness, nor did she look to the future in fear. She releases the future to God because she knows He’s trustworthy.
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble,” Matthew 6:34