I attend a women’s bible study twice a month with the women of my church. We have thoughtful discussions about the bible as well as parenting and friendships. We started the book God Loves Moms:12 Lessons about God’s Mercy in January. The bible study starts in Genesis and introduces us to Eve, the forgiven mom and ends with Widow of Nain, the grieving mom. The bible study has been an insightful way to view the women of the bible. There are many times when involved in study I see the story in a way that I have not thought of before.
This week we studied Jochebed, the faithful mom. Jochebed is Moses’ mother. I must admit that I can remember the story of Moses being in the basket in the river. However, my knowledge of why Moses was in the basket did not extend further than Moses in the basket. Jochebed had given birth to Moses during a time in which the Pharaoh had issued a decree that all baby boys were to be killed. Specifically they were to be discarded (drowned) into the Nile. Jochebed held this beautiful baby boy in her arms and was supposed to throw him in the river to die. Jochebed knew that all children were a gift from God. She also knew that the Lord had a plan for Moses, yet according Pharaoh’s order she was to kill her son. I do not know about you but this would have proven to be a huge challenge for me. Jochebed made a choice, that if I had been in the same position, I would like to say I would have done as well. She choose to keep baby Moses hidden, with the help of her family, until he was about 3 months old. When he had grown bigger and she became concerned that he could not be hidden any longer, she made a basket and placed Moses in it. She then placed the basket among the reeds in the Nile river where she knew that the Pharaoh’s daughter came to bathe each day. Next, Moses sister, Miriam, sat and watched over him in the basket until the Pharaoh’s daughter arrived. When the daughter saw Moses crying in the basket, Miriam tells her she will fetch a wet nurse for the baby. Miriam then runs and gets her mother, Jochebed, and brings her to the Pharaoh’s daughter. Jochebed is appointed to be Moses’ wet nurse and she was paid wages to care for him!
The Lord certainly answered her prayers and calmed her fears of losing her baby boy. Yes, she methodically planned and placed Moses where he would have a greater chance of survival. However, anything could have happened to unravel the plan she had made. The river could have swept Moses away. Pharaoh’s daughter could have chosen to care nothing for the child in the water. These things did not happen! Moses survived and grew up knowing he was a Hebrew child. Moses was adopted into the family of the Pharaoh, but was raised up understanding that he was a Hebrew child. Certainly he received a valuable education and lived a wealthy life as an adopted child of the daughter of the Pharaoh. Yet, he never forgot the sacrifice of his mother, Jochebed, and the risks she took in saving him.
She truly left a legacy in her children. Her other two other children, Miriam and Aaron, are also well known in the bible. Miriam becomes a prophetess for God. Aaron was a prophet for God, becoming Moses mouth piece to the Hebrew people. Her faithfulness to the Lord was passed down upon all three children. They all came to love and serve the Lord.
After the completion of the study of Jochebed my brain was spinning. My children are actively involved in church, as well as, attend a Christian school. We say morning and nightly prayers, pray at meals and talk often of God in the home. Yet is it enough? Have I taught my children that following God is more important than what society is teaching? Am I leading by example? All of the questions have made me challenge myself to be more like Jochebed. What is my role as a Christian mother? I am learning that my role is to SHOW my children the fruits of the spirit, not just TEACH it to them. I have been the parent of discipline, but not of loving discipline. I am often quick to correct behavior, but not let them learn on their own that something can hurt them. I am making the commitment to give my children a mother who is full the spirit, listening to the Lord’s voice. I am making the commitment to be slower in anger and calmer with my delivery of discipline. I am going to allow my children to make mistakes after I have heeding warnings of bad decision making. I will use those moments to teach them of what could have been different, instead of saying “I told you so.” I am committing myself to being more like Jochebed.