Most persons don’t think of Jochebed when they think about heroes of faith. If you search for her name on BibleGateway.com, you will find exactly two references and both of them, on the surface, seem insignificant.
Now Amram took for himself Jochebed, his father’s sister, as wife; and she bore him Aaron and Moses. And the years of the life of Amram were one hundred and thirty-seven. Exodus 6:20
The name of Amram’s wife was Jochebed the daughter of Levi, who was born to Levi in Egypt; and to Amram she bore Aaron and Moses and their sister Miriam. Numbers 26:59
You may be tempted to disregard what appears to be little more than a wedding announcement. Why would God want us to know this?
Jochebed lived in Egypt - Goshen, to be exact. She had two children – a daughter and a son. Then she became pregnant a third time. By then, the situation had changed. The Pharaoh of Egypt had begun to fear the Israelites. He was worried they would ally with his enemies. If they did, it would mean sure defeat for Egypt because there were a lot of Israelites.
If she had a daughter, everything would be fine. But if she had another son… he would be killed. I imagine troops of Egyptian soldiers patrolling the land. They examined every woman. They made note of women who were pregnant and visited their homes often – demanding to see the child as soon as it were born. They seized every boy child who was born in Goshen. But Jochebed –
Somehow, she managed to conceal her son for three months. We are told in Hebrews 11:23 that Moses was hidden by his parents because they saw he was a beautiful child. Their love for their child was greater than the fear they had for the king’s command.
Perfect love casts out fear.
As you read her story in Exodus 2:1-10, try to imagine how she may have felt.
And a man of the house of Levi went and took as wife a daughter of Levi. So the woman conceived and bore a son. And when she saw that he was a beautiful child, she hid him three months. 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. And his sister stood afar off, to know what would be done to him.
Then the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river. And her maidens walked along the riverside; and when she saw the ark among the reeds, she sent her maid to get it. And when she opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the baby wept. So she had compassion on him, and said, “This is one of the Hebrews’ children.”
Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and call a nurse for you from the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for you?”
And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Go.” So the maiden went and called the child’s mother. Then Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this child away and nurse him for me, and I will give you your wages.” So the woman took the child and nursed him. 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.”
That Jochebed hid her son for three months regardless of the consequences, makes her a hero of faith. When she made a basket to put Moses in, she showed the strength of her faith. Can you imagine the level of self-control she demonstrated when she stood in front of Pharaoh’s daughter and accepted the care – and wages – for the very son whom Pharaoh wanted to destroy?
I don’t know if I could have done it. The glee on my face would have told Pharaoh’s daughter I was the child’s mother. I would have been so giddy maybe Pharaoh’s daughter would have thought I was crazy and asked Miriam to find her another woman to take care of Moses.
The lessons we learn from Jochebed are faith and self-control. When faced with her greatest fear, she didn’t panic. She made a plan and boldly executed it. The Bible doesn’t mention it, but I believe she prayed. I believe she had a connection with Jehovah and it was this connection which caused her to go forward in faith.
She knew as long as she trusted Jehovah, she had nothing to fear. Likewise, we have nothing to fear when we learn to rely on God. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us – including overcome our greatest fears.
What dreams have you cast aside because of fear? Let’s pick them up and start working on them. Join me and the Journey writers on Facebook for our Accountability Party. We are committed to start something by November 9th, 2018 and we want you onboard for this journey.
Challenge: Find a Bible verse or write a prayer to encourage yourself when your faith gets weak.