~by Elizabeth Lapp
“'What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard...'” Genesis 21:17
Self-pity is a pitfall for anyone in a crisis. At first it feels like a cozy blanket,...
“...and they were not afraid of the king's commandment.” Hebrews 11:23
Imagine Jochebed: a Hebrew slave, living in a foreign land ruled by a wicked king. This king, the Pharaoh, felt so threatened by the rapid growth of the Hebrew nation – what if they started a rebellion? – that he decided to curb their population. All male babies were to be thrown into the crocodile-infested Nile River. What a setting in which to give birth! Yet it was at this time that Jochebed gave birth to a son, Moses. Jochebed and her husband saw that their son was blessed. They trusted in God's protection and hid their baby without fear for three months. When they could no longer hide him, they gave him up to the Nile, as Pharaoh had commanded. But the loving couple did not simply throw their child into the waters – they used great ingenuity to save him while obeying. A small waterproofed basket hidden at the water's edge with the guard of an older sister served as wonderful protection for their beloved son.
The story doesn't end there! Pharaoh's daughter and her maids traveled to the river to bathe. The princess spied the strange object among the reeds and found, to her amazement, a beautiful baby crying inside. Her heart was touched. At the appearance of the older sister with an offer to supply a nursemaid, the princess readily agreed. So Jochebed was allowed to care for her own child until he was old enough to be adopted by Pharaoh's daughter.
Jochebed was a mother who trusted God. She lived in a time when she could have fallen apart in fear. But God rewarded her faith by opening compassion in Pharaoh's daughter toward the baby Moses. Jochebed was given the opportunity to teach and train the character of her child in his early impressionable years. She did an excellent job – in spite of Moses spending years in a wicked palace, he still chose to suffer with God's people rather than enjoy the pleasures of sin. God used Moses to lead and save approximately three million Hebrew people.
May Jochebed inspire you to raise up children in faith without fear in the midst of an evil world!