13 May 2013 by Adeline Lum CM-
Behind every great man, there’s a great mother. Amen?
“If you have a pick, who would be the greatest mother in history?” asked Pastor Tim Lee of Cheras Baptist Church, to which the congregation answered ‘Mother Mary’ and ‘Mother Teresa.’
His sermon topic was ‘Portrait of a Godly Mum’ (Exodus 2:1-10), in conjunction with Mother’s Day on May 12.
One of the greatest but least heard mothers in the Bible is Jochebed; she truly embodied a godly mother. A descendent of Levi, she is the wife of Amran and the mother of three significant leaders in the Old Testament- Aaron, Moses and Miriam (Numbers 26:59).
Although her account was brief in the Bible (Exodus 2:1-4), Jochebed was the first link in preparing the way for the Israelites to be freed from slavery in Egypt.
Threatened by the Israelites due to their flourishing numbers, the Pharoah wanted to suppress their growth by first oppressing them into ruthless labor, followed by commanding the midwives to kill every Hebrew male newborn and finally, ordering every Hebrew boy to be thrown into the Nile River.
What treacherous time and place to be born in! It was during this time also, Jochebed bore Moses and saw that ‘he was a fine child’ (Exodus 2:2).
“When you first saw your child, what was going through your mind? Good?” said Pastor Tim. “This also brings the same connotation with God when He created this world and said that it was good.”
There are three godly characteristics that Jochebed embodies as a mother including courage, confidence and charity in The Lord.
Despite the orders from Pharoah, Jochebed courageously hid Moses for three months until she could not hide him anymore. She did not fear death and protected him with her life.
On a side note, the midwives’ fear of God also gave them courage to defy the orders of the Pharoah to kill the male Hebrew babies. Because of their courage, they were also richly blessed with families of their own.
Jochebed was also a confident mother in protecting Moses, stemming from her unwavering faith in God.
“She placed her son’s life in the hands of God, that her faith was even mentioned in the hallmark of faith in Hebrews 11:23,” said Pastor Tim.
By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.
One can only imagine the great confidence that Jochebed need to have in the Lord.
Every day, she would need to nurse her crying newborn without raising suspicion from the Egyptians. And when she could no longer hide Moses, she placed him away at the river bank of Nile, far from her reach of protection. What if the first person who finds Moses is a heartless Egyptian who has no interest in saving his life? Imagine the anguish she needed to go through in leaving her baby in the wild. But no, Jochebed chose to have confidence in the Lord. And because she trusted God, not only Moses was saved but he was raised like a son by the Pharoah’s daughter! What amazing God we have.
“Charity is a life that is giving. Jochebed risked her own life for the life of his son. She also gave her son to the Lord,” said Pastor Tim. “Giving up her son to the Lord really showed us the picture of how God gave up his only son to die for our sins.”
And like how a mother would give to a child, God desires to give us comfort (Isaiah 66:13) and protection (Matthew 23:37) as well.
As a mother comforts her child,
so will I comfort you;
and you will be comforted over Jerusalem.
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.
“Jochebed did not know that her preservation of Moses’ life would save millions of Israelites,” Pastor Tim said. “So, I encourage you to be a godly mum. And thank you also for being a godly mum to all of us. Happy Mother’s Day!”
The service concluded with mothers from the congregation sharing their new motherhood experiences at the pulpit, followed by a special luncheon held by the church for all mothers.
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