"If you write FOR a particular market or FOR a particular editor you will often miss the mark. But if you write because your fingers have danced across the keyboard, because a character has tapped you on the shoulder, because a story has settled in your heart, then even if you never sell it you have done the work you were meant to do. And sometime, dear readers, real magic happens." Jane Yolen

2/8/13

Introducing Jochebed: Devoted Mother

I've moved into Exodus in my chronological Bible reading, and yet another character has grabbed my attention - enough so that I'm sharing a Bible character biography on her with you. This time, the topic is Jochebed - mother of Moses, Aaron, and Miriam.

Jochebed is mentioned by name only twice in the Bible (Exodus 6:20 and Exodus 26:59) - both times in geneologies/censuses. Her story only covers ten Bible verses (Exodus 2:1-10). But her impact? Her devotion? Unquestioned.

Jochebed gave birth to Moses at a critical, and dangerous, time in the history of her people. They were slaves to the Egyptians, and the pharaoh was trying to reduce their numbers. So he ordered that all Hebrew baby boys be thrown in the Nile. (Exodus 1:22)

Jochebed, however, hid her son for three months (because, according to both Exodus and Hebrews, she knew he was not an ordinary child). She was not afraid of Pharaoh's edict (Hebrews 11:23).

But you can only hide a baby for so long. So she hatched a plan that I'm sure you are all familiar with. The basket. Her daughter to observe. The Nile. Pharaoh's daughter.

And then, the most remarkable thing happens - likely in Jochebed's eyes, anyway.

This baby, who she protected and hid for three months, then set in a basket along the Nile, is given back to her, if only for a while.
Then his [Moses's] sister asked Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?” “Yes, go,” she answered. So the girl went and got the baby’s mother. Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you.” So the woman took the baby and nursed him. Exodus 2:7-9
So Jochebed not only saved her precious son's life - she got to be his wet nurse. And get paid for it.

I wonder how scary it was to let her boy go like that. To take her precious child and leave him in a basket - to trust God to take care of him.

It's so encouraging - to me anyway - to see how He rewarded her. Not only did she get to be her own son's wet nurse, almost definitely teaching him as she wanted to from the beginning, but she became the mother of one of the greatest men of the Old Testament - and the very first high priest.

All for this simple woman who sought the Lord, and His will, for her child.
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6
May we all have this kind of faith.

Do you have the faith of Jochebed? Have you given something up and been rewarded for it?


Scripture Stories: Timeless Truths
Graphics courtesy of Christians Unite

8 comments:

  1. You're right that she had a HUGE impact not only on her child, but on the world through him. But first, she had to be willing to give him up. Wow. Thanks for sharing an inspiring thought for today.

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    1. You're very welcome, Glynis. I'd read this story COUNTLESS times, but it never quite hit me this way before. Amazing how God worked through her. Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. There have been many times I've given things up and been afraid while doing it, but yes, I am always rewarded which gives me more faith for the next time. And there is always a next time, isn't there? LOL :) Lovely post! So encouraging!

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    1. Thanks, Jess - faith for "next time" is always there, isn't it? I appreciate you stopping by!

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  3. What a wonderful portrait of faith. Thank you, Jo, for illuminating this story in such a powerful way. I am really enjoying your series! Hugs!

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    1. Thanks, Rita - I'm enjoying writing it. So much to learn!

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  4. I have read and hear the story of Moses many times but what you brought out Joanne helps me see it with fresh eyes.

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    1. Thanks, Wanda - it amazes me how you can read a story over and over but find something new every time. God's Word is amazing that way.

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