- Sermon Notes
Through it All
This morning we are going to look at the story of a mother in the Bible named Jochebed (Numbers 26:59). She was the mother of three children named Miriam, Aaron, and Moses. Her third child, Moses, was born in a time of affliction toward her people the Israelites, and today we look at how she saved her son who would one day lead the nation, and by faith, made a way for him to have life.
Read: Exodus 2:1-10
From the end of Exodus chapter one, we know that Moses was born in a time of great difficulty for the Israelites due to an order, or decree, that was given by the Pharoah in Egypt. The Pharoah in Egypt was the supreme monarch who had all the powers in all the land. With his power, he had given an order at the end of Exodus chapter 1, that every male born to an Israelite was to be thrown into the Nile River to drown. Daughters could be kept, but not males.
Jochebed’s son Moses, then, was born in a day, where for a child like her him to even survive, there seemed to be no way. She would turn to God, walk by faith, and see Him make a way.
While not to the same degree, we certainly understand there are difficulties we face in our day and we too need to turn to God, walk firmly by faith, and trust that we will see Him make a way for our children!
I. Ask God for Insight
Exodus 1:6-8, Joseph died, and all his brothers and all that generation. But the sons of Israel were fruitful and increased greatly, and multiplied, and became exceedingly mighty, so that the land was filled with them. Now a new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.
The new Pharaoh became afraid that the Israelites would be stronger than the Egyptians and that they might overtake them.
Due to this worry, he appointed the Israelites to hard and intense labor, they oppressed, were violent toward, and afflicted those in Israel, but in Exodus 1:11, we learn that the more they oppressed them, the more the Israelites multiplied.
Since the increased oppression and labor didn’t slow them down from having children, the king called the Hebrew midwives in and told them that when they were helping the Israelite women give birth, they were to put to death any male boys that were born.
But in verses 17 to 19 of Exodus 1, we are told that the midwives chose God over the command of Pharaoh in that instance because they were being asked to put the male children to death and so in that instance, they refused to obey the command of the king and chose God’s way.
Exodus 1:17-19, So the king of Egypt called for the midwives and said to them, “Why have you done this thing, and let the boys live?” The midwives said to Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women; for they are vigorous and give birth before the midwife can get to them.”
The Israelites continued to multiply and became even stronger (Exodus 1:21).
Finally, the king issued the command to the people directly, letting them know that they can keep their children if they are female, however, the male Hebrew children were to be thrown into the Nile to be drowned.
And this is the timeframe when Moses was born. To have a son, would have historically been a great joy, but at this time, to have a male child would have struck terror in the lives of the child’s parents.
Exodus 2:2, And the woman conceived and gave birth to a son; and when she saw that he was beautiful, she hid him for three months.
Despite the time in which Moses was born, his mother had him, and upon looking at him, she saw that he was beautiful and was not afraid.
Like most mothers, Jochebed thought her son was beautiful. The scripture reveals more than just beauty on the physical level.
Illus. The most precious thing you’ve ever seen!
The indication is that his mother looked upon him with an understanding of God’s calling and will for her child. She let God lead her way.
When it comes to the way we approach our children, it is important that we place the highest priority on His will for them.
Proverbs 22:6, Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he grows older he will not abandon it.
Notice that we are to train a child up in the way they should go – Not in the way we wish they would go.
This means we have to know the child, to see our children, the way God created them, to ask for a God given vision for our children, to study them, guide them, and guard the vision we believe God has for them.
Parenting then becomes part molding and large-part unfolding. Ask the Lord to give you a vision for your child.
2 Corinthians 2:9-10, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”— the things God has prepared for those who love him— these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.
Jeremiah 33:3, Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.
When you look at your children, ask for the Lord to reveal vision and insight to you regarding His plans for their lives!
Jochebed was painfully aware of the situation her child was being born into, but she understood that the Lord had a calling for her son.
II. Lead Your Family by Faith
Hebrews 11:23, By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.”
Their choice was to walk by faith and according to God’s insight. They therefore put at risk, the very lives of the rest of their family, but they were willing to make the sacrifice because they understood that the Lord had a future and a hope for their child’s life.
They were willing to put their lives, and their family on the line for the steps of faith they knew God had defined.
2 Corinthians 5:7, For we walk by faith, not by sight.
According to the writer of Hebrews, Moses’ parents, in hiding their child, was a step of faith, and because their faith was in God, they were not afraid of the king’s edict. They trusted that God would take care of them.
Exodus 2:3-4, But when she could no longer hide him, she got him a papyrus basket and covered it with tar and pitch. Then she put the child in it and set it among the reeds by the bank of the Nile. And his sister stood at a distance to find out what would happen to him.
After three months Jochebed could no longer hide her growing infant, so she got him a wicker basket and covered it with tar and pitch. She then set her 3-month-old son in it and set it among the reeds on the bank of the Nile.
In a literal sense, Jochebed did as Pharaoh said, placing her son in the Nile river, however, she took care to put him in a waterproofed basket.
The word for basket is the Hebrew word translated “ark.” This particular Hebrew word (Ta-va) is used only one other place in all of scripture. It is used to reference the ark of Noah.
Like Noah, Jochebed made an ark and covered it with pitch (Gen. 6:14).
Perhaps in knowing the story of Noah’s faith, she understood a thing or two about the Lord making a way by using an ark.
She put her child in a waterproofed ark and entrusted the child’s welfare and future to God alone. Not knowing the outcome, took steps of faith in what was not yet seen.
Hebrews 11:1, Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
The faith we have in God is our belief, trust, and devotion to God.
Biblical faith means more than just believing something, it means acting on the basis of our believing.
Like Noah, Jochebed did not see the outcome, but she understood that He would make a way for her son. She didn’t see how it was all going to work out for her son, but as we see in Hebrews 11:23, by faith, she wasn’t afraid.
Illus. Through lines of faith.
Hebrews 11:6, Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
When Moses’ mother let go of the tiny ark, she released something precious into God’s hands, trusting that God would take care, guide that box.
She did her very best and had no other choice than letting God do the rest.
As we send our children out on the waters of the world, where it seems others are drowning, may we do all we can to prepare our children for what God wants to do.
May we do all that we can to make sure they are safe on the waters and that their salvation is sure, “waterproofed” so to speak, prior to sending them out.
She put the basked in the water, among the reeds by the bank of the water. She put her child in the Nile, where she had to, but in placing him there, she gave him the best change at survival, finding a way to make a way for her son.
And from verse 4, we know that Moses’ sister, Miriam followed at a distance, watching the entire scene. Whether it was on her own accord, or at the instruction of her mom to follow the basket and intervene, she would play a significant role in the what was going to happen next.
Exodus 2:5-6, Now the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the Nile, with her female attendants walking alongside the Nile; and she saw the basket among the reeds and sent her slave woman, and she brought it to her. When she opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the boy was crying. And she had pity on him and said, “This is one of the Hebrews’ children.”
As Moses floated in a basket in the Nile, Pharaoh’s daughter was headed to bathe in the Nile and she saw the basket, immediately sending her maid to retrieve the basket. Seeing the boy, she had pity, or compassion on him.
Her disposition through her culture and upbringing would have caused her to reject a Hebrew child, but she had compassion, her heart was melted and she decided to spare Moses’ life.
Her compassion would lead her to adopt Moses as her very own.
One issue, however, how would this child be fed and nursed?
Exodus 2:7-10, Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and call a woman for you who is nursing from the Hebrew women, so that she may nurse the child for you?” Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Go ahead.” So, the girl 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. And she named him Moses, and said, “Because I drew him out of the water.”
Jochebed’s faith was rewarded, as her child, for the next three years would be entrusted back into her care.
The child grew, and once he was too old to be nursed, likely around three years old, Jochebed again had to let go of her child, dedicated him to the Lord alone.
On the surface, she was sending her son to the household responsible for her oppression. But the Lord had a plan.
God gave Jochebed a vision for her child, and with her eyes on Him, she begins to see God’s guidance and provision.
In His life, she would have to continually trust the Lord and would give Moses away again…But God had a plan, and in giving this child to the Lord, the result of her faith, devotion, and doing the best that she could for her child…she knew the results were ultimately up to the Lord.
III. Let God Orchestrate Greatness
Moses was born and nursed by a Hebrew and educated by Egyptians.
He was initiated in two worlds. Uniquely situated for what the Lord would have him become. He would be the leader, who would lead the Israelites out of the Egyptian oppression.
Being adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter, Moses was in the royal family. Moses was put in a position of being the likely heir to the throne of Egypt.
He was raised with the best education, and anywhere he went he was royalty.
He had the best education, living situation, and equipping that could be afforded to anyone in his day.
Acts 7:22, Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and he was proficient in speaking and action.
Despite it all, Moses’ mother had an incredible influence on him, he knew the heritage of his mother. His heritage would not be lost on him.
And God would use him, his equipping, education, and skill to be the one to lead God’s people and point them toward His revealed will.
Hebrews 11:24-26, By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward.
Moses wasn’t interested in being the “Prince of Egypt.” When he was 40 years old, he began to understand his purpose. Ultimately, it wasn’t until he was 80 that he went to lead the Israelites out of Egypt.
At 80 years old, we aren’t told if his mother or father ever knew of his decision. We aren’t told if they got to see him pursue all the Lord had called him to.
God saved Moses for something, to be the one who would help deliver a nation out of slavery.
He received the 10 commandments, is credited as the one who wrote most of the first five books of the Bible.
God had a reason for Moses’ education beyond just the days in which he lived.
While his parents may never have seen the ultimate outcome in their time on earth, it was their faith that made a way. They played an integral and essential role in his birth, and who he would become.
They understood that God had plans, to prosper, for a hope and future, they understood that their own understanding was limited, and they did their best by leaning on the Lord and leaving what they could not do in His hands.
The circumstances surrounding the surrender of their son were not great, but they were determined to look to the Lord, trusting Him in their lives.
They were willing to let go, and let God orchestrate the details of greatness for them, and in so doing, they played a powerful role in preparing a path for one of the most powerful people in all of Scripture.
Illus. Love Sacrifices.
Now a man from the house of Levi went and married a daughter of Levi. The woman conceived and bore a son; and when she saw that he was beautiful, she hid him for three months. But when she could hide him no longer, she got him a wicker basket and covered it over with tar and pitch. Then she put the child into it and set it among the reeds by the bank of the Nile. His sister stood at a distance to find out what would happen to him. The daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the Nile, with her maidens walking alongside the Nile; and she saw the basket among the reeds and sent her maid, and she brought it to her. When she opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the boy was crying. And she had pity 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?” Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Go ahead.” So the girl 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. The child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. And she named him Moses, and said, “Because I drew him out of the water.”