- Sermon Notes
The Good News About Great Moms
As we gather here this morning, we gather to worship, honor, and glorify God first and foremost. And today we are going to honor the Lord by honoring mothers on this Mother’s Day. Honoring your father and mother is one of the top 10 commandments given by God, one that Jesus referenced in Mark 7 and Paul follows up on in Ephesians 6:1.
Exodus 20:12, Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be prolonged on the land which the Lord your God gives you.
In Exodus 20:12, the word “honor” comes from a Hebrew word which carries the definition of “adding to someone, building them up, making them rich, honoring;” it is also referred by Jesus in Mark 7, and Paul in Ephesians 6, with the Greek word translated “honor” which carries a similar definition, “to add value to, or to prize, or promote.”
In both the Old and New Testaments, the Bible tells us this is something that we are to do and it is something we are delighted to do, today!
Illus. Myth Buster!
The title of the message this morning is “Good News about Great Moms.” With honoring our mothers in mind, I want to encourage mom’s by looking at a few mothers we see in Scripture. We will look at some of the details of their journey prior to becoming a mother and/or once they became a mother. Each one of them we would define today as “Great Moms” in the Bible, but for some of them, it was not always that way. That said, I want to pull three encouragements, or three pieces of good news that came from their stories, to bring encouragement to you on this Mother’s Day.
- Their Struggle is Not the End of their Story
- In this section, I want to look at two moms who are recorded in Hebrews 11 as “Heroes in the Hall of Faith,” yet at a certain point in their lives, it did not look that way.
- The first mother is a woman by the name of Sarah.
Hebrews 11:11-12, By faith even Sarah herself received ability to conceive, even beyond the proper time of life, since she considered Him faithful who had promised. Therefore even from one man, and one who was as good as dead at that, there were born descendants who were just as the stars of heaven in number, and as the innumerable grains of sand along the seashore.
- The key to understanding Sarah’s struggle is that for much of her life, she was barren. It looked as if she would have no children.
- When we are introduced to her in Genesis 11:30, we are given the details of the struggle, she was unable to conceive.
- Her husband was Abraham, and Abraham was given instruction from the Lord to leave his country and head to a new land, a land the Lord was given them, and in that land, the Lord would make him a great nation.
- With that promise in place, they moved forward, yet it would be many years before that promise was fulfilled.
- Sarah would struggle with not being able to have children, yet the Lord continued to tell Abraham that a nation would come from him, he would have a son from is own body. He told Abraham look at the stars, can you count them? Your descendants will be like that, too many for you to count!
- The promise was there, but there was no proof. In Genesis 16, Sarah, thinking that there was no way it was happening through her, began to believe that the promise would not be provided through her.
- She told Abraham to take her maid and have a child with her. And Abraham does.
- And the struggle only becomes greater. Hagar has a son named Ishmael, born to Abraham when he was 86 years old.
- But when Abraham was 99 years old, the Lord came to him again.
- Though hearing this from the Lord, Abraham did not tell Sarah, I would imagine it was a sore subject. In chapter 18, however, Sarah hears the news.
- The word of the Lord came to them in verse 10, “at this time next year, your wife Sarah will have a son.”
Genesis 18:11-15, Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in age; Sarah was past childbearing. So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I have become old, am I to have pleasure, my lord being old also?” But the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I actually give birth to a child, when I am so old?’ Is anything too difficult for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, at this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.” Sarah denied it, however, saying, “I did not laugh”; for she was afraid. And He said, “No, but you did laugh.”
- In Genesis chapter 21, we see that the Lord did as He had said and promised. Sarah conceived and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the appointed time that He has spoken of.
Genesis 21:6-7, Sarah said, “God has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh with me.”And she said, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have given birth to a son in his old age.”
- We hear it, and we laugh today, she was 91 and Abraham 100, God kept His promise, she had a child.
- She had a struggle, she was unable to have a child, she tried to take matters into her own hands and make it happen another way, she became upset, bitter, burdened, unable to see her desire could ever come to pass, but the struggle was not the end of the story.
- Though she laughed, from Hebrews we know that she believed God to be faithful, and it was through her faith, she received that ability.
- In Matthew 17, Jesus spoke about faith the size of a mustard seed, how faith even that size can move mountains.
- Perhaps her struggle is your struggle. There are things you are desiring, promises you understand, but you are not seeing it all pan out in your timing. I encourage you to pursue trust and faith, great moms have struggles, but the good news is the struggle is not the end of the story.
- The next mother I want to look at is also mentioned in Hebrews 11, is a mother by the name of Rahab.
Hebrews 11:31, By faith the prostitute Rahab did not perish along with those who were disobedient, after she had welcomed the spies in peace.
- It is in Joshua chapter 2 that we read about Rahab. The Israelites were getting ready to cross the Jordan river and into the promised land, and Joshua sent two spies to spy out the land, particularly Jericho.
- The king of Jericho found out that there were spies in the land, so he began a search for them.
- The men went to the home Rahab, and what we know from Joshua 2, is that she hid them.
- The king’s men came to her house looking for the spies but she had hidden them.
- After covering for them, she revealed to the spies that she knew that the Lord was with them. That she, and all of Jericho had heard about them. They had been concerned about them for some time.
- In verses 12 to 14, she asks the men to spare her household when they conquer the land, and that is exactly what happened when they conquered Jericho, Rahab was spared.
- Why? She had faith and believed, even though she had was troubling history. She had a struggle.
- Rahab, up to that point, was a prostitute.
- She responded the Lord in faith, and she was saved.
Ephesians 2:8-9, For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
- Rahab had a struggle, still she was saved, and once she was saved, we get glimpses of the reality that her struggle was not the end of her story.
- In Matthew chapter 1, we read Jesus’ genealogy…
- Not only is Rahab listed in Jesus’ genealogy, but she is also noted as the wife of Salmon who fathered Boaz by her. Some suggest that she may have actually been the grandmother of Boaz as genealogies skip generations at times, but surely, he was in her line.
- Boaz came through the line of Salmon and Rahab.
- Boaz is noted as a wealthy man from Bethlehem, and he is one of the main characters in the book of Ruth. Everything we see about him in Scripture is good. He shows himself to be kind, generous, and honorable.
- Boaz is noted as Ruth’s redeemer husband in the book of Ruth.
- Ruth had lost her husband and she ends up working in a field that belonged to Boaz (Ruth 2:3). He had heard of Ruth’s care for her mother-in-law Naomi, and he assured her that she would be provided for in his field.
- Ultimately, he would marry Ruth.
- I mention this story, because Rahab had a backstory, but here we see strong indication that she was an excellent mother.
Romans 15:4, For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
Illus. Calm down!
- Their Dedication Can Impact Many Generations
- The mom I want to circle in this section is the mother of Moses.
- We know the name of Moses’ mother from Numbers 26:29, her name was Jochebed.
- The decision she made is mentioned in Hebrews 11.
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.
- Moses was born in a time of great difficulty in the nation of Israel.
- There had been an order given by the Pharaoh (the king) in Egypt that every male child born to an Israelite was to be thrown into the Nile River. Daughters could be kept, but not sons.
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.
- 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.
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 ( 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.
- She put the basket 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 chance 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 what was going to happen next.
- The daughter of Pharaoh would see Moses floating in the river and would have compassion on him. His sister would be right there suggesting she find someone to nurse him and Jochebed would be hired by the daughter of Pharaoh for the next three years, or there abouts, to nurse Moses.
- Ultimately, she would then release him into the hands of the Lord and the hands of Pharaoh’s daughter. But her dedication would have an impact on not only Moses, but on the generations to come.
- 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.
Illus. Best Translation.
Proverbs 22:6, Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he grows older he will not abandon it.
- This verse has really been on our hearts lately regarding our own family. It took on more meaning recently when doing a deeper dive into the text.
- To “train up” as child as written is to “narrow and initiate or rub their palate” in the way they should go.
- That is interesting. The picture is of Hebrew midwives, who would rub the palate with of a newborn child with chewed dates or certain oils so that they would nurse.
- In other words, the newborn is not eating, they need to nurse to live, so the midwives were taking the initiative.
- Train in the way they should go. There are both objective realities to this, as well as subjective.
- Objectively, the way they should go is toward “the Way, the Truth, and the Life,” that is Jesus…He is the Way they should certainly be trained up in. The subjective part is discerning, praying for insight from the Lord, and then agreeing with the Lord for what is best.
- Though the time Moses’ mother had with him was short, Hebrews 11:23 indicated that she was a woman of faith and the way she approached her short time with her son was by faith. She was not afraid of what was happening with the king, because her faith was in the Lord.
- Their Prayers Have Power, No Matter the Hour
- Throughout Scripture, we see many praying moms. We see Hannah who prayed for a son and dedicated him to the Lord. We see the mother of Samson, Elizabeth the mother of John the Baptist, and Mary, the mother of Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.
Illus. Powerful Prayers.
“Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be prolonged on the land which the Lord your God gives you.