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A Mother’s Day Message
“A Mother’s Role in God’s Plan”
Watch on YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4Jg3ExgW6I
Today is Mother’s Day. It is a day that we set aside to honor our mothers. But this day means many things to many people. For some it is a day of sorrow. For some their mothers, are no longer with them. There are others who had a good relationship with their moms, while others not so much. Other have had difficulties of being a mom, and the guilt and shame have follow them because of what they believe they’ve done wrong. And then there are those moms who are suffering the pain of a lost child, or a child who is no longer around, and hasn’t been around for some time. As a hospital chaplain, I’ve sat with moms who haven’t seen their children in years and doubt if they ever will.
But, with these sorts of scenario’s you might wonder why even do a Mother’s Day message, and the reason is that it is a new day and we can start a new life, and a new relationship. And it begins with confession and repentance, which is something God always has and will honor, whether you are a mom or a dad.
Now, if I could, I’d like to share with you dads, what not to buy your wife on Mother’s Day, and if you have, it’s not too late to either return it, or tell them it hasn’t been delivered yet and you can’t wait until they see it, because in truth, you’ve got to rethink what you’re going to get them. Now, I’m not advocating lying, but your survival may be at stake.
Now, here’s the list.
And so, before I get myself into more trouble, let’s look at our topic and understand God’s role for mothers, because no matter who your child is, God has given that child to you, and He has a special blessing and role for you to play, and if I can say it, this also goes for dads as well. Because God already has a plan. And it is our goal to understand His plan and help our children along the path He has for them.
“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6 NKJV)
The word “train,” has with it the idea of dedication, and so the training should be with a purpose. And the purpose is something that God has given to parents to see early on in a child’s life and then help change wrong or harmful behavior and thinking to allow the child to be everything God has created for them to be.
But I don’t believe God is talking about their future career, but rather their future behavior and relationship with Him. For you see, a child has two roads they can take, just as every adult. It’s the wide road that leads to destruction, or the narrow road that leads to everlasting life in the presence of God. Or, according to the book of Proverbs, it’s the way of the wise and righteous, or the way of the wicked and foolish.
Now, today’s story looks at Moses’s mom, Jochebed. But not much is known about his dad, Amram, except he had the good sense to marry Jochebed.
“And a man of the house of Levi went and took as wife a daughter of Levi. So the woman conceived and bore a son. And when she saw that he was a beautiful child, she hid him three months. But when she could no longer hide him, she took an ark of bulrushes for him, daubed it with asphalt and pitch, put the child in it, and laid it in the reeds by the river’s bank.” (Exodus 2:1-3 NKJV)
Now, there’s not a lot here to work from, but there are some key points that we can all learn from.
Jochebed understood her role as a mother in God’s plan for Moses, and what we see is not only did she protect him, but raised him in the ways of God where in course of history Moses followed God’s lead and led the children of Israel out from their Egyptian bondage and into God’s Promised Land.
Moses’s birth could not have come at a worse time, as far as world events were concerned, but it was God’s perfect time. And this is something that we must all remember, our children were not only conceived and born in God’s perfect timing, but that they were conceived and born in accordance to God’s plan.
After the Jewish people had been in Egypt for some time, and after Joseph’s death, it says that they multiplied and prospered, so much that a new Pharaoh who didn’t know Joseph saw them as a threat, and enslaved them so they couldn’t start some insurrection, or join Egypt’s enemies. But the more he afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. So, he told the midwives to kill all Jewish born males. But the midwives feared God more than Pharaoh. Finally, he gave the decree that all male babies were to be thrown into the Nile River and drowned.
And into this environment Moses was born, but I love what it says.
“So the woman conceived and bore a son. And when she saw that he was a beautiful child, she hid him three months.” (Exodus 2:2 NKJV)
Now, to say the child was beautiful in the eyes of Jochebed is a no brainer. Every mother thinks her child is the cutest and the best there is. And it could mean that Moses was a good-looking baby, but I think it means more.
In Acts 7:20 it says, “At this time Moses was born, and was well pleasing to God; and he was brought up in his father’s house for three months.” (Acts 7:20 NKJV)
I kind of like the way the New Living Translation says it. “At that time Moses was born—a beautiful child in God’s eyes. His parents cared for him at home for three months.” (Acts 7:20 NLT)
And so, at the very inception of Moses’s life, God impressed upon her that Moses was something special, and that God had a plan for Moses’s life. And can I just say that I believe this is true for every child.
I believe that God gave parents the Devine instinct to protect their children, but as it concerned Jochebed, this was even more, because it goes to say how she did it, by hiding him out for three months, a crying child that Pharaoh’s guards could hear at any time.
But she went even further. When she couldn’t hide Moses any longer in the house, she devised a plan to save him, and in the process continue to care for him. We’ll look at that in a moment.
But God has given parents, especially moms, the passion to care for their children, but that care must exceed the physical. This protection must go beyond the physical because we can become enablers of wrong or bad habits. And while we know it’s wrong, we’ll protect their right to be wrong and get them out of any and all trouble. It’s just a part of a parent’s nature.
As parents, and as a mother, our children need protecting, but we protect them by teaching them God’s commandments, that is, the will and way of God as outlined in the Bible, by not only the example we set, but by our making sure we follow the Joshua dictate.
“Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15 NKJV)
Our job and our goal in God’s plan are to raise His children, that’s right, they are His, and He has given them to us as gifts, and to help them by protecting them from falling victim to a sinful world, which may mean allowing the child to feel the sting of their own wrong decisions.
“But when she could no longer hide him, she took an ark of bulrushes for him, daubed it with asphalt and pitch, put the child in it, and laid it in the reeds by the river’s bank.” (Exodus 2:3 NKJV)
Knowing she couldn’t hide Moses any longer, Jochebed made a small boat out of the reeds she found by the riverbank. Then she used a concoction of asphalt and pitch on the outside so that the water wouldn’t leak into the small craft and sink it. Both of these elements were in large supply.
But it was also something made quickly and quietly and wasn’t meant to take a voyage down the river as it was placed inside the reeds that lined the river. In other words, she used what she had. As slaves there in Egypt, they didn’t build boats that float, they built cities that sank.
And so, this young slave girl, built a rickety boat worried that it wouldn’t be enough, but she only had so much, but catch this, God did the rest.
It’s amazing how we think that God only uses the well trained theologians to do the extraordinary things, but instead God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things.
And the Bible and history is filled with such stories. Like God using Moses and a wooden staff to defeat the entire Egyptian nation. He used David and a sling shot to defeat Goliath and the entire Philistine army. And he used a boy’s lunch to feed over 5,000 people.
Now, you may be wondering, how can God use you to raise a child up for Him? Are we capable? NO. Do we possess the wisdom? NO. But God is capable and has all the wisdom you or I are ever going to need.
Look at what the Apostle Peter tells us, and then take heart.
“Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue.” (2 Peter 1:2-3 NKJV)
Now, we may not have used it in the right way, but don’t you think that God is big enough to take care of the problem. And this leads me to the last point.
Now, I don’ believe it was a random placement of Moses in the reeds, but it was divinely inspired, nor was it an after thought to have his sister nearby. Look at what it says.
“Then the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river. And her maidens walked along the riverside; and when she saw the ark among the reeds, she sent her maid to get it. And when she had opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the baby wept. So she had compassion 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?’ And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, ‘Go.’ So the maiden 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.” (Exodus 2:5-9 NKJV)
Jochebed knew that God could save her son. So, she trusted God to take care of him. And she would not be disappointed. And I truly believe God gave her exactly what to do and how to do it.
Moses was at the right place at the right time, found by the right person, and then God actually had Jochebed paid for taking care of her own child. And we don’t think He can take care of whatever we’re going through.
Jochebed was willing to let go and let God. She literally had to let go of her son and place him in a rickety little boat, into a river known as a place of death, that was not only filled with crocodiles, but where children were thrown into to drown.
And in all of this she trusted in God.
“By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s command.” (Hebrews 11:23 NKJV)
Now, please catch this. Moses’s ultimate care was not up to Amram or Jochebed but was up to God. Moses could not have been in better hands or arms than the hand and arms of God. Jochebed trusted God to do for Moses what she could not.
And now, as she nursed him, you can bet that she instilled as much of God’s word into his heart and mind as she could, and we see this in Moses’s ultimate decisions and actions.
I’d like to conclude with something I said at the beginning, and that is while we may not feel like we’ve done enough as parents, or that we didn’t raise our children the right way, there comes a point where we have to believe and trust in God.
But even more importantly, we must turn back to God. We must confess our sins and repent, that is, we need to turn from the world’s ways and back to God, and God will honor that effort.
And it is my firm belief that when we trust in and honor God, God will honor us. This was the life of Jochebed, and it was a life that changed the course of human history, that eventually brought God’s gift of salvation to all humanity, and that is His Son, Jesus Christ, born of a young Jewish virgin, as the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
Let me end with this promise given by God.
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.’” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)
Wednesday Evening Bible Study