Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Matriarch's on a Monday - Jochebed

I want you to imagine you are in a time long ago...in a land dusty and hot.  Just think of this story, and imagine what it would have been like.

Your tummy is round, filled with the child that is soon to born.  You feel the baby kicking, and squirming, and wiggling.  The little jiggles when he has the hiccups.  The joy of knowing that you are bringing a child into the world.  Except, your world is not a pleasant one.  Your ruler has made a decree that every boy born is to be killed.  He is fearful of the people who are growing larger in numbers as the days and years go by, and he wants it to stop.

You may almost be praying that your baby will be a girl.

"Please, God, so that this little on is safe."

But, that day of labouring arrives.  The pain, the agony, the joy....as a son is born.  In secret, without any Egyptian guards discovering it, because you are so ably aided by the Hebrew midwives who care FAR more about pleasing the Lord, than following the commands of an evil tyrant.

You hide your child away.  You nurse him, and snuggle him close - meeting his every need, so that his presence remains unknown.  But you know it will not last.  You know that the babe will eventually become giggly, and have more grizzly, dissatisfied moments...that you will be no longer able to keep his presence a secret.

What to do?  How on earth will you keep your precious child safe, from the wicked plans of a cruel Pharaoh?    The child that you love so very dearly.  The child that is a gift from God, whose every moment has been a treasure.

In order to save him, you must give him up.  Give him up into the care of Jehovah, God.  Into the care of the one who first gave him to you.

I am sure there was some careful, and wise planning that came about.  I believe (rightly or wrongly), that Jochebed perhaps researched what she planned to do.

She carefully went out, and cut some reeds from beside the great river Nile.  She wove them, lovingly and carefully, into a basket.  Most likely it had a lid, and a base, like a woven cocoon.  She smeared it with pitch, to make it watertight.  She wrapped up her little boy, placed him tenderly inside, and placed the basket into the river.  She sent her son off.  The anguish she must have felt as she said her goodbyes, not knowing fully what would happen to her precious child.  Kissing him.  Hugging him.  Weeping for him.

That wise Mummy, though, sent off her older daughter to watch over her little boy.  She did everything in her power to make sure of his safety.  I am sure that she prayed that all would be well, fully trusting that God could accomplish her request.

Pharaoh's daughter then, came down to the river to have her morning wash.  What is that there in the reeds?....it doesn't look like something growing...it's something floating.  She sends her maid to get the floating basket, and she opens it up.

He sees the face of this strange looking lady, so very different from his dear mother, and he raises his small, fearful, angry and pitiful cries, from inside his womblike place of safety.  She finds this tiny baby boy...all alone in the river.  Seemingly all alone...and yet...not.  With the prayers of his mother surrounding him...the arms of a Heavenly Father protecting him....and the eyes of his watchful big sister upon him.

Her heart softens with compassion towards this little boy, and she realises that this is a Hebrew child.  How well she knows that her father has commanded that all these little boys should be put to death.  And yet the motherly part of her heart refuses to allow such a thing to happen.  She won't give this child up to be brutally killed, as her father would wish.

Miriam's moment then comes.

"Would you like me to get a Hebrew woman to nurse the child for you?"

How fearful she must have been to approach a lady of such apparent importance and stature.  An Egyptian.  An Egyptian who was about to hold the key to the survival of her brother.

and Pharaoh's daughter replies...


Off runs Miriam, as fast as her two little legs will carry her - back to her mother - back to the mother of the baby left in the watery hiding place. Back, to tell her that the Princess wants HER to nurse HER son until he is old enough to live in the palace!

What a blessing!  What an amazing provision!  That chance to have many extra days and months with the little blessing that God had given her. To snuggle him close to her bosom...to feed him...to love him...to sing to him....to tell him stories of God's leading and guiding of His chosen people...to cherish him as long as possible.  The precious little one who she thought she may never see again - back in her arms!

What an amazing story.  And, to top it off, she had absolutely no idea what lay ahead for her son, Moses.  She didn't even give him his name!

So, what to learn of all this?  The lesson that struck me very clearly, was this...

....we need to give our children over to the Lord...completely, totally and utterly.  We need to have the faith and trust, to know that God knows what is best for them as our children, and us as the parents.  That HE alone knows the end from the beginning.

We are given our children by the Lord.   Given them to us to raise for His glory, for as long as they are given to us.  We don't know what the future holds.  We don't NEED to know what the future holds.  We just need to know that God expects us to do our best to follow His ways, and raise our children for Him.  We need to love them, cherish them, nurture them, train them...until the day that we send them off "into the bulrushes".

They may be taken from us in God's timing...in grief and sorrow, like Jochebed.  They may go off as adults, after their years with us as children are over...to be wed, to a job far away...maybe even in rebellion.  But, we KNOW that God is in it all, because He is the Author of their life.  We, like Jochebed, do not know God's plans for their future.  Look what God had in store for Moses! All she knew was that her child was going off to a palace where idolatrous heathens were to raise him - but God had such a mighty plan for his life.  He was going to honour Jochebed's faithfulness and trust, by raising Moses to be one of the mightiest men in His story.  She had no idea! She simply trusted God to do what was best for her, and her son.

Dear sister, are you struggling with your children.  Do you worry about what the future holds for them?  What God has in store for your future, and theirs?  How you are going to do as a parent? How they are going to turn out as adults?  TRUST GOD!  HAVE FAITH IN GOD!  We know the one who holds the future, and He holds our children, too! Who knows what great and mighty things God has in store for them!

God holds the key of all unknown,
And I am glad;
If other hands should hold the key,
Or if He trusted it to me,
I might be sad, I might be sad.

What if tomorrow’s cares were here
Without its rest!
I’d rather He unlocked the day;
And, as the hours swing open, say,
“My will is best, My will is best.”

The very dimness of my sight
Makes me secure;
For, groping in my misty way,
I feel His hand; I hear Him say,
“My help is sure, My help is sure.”

I cannot read His future plans;
But this I know;
I have the smiling of His face,
And all the refuge of His grace,
While here below, while here below.

Enough! this covers all my wants,
And so I rest!
For what I cannot, He can see,
And in His care I saved shall be,
Forever blest, forever blest.

Joseph Parker

Once again - apologies for it being late - we had a tummy bug last week and I was poorly over the weekend into Monday.  I have also had a bit of a pregnancy scare today, but God is gracious, and having had a restful day, I trust all is well. May you have a blessed day.

1 comment :

  1. What faith that woman had! Really, she puts me in my place.... I worry, worry, worry and she had to hand her child over to the Lord when he was just a wee boy... such faith she had. But glory to God - He will have His own regardless of what life's providence has in store for them.
    What a great lesson this woman has for us. Ta, x