Pastor Steve Ellison
Our town, our state, our nation, our world needs more godly mothers (fathers also, but that is another story for another day). Godly mothers don’t happen by accident and they do not raise godly children by accident. I heard about a mother of three very active young boys who was asked by some sensitive soul, “If you had it to do over again, would you still have children?” The young mother responded, “Sure I would…..but not just the same ones.” That can be told as a joke, but I am not telling it as one. It is a serious matter to consider that our children do not turn out the way they do by accident. Godly mothers and godly children do not happen by accident. Planning, preparing, protecting, and persevering are necessities.
You may not know who Jochebed is, but you surely have heard of her son, Moses. Exodus 2 does not name Moses’ parents, but it tells their story. Exodus 6 and Numbers 26 reveal their names, Aram and Jochebed. The first nine verses of Exodus 2 tell us how Jochebed got to be a godly mother. Verse one declares very simply with no explanation that both were from the tribe of Levi, the priestly tribe; thus, we see that Aram and Jochebed chose godly spouses. Your chances of being a godly mother are very low unless you marry a godly husband. You will not marry a godly husband unless you plan to do so.
The Hebrews were slaves in Egypt. To keep them weak, the Egyptian Pharaoh ordered that all Hebrew boy babies be killed. Verse 2 says that Jochebed hid the baby Moses for three months. The point is that Jochebed risked her own life to save the life of her child. It also means that she was willing to subjugate her wishes and desires to the task at hand, protecting and nurturing her child. Hiding an infant who is being hunted by the authorities would be an all-consuming job. Being a godly mother is an all-consuming job.
Verse 3 tells us that Jochebed prepared a basket of papyrus so that she could hide her precious baby in the Nile River. Can you imagine the care that went into preparing that basket? Can you imagine how much time was spent selecting the materials? The many coats of water-proofing? The many inspections that basket passed before it was deemed worthy for Jochebed to entrust her child to it? Preparation is necessary in being a godly mother who raises a godly child. Your chances of raising a godly child are very low unless you spend a great deal of time selecting and preparing and inspecting those things which you will entrust your child to. As a godly mother, you will need to examine closely the friends, entertainment, school, etc. that you entrust your child to. A godly mother regularly and consistently monitors and regulates her child’s cell phone, internet, television, movies, friendships, etc. To do anything less is neglect. That is every bit as important as Jochebed’s basket.
The Hebrew language in verse 3 is very interesting. The word which we have translated as “papyrus basket” is exactly the same word used in Genesis 6-9 to describe Noah’s Ark. These are the only two passages where this word is found. Noah’s Ark and Moses’ Ark are both pictures of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jochebed hid her child from the world for a while but when it became apparent that she could hide him no longer, she entrusted him to Christ. You have no chance of being a godly mother unless you place your child in the care of Christ. Keep in mind that your child is a free moral agent who will make his own decisions. You place him in the care of Christ and the rest is up to him, you will have done your job.