Exodus 2:1 And there went a man of the house of Levi, and took to wife a daughter of Levi. 2 And the woman conceived, and bare a son: and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months.
Hebrews 11:23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king's commandment.
The birth of Moses and his place in God's plan is one of the better known stories in Scripture. Today, I would like to call your attention to his mother.
Genesis ends with Joseph's death and burial a few years after Israel came into Egypt. Israel had been given the best land in Egypt, and Israel prospered. While in Egypt, Israel grew greatly in numbers. Exodus opens with Egypt's king fearful of Israel's numbers, so he passes a law to kill all new boy babies in Israel. This was about 360 years after Jacob took his family into Egypt.
Evidently, this law was not very old when Moses was born. His sister, Miriam, was 15 years older, and his brother, Aaron, was about 3 years older, and the law was not in effect when Aaron was born.
Let me call your attention to several points about Moses' mother:
First, Moses' mother is unnamed here in Exodus 2. We are told her name in Exodus 6:20, And Amram took him Jochebed his father's sister to wife.
Note: a person does not have to be great and well known among men to be a great person of faith and to be a great person in God's plan. God's work on this earth is normally carried out through unknown and insignificant people in the world's eyes:
1 Corinthians 1:17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. 18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. 20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. 22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: 23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; 24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 29 That no flesh should glory in his presence. 30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
The important thing is that the Lord God knew Moses' mother. The important thing today is that God knows you through Christ Jesus. Our wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption is in Christ.
The world today is very much at war against godly motherhood.
DR Laura: I like to listen to her as I have a chance. Because she is a woman and a "Jew," she can get away with much more than any Protestant preacher could get away with on the radio. She is so strong on the Ten Commandments that she is almost rude to her callers, but they call anyway. In fact, she is neck-in-neck with Rush Limbaugh in the ratings.
I heard her the other day read a fax from a woman whose young son had called in on a radio contest and won a prize for his mother for Mother's Day. I believe the boy was preschool. But when he told the radio host who had the contest that his mother did not work outside the home, the host refused to sent the prize to him. The host told the boy that the prize was only for mothers who work. The boy asked his mother why she did not work.
Dr. Laura then very firmly said something like this: When will you wake up? They are out to destroy your family. It is a war against the family.
I am kind of surprised that she is so popular because she "preaches" so strongly for mom's to stay at home with their children, and that the first responsibility of both parents is to their children over their occupations and over what is pleasing to their own selves.
Moses' mother was not important in the world's eyes; she was not well known to men, but she was well known to God.
Second, Moses was born when times were very difficult. There was a law that he was to be killed because he was a member of God's people.
Note: I have heard women say, "I sure would not want to have any children now because of the difficulties they would face." But here we see that Moses' mother and father had faith that the Lord would take care of them, so they had another child, Moses.
Moses was born in the heat of the battle: there is not much worse of a battle than a command from the government that all boys born to Christian parents must be killed. Yet her confidence in the Lord saw her through.
It was at the height of oppressive Egypt that the deliverer was born. It was also at the heights of oppressive Jewish religious leaders and Roman power that the Messiah was born. Rome tried to kill Christ, and the Jewish religious leaders did kill him.
We hear today of women escaping from China because of China's required abortion laws.
Third, when Moses was born, Moses' mother's faith caused her to refuse to obey the government's wicked law to kill all Hebrew boy babies. Some way, Moses' mother saw that he was a good child --- mother's intuition. She was not afraid of the king's commandment because she trusted in the Lord.
The law here was an unlawful law, and God's people were required to obey the higher law. As they did, God protected them. God had promised to multiply his people, so their confidence in his promise caused them to act.
Note: this mother, though unnamed in both Exodus 2:2 and in Hebrews 11:23, is noted before God for her faith. What made her important in God's plan was her faith. Her faith caused her to fear God rather than man. Her fear of God caused her to act in obedience to God.
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Saving faith is a gift of God. Fallen man does not have it in himself to believe God enough to obey God.
We should pray for God to give his faith to others so they can and will come to Christ, and follow his will for themselves.
She was confident that the Lord would see her through if she would do what she could.
Hebrews 13:6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
Psalms 56:4 In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.
Psalms 118:6 The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?
Daniel 3:16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. 17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. 18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
Fourth, Exodus 2:2, tells us his mother hid him. Hebrews 11:23 shows us that she obviously did it with the consent of her husband, but she is given credit for the action.
Note: husbands, we must listen to our wives and the mothers of our children. They have a "connection" with the children we do not have, and more often than not, they are right in their assessment, particularly of distressing situations, though the final decision is ours.
Fifth, his mother hid him for three months, until she could no longer hide him. Then she cast the child upon the river, or rather, she cast him upon the providence of God.
Note: most of our mother's in here are in this position: their children are gone. There comes a time in every parent's life, especially mothers because they are closest to their children, spending the most time with them, that they must cast their children upon Divine Providence. They do all they can, then they must trust in the Lord and prayer.
We cannot even imagine the kind of Faith this mother had to place her child on the river when the government had passed a law that all Hebrew boy babies must be killed.
Sixth, though she cast her child upon the Lord, she still did what she could -- she sent her daughter to watch after the baby. Moses' mother knew the king's daughter would be at the river at that particular time, and she planed accordingly.
Note: though there comes the time when we must cast our children upon the Lord, we must still do what we can. This mother knew that it was in the Lord's hands. She also knew that she still had to do what she could. She did not presume upon the Lord to do for her what she could do herself.
Prayer many times is all we can do in situations, especially with our children, but prayer does not free us of the responsibility to do what we can do.
John Weaver loaned me a book, Bible in Pocket, Gun in Hand. It is the story of religion on the frontier.
Some of the most pressing prayers were voiced in the face of the enemy. The conquerors of the West, arrayed for battle, often prayed for victory, and then set out to help the Lord work a miracle.
The following prayer is attributed to one-time Texas Ranger Captain Jack Hays when his regiment was trapped during the Battle of Palo Alto, a major battle of the Mexican War: "O Lord, we are about to join battle with vastly superior numbers of the enemy, and, Heavenly Father, we would mighty like for you to be on our side and help us. But if You can't do it, for Christ's sake don't go over to the Mexicans, but just lie low and keep in the dark, and You will see one of the dangest fights you've ever seen."
Instead of saying "Amen," Hays roared "Charge!"
Whether or not the exact wording of the prayer has been preserved, it is a historical fact that the Texans fought themselves out of the trap against great odds.
In emergencies of battle expediency often took precedence over tradition. One Indian fighter expressed the belief that prayer called for co-operative action--you ask the Lord for something and then help Him bring it to pass. Having just fought himself out of a tight place after being surrounded by the Indians, he was asked if he had prayed.
He said, "Yes."
Asked if he had closed his eyes to pray, he promptly answered, "No." He explained that if he had closed his eyes the Indians would have gotten him for sure. "I had to keep fightin'. I believe in cooperating with the Lord," he said. "I kinda doubt if the Lord could have gotten me out of that scrape all by Himself."
Many frontiersmen had no hesitancy in calling on the Lord for his co operation in violent endeavors. During the notorious East Texas feud, known as the War of the Regulators and Moderators, a preacher, tired and disgusted with the killings on both sides, delivered this prayer: 'Now, Lord, if any Regulator or Moderator makes any effort to revive their disturbances, curse him with the loss of eyes, destroy his limbs that he may never be able to walk, curse him when he sits down to eat, curse his fields; and if this will not stop his hellish career, kill him and send him down to his own place."Faith requires both prayer and action where action can be taken.
Seventh, casting the situation upon the Lord and then doing what she could, the Lord rewarded her greatly.
A) the Lord caused the king's daughter to find her baby.
B) the Lord moved the daughter with compassion. Her compassion caused her to disobey her father's law about killing the baby. Her compassion caused her to keep the child and call a woman to care for the child.
C) the Lord honored this mother's faith by having the mother herself care for her own baby. And the Lord even paid for the child care.
Eighth, this mother cared for her child until he was weaned. The story is that she had at least two and probably three years with her son.
Note: this mother took advantage of every moment she had with her child. She knew the child would not stay with her forever, so she made the very best use of her time with him.
Ephesians 5:16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
She knew that she did not have much time, so she used every moment wisely. We can only imagine what this mother taught her son during this short period of time.
HOW WISELY DO WE USE OUR TIME?
Ninth, she had to give him up again. The first time she had to give her son to the Lord in the river. This time she had to give him up to this wicked kingdom, Egypt. This was the kingdom that had passed a law demanding all male children be killed. Now she had to give him up again, only this time to a world that was at war against God's people.
Note: there comes a time in every mother's life that she must yield her children to the "kingdom" of this world: she must permit that child to go out into the world. Then all she can do is pray that the child's upbringing, and the Lord, will keep that child faithful.
Tenth, she did not give up. At times, the word of God passes over vast amounts of time as though it is not there. That is the case --- v. 10-vv. 11 covers at least 37 years.
We see that this mother's faith was not rewarded for 37 years, at least. Her prayers were finally answered when Moses took his stand against the world.
Note: this mother was no doubt tempted many times to give up. The first time when she had to commit him by faith to the Lord and the river. The second time when she had to commit him again to the Lord and the ungodly state that was attempting to destroy God's people.
God honored this godly mother's faith when, many years latter, the Lord moved her son to chose the riches of Christ over the riches of this world.
Hebrews 11:23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king's commandment. 24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; 25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; 26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. 27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible. 28 Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them. 29 By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.
Moses' mother's faith caused her to act. Then when she could no longer act, she prayed. No doubt, Moses' faith can be traced to his mother's faith.
And finally, notice how her faith was multiplied in her son --- faith is only mentioned once in her actions, but faith is mentioned four times in Moses' actions.
Mothers, don't give up. If anyone had a reason to give up, Moses' mother did. But we see that she did not, and look at how God honored her faith.