Moses’ Mother

Searching His Word
Seeking His Heart

Last week we discovered that Moses’ mother was Jochebed. (See “Who Was Jochebed?”)

We found her to be quite the innovator by hiding baby Moses from the hand of Pharaoh’s soldiers for three months, then devising a little basket boat in which to hide him in the Nile.

We last found the boat under the watchful of of his sister, Miriam. Perhaps Miriam played along the bank, gathering reeds to make a bracelet or hair band. She kept moving farther and farther away from their house, but still the basket floated among the reeds safely.

To her surprise she heard voices by the bank’s edge. Who were they? Would they see the basket? She looked up and realized she was near the Pharoah’s palace. Imagine her shock to spy the princess!

Then Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the river bank. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her slave girl to get it. She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. “This is one of the Hebrew babies,” she said.

Yikes! What should Miriam do now? And how did the princess know it was a Hebrew baby? Ah, yes, remember the Hebrew blanket inside the basket?

Miriam was as imaginative as her mother. She made her appearance and said,

“Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?” Exodus 2:7

“Yes, go,” the princess told her. Of course Miriam went to get her own mother. Imagine Jochebed’s thoughts as she raced to the bathing area. What will she do with my baby? What will she do with me? God give me guidance. To her surprise, the princess said,

“Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you.” Exodus 2:9

Can you believe that? Not only would her baby be protected, but she would get paid for it!

No doubt Jochebed cared for this special child with dedication. Perhaps she made sure Hebrew songs were implanted in his head along with prayers to their Holy God.

Evidently the agreement included returning the baby after he had been weaned. 

When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying, “I drew him out of the water.” Exodus 2:10 (“Moses” sounds like the Hebrew word for “draw out.”)

It isn’t until Exodus 6:20 that we learn Jochebed’s name and her husband, Amram in the listing of family names, but these few verses in Exodus 2 say much about her creativity and her dedication to her child along with the sacrifice she made.

Oh, that we might be creative and take advantage of the time we’re given with our children and grandchildren, our church children and other young lives we touch.

~ Joyce ~

 

 

 

 

Who Was Jochebed?

Searching His Word
Seeking His Heart

This month, let’s explore lessons from lesser-known women in the Bible.

Today’s star lived in the latter years of Egyptian slavery. She and her husband had a son named Aaron. They came from the priestly line of the Levites.

Years before, all was well in the land of Goshen where their people lived. The Hebrews enjoyed the prestige of being a part of the family of Joseph who was second only to the Pharaoh.

Now, over three centuries later, Joseph was long forgotten. The Hebrews were way too prolific at having babies to suit the current Pharaoh, and he feared they would grow too numerous to control. He decreed that all new-born baby boys be thrown into the Nile River.

Enter our star player today…

Now a man of the house of Levi married a Levite woman, and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months. Exodus 2:1-2

That alone puts her at the top of my list of innovative women. Keeping a new-born quiet for three months requires amazing ingenuity!

The thought struck me that she likely had to keep his presence quiet even from the neighbors. After all, if the soldiers came and threw my baby into the Nile, what right does she have to be keep her baby?

Whatever ideas this mother managed to devise,  she was running out of tricks so her last-ditch effort was to make a little boat for him to float in the Nile among the bull rushes where he might be somewhat protected. 

Gleaning from the expert boat maker, Noah, she made her basket. (Side note—Noah’s ark and this basket are the only two times this construction is mentioned in the Bible.)

But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed him in it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him. Exodus 2:3-4

Every mother can empathize with this mother. How hard it is to let your child go; find his own way, make his mistakes, learn from them. But in this case, just a baby?

What was running through her mind? I’ll put him there in the daytime and bring him in at night. Or, did she know the area where the princess usually bathed? Could she ever have imagined that the princess would find him and claim him for her own? 

Whatever her thoughts, she decided that anything was better than to be drowned in the Nile. Reaching out in faith, she followed the Pharaoh’s decree, but instead of throwing him in, she snuggled him in a Hebrew blanket inside a waterproof basket. 

Next week, we’ll discover what happened to the baby and his ingenious mother named Jochebed. 

~ Joyce ~

My Testimony of Writing

Searching His Word
 Seeking His Heart

I suppose my first experience with writing came when I wrote in my diary like many 9 year-old girls—the first forms of keeping a journaling, you might say.

In the days of directing children’s choirs, I would pick up a script to a musical and find that it contained more songs than we would be able to have ready. If I had to cut three songs, it affected the scripts. So I adapted the scripts by rewriting them. For years, writing short skits had been a specialty, as well.

Later, I wrote devotionals and Bible studies including homework—way before Beth Moore came on the scene!

After hanging up my career of teaching music in public school and a career of directing children’s choirs, a youth and a senior adult choir, I had a nudging of the Holy Spirit to write. “What kind of writing?” I wondered. The only directive I received was “write.”

The Spirit led me to read in Exodus about Moses and the giving of the law.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered…” Exodus 17:14

Over and over, God told Moses to write, even the stages of their journey in the wilderness. Write. Record what happened.

Then, I read of the apostle John in Revelation.

On the Lord’s day, I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, which said, Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches.” Revelation 1:10-11

One day when passing a book store, I noticed that across the store front, it had a phrase about writing. Another time, I was driving down the highway and glanced at the license plate of the car in front of me. “WRITE!” it blared. 

Again I asked, “Write what? More of the things I have done before?” That didn’t seem to be the answer.

A few months later, I attended a conference for ministers and wives and went into a small group with the topic of seeking God’s ongoing will. The leader talked about how God’s will often evolves in different ways through our lives. Among her examples, she mentioned a woman who felt called to write a book.

A warm, almost hot, sensation started in my legs and worked its way up through my body. I felt like the Lord had taken a branding iron and stamped across my chest the word, WRITE! It reminded me of the story of the two men on their way to Emmaus. After Jesus finally revealed himself to them, one said, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us?” That’s exactly how I felt.

“Okay, Lord, I understand, you want me to write, but what?” So with this call in mind, I began earnestly praying that he would reveal His will to me.

Next week, the rest of the story!

~ Joyce ~