The story of Moses is a beautiful example of adoption and the role that both the birth mom and adopted mom play in the life of their child.
We all know the story of how Jochebed, the mother of Moses, created a basket and carefully places her baby boy in it to save his life from the cruel edict of Egypt’s Pharaoh. In today’s episode of All God’s Women we look at how Jochebed as well as Pharaoh’s daughter each played a role in molding Moses into the man God designed him to be.
Jochebed: Mother of Moses
During the time that Pharaoh was trying to exterminate the Israelite line, Amram, a Levite, married Jochebed, daughter of a Levite. They had a daughter, Miriam, then Jochebed conceived again and bore a son.
The Pharaoh of Egypt may have been foiled by the midwives, but he wasn’t giving up. As the Hebrews continued to multiply and grow in strength, he ordered that all baby boys born to the Israelite women were to be thrown into the Nile River. The girls would be allowed to live
Imagine, being pregnant, looking forward to the birth of another precious child, and the ruler of the land announces that if your baby is a boy, he’ll be drowned in the Nile River. Not exactly the future that mothers have for their sons. But when Moses was born, Jochebed, his mother, recognized that he was special, and she defied the king’s orders and hid her baby boy for three months.
But babies can only stay hidden for so long, and the time came when she could hide him no longer. So being a resourceful mom, she found a basket just the right size, covered the outside with asphalt and pitch, and laid her sweet baby boy in the basket. When the time came for the royal women to gather at the riverside for their baths, Jochebed carefully placed the basket in the crocodile infested river, shoved it in the direction of the palace beach, and assigned Miriam her daughter to keep a watch on it.
Sure enough, as the young women prepared for their bath, Pharaoh’s daughter noticed the basket floating among the reeds and asked her servant to retrieve it.
Pharaoh’s daughter peeked in the basket, saw the crying baby, and felt compassion for him.
On cue, Miriam popped out from her hiding place asking the princess if she needed a Hebrew woman to nurse the baby for her.
It didn’t take long for Miriam to scurry home, grab her mom, and return to the palace shore where Pharaoh’s daughter was waiting with baby Moses.
In a most unusual family situation, Moses’ birth mom was paid by his adopted mom to nurse him and take care of him during the early years of his life. Then when the time came for him to be weaned, Jochebed took Moses to the palace where he was to remain for the rest of his growing up years and early adulthood.
I’m sure that in Jochobed’s plans for her son’s life, she never imagined co-parenting with an Egyptian princess, but look at how God used each of these women to impact his life. Jochobed provided the spiritual training, teaching him the ways of our Lord. But Pharaoh’s daughter also helped mold him, providing him a quality education and influence. God knew that Moses needed more than just one Hebrew mom. He needed the influence of both women in order to fulfill the mighty task God had in store for him.
What Can We Learn From Jochebed’s Story?
How often do we think we know what our children need, when in reality, we have no clue? Fortunately for Moses, Jochobed was strong in her faith and trusted God with her beloved son. She allowed God to work in ways that made no sense to her, but took life day by day in obedience to Him even when that meant handing him over to a pagan princess. We, too, need to trust Him even when we don’t understand what He’s doing.
Lord God, we come to you today thanking you for the many ways that you work behind the scenes preparing us for the days to come. Thank you for doing what is best for us, even when it makes no sense to us. Lord, I pray especially for mothers, and step mothers, that you would provide wisdom and guidance and direction for each day, in the minor decisions as well as the major. I also pray, today, for those women who long so desperately to be mothers, but who remain childless. Lord, be with those women. Remind them of how important they are in ways they might never imagine. Bless them and shower them with a little special love this Mother’s Day weekend. Comfort them. Wipe away their tears. For those moms whose children have gone astray, give them peace. Reveal yourself to them and remind them that it’s not over yet, that you’re still at work in their children’s lives. We love you so very much. In Christ name we pray. Amen.
Moses’s Two Mothers Bible Study
Bible Study Review
1. Why did Jochebed put Moses into a basket?
2. Who found the baby?
3. How did Moses end up with two mothers?
Thought to Ponder
1. What would have happened had Jochebed’s plan failed?
2. What role did Miriam play in the story?
3. How did Moses benefit from each of his mothers?
1. What would you have done in Jocobed’s place?
2. What risks would you take to save your child?
3. Are you willing to give them up in order to save them?