Read His Words Before Ours!
“I love you, my sweet one. Everything will be alright.” The words slipped from my mouth just loud enough for my newborn daughter to hear. Although my daughter was 29 hours old, this was the first time I was getting to hold her. I pressed her little body tightly against mine and told her that she was extravagantly loved, she was wanted, the Lord has a plan for her life, despite my fears as she was being sent away to a new NICU at a different hospital.
“Oh Lord, be with my baby. Wrap your tender arms around her and hold her while I can’t. Keep her safe and healthy and whole. Let her feel you with her.”
My prayer could easily echo that of a woman named Jochebed.
Jochebed, an Israelite slave in Egypt, battled an inward struggle of utter joy and complete dread, for if this baby was a boy, he would be destined for death. Pharaoh, the ruler of Egypt, had forgotten that many years ago, an Israelite had actually ruled as second in command in Egypt.
But Pharaoh’s arrogance took over logic as he feared the Israelites would overrule him.
First, he made them his slaves.
Then, he killed their newborn sons.
It was with this backdrop of death, one final push, and a deep moan, that Jochebed’s baby was born.
The midwife held him up for Jochebed to see, and like waves crashing a boat in a storm, love and fear crashed against her heart as she realized her new son’s fate.
With motherly determination, Jochebed made a decision that could cost her own life: she was going to hide her son. I can imagine how she spent nights nursing him without stopping to minimize his crying, holding him constantly, singing to him often. Nothing was going to happen to her boy.
For three months Jochebed was able to hide him. When she wasn’t praying or cooking or cleaning, she was scheming. She knew that he couldn’t go much longer in hiding and she came up with a plan. Swiftly she began to tightly weave a waterproof basket. I can almost see her cradling her little three-month-old son in her arms, nuzzling his face to her own, and whispering:
“Oh Lord, be with my baby. Wrap your tender arms around him and hold him while I can’t. Keep him safe and healthy and whole. Let him feel you with him.”
With that, she placed him in a basket in the Nile River and told her young daughter, Miriam, to follow the basket. Pharaoh’s daughter opened the basket as it floated past her and instantly, she was captivated by love.
Miriam jumped out from her hiding place and asked if a wet-nurse was needed to feed this baby, and when the Princess nodded her head, Jochebed’s daughter ran to get her own mama, who was then commanded to nurse and care for this baby boy until he was older.
The precious love of a Father!
To give a boy his mama back, to protect a life, to guard a woman’s heart!
….but saving Moses was So. Much. More.
God didn’t want to just save a baby.
He wanted to save a nation.
He wanted a people called out to be His own.
There were countless other Hebrew boys drowned at the Pharaoh’s hand. Thousands of women who prayed for their sons’ lives only to scream with horror at the intrusion of soldier’s feet into their home.
These women’s distress reminds me of the very harsh reality that not every one who prays with faith, will see salvation in the way they imagine.
Moses and Jochebed remind me that
faithful obedience will always, always, always result in God’s Faithful Redemption!
Moses was saved to save his people from slavery.
So that one day, every Hebrew woman would give birth without fear.
Every child would grow up free.
Every soul would have access to the Father who loved to redeem them.
One incredible day, another Hebrew boy would be born and another death threat would chase down his life. But he would surrender to it. Willfully.
So that everyone born into His name would live without fear.
Every child, washed in His blood, would know true freedom.
And every soul would have access to the Father who loved to redeem.
A nation’s freedom.
The life of Jochebed is easily overlooked and her name sounds foreign on our lips.
But she was a woman of mighty valor!
Jochebed’s trust in the Lord for her own safety, and the safety of her precious child, pointed straight to the safety we can all have in Christ alone, despite the circumstances that surround us, no matter how dark!
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