I bet you’ve never heard of Jochebed before! Have you? See, I knew you’ve never heard of her because her name is given in one of those long, and kinda boring, lists of names often found in scripture. As important as these names are for historical purposes, to make connections and family trees, they are a bit bland. Jochebed is first mentioned by name in Exodus 6:20 “Amram married his father’s sister Jochebed, who bore him Aaron and Moses. Amram lived 137 years.”
That’s right! Jochebed was Moses’ biological mom. Remember last week we took a look at two extremely bold and courageous women, Shiphrah and Puah. If you didn’t get a chance to check out that part of the story go ahead and click on their names to read that first. You will want to know what was going on politically during the time of Moses’ birth.
Exodus 2 begins with the story of a Levite family who became pregnant and had a son during a period of time when all Hebrew baby boys were under a severe genocide. The mother and father are left nameless until chapter 6 when we learn that the father is Amram and the mother is Jochebed. The baby boy, who according to pharaoh, should not be alive was the very one who would one day be used by God to deliver the Israelites from their bondage in Egypt.
Jochebed broke man’s law to honor God’s law. She was a God fearing Levite woman. I have no clue if she had some kind of premonition that her children would change the course of history for their people. What I do know is that she was brave. Jochebed loved fiercely enough to risk her own life in order to spend even a few months with the child who grew in her womb. I think she might have kept him hidden longer if it wasn’t for the fact that Moses was growing and could not be safely hidden any longer. Again, the love of a mother kicked in. I can’t imagine that any mother would choose to sacrifice their child’s life. This particular mother became creative and instead of plainly throwing her child into the river to drown she placed him within a waterproof basket. I bet she was strategic in choosing her basket launch location. Moses floated along with the current and was safely discovered by an Egyptian woman. Imagine that! Next week I will tell you more about who the Egyptian woman was. If you know the story of Moses then you probably already know.
Releasing the basket in the river was not the end of the story for Jochebed. The Egyptian woman who found Moses selected his very own mother to nurse him and care for him until he was old enough to go live with her. WOW!
How great Jochebed’s faith must have been! To believe that God would protect her son in the middle of this horrendous genocide. She believed and God delivered. Her son survived. He grew up to lead his people out of slavery.
This story encourages my faith. Sometimes when our faith is weak it helps to read a story as powerful as this one to remember God’s faithfulness is true.
My Prayer for You:
Dear Jesus, I ask you for every single person who is struggling with their faith. I pray that you may surround them with people who will encourage them and love them. I pray that you may help every single one of us draw near to you as you meet us right where we are. Thank you for your patience and your countless opportunities as you work on our hearts and character. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Memory Verse: Luke 1:45 Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”
Well hello there women of Exodus!!
Exodus 1:15 “The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, whose names were Shiphrah and Puah,”
Shiphrah and Puah are the women we will be focusing on today. The next few verses describe them as midwives and God fearing. The fact that they are midwives tells us that they are working women. I love that God didn’t forget about the working women.
If you are a working woman, remember that YOU matter to Him too!
In verse 16 pharaoh gives Shiphrah and Puah what he probably thought was a command that must be obeyed. He said, “When you are helping the Hebrew women during childbirth on the delivery stool, if you see that the baby is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her live.” Pharaoh thought he would be able to control the rate at which the Hebrews were increasing. I literally shake my head. Seriously pharaoh? Last I checked, mankind does not have that type of power. Also, don’t mess with God’s people!
I’m so glad this next verse is here, 17 The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live.
Shiphrah and Puah valued God more than pharaoh’s orders. They knew that what pharaoh was asking of them was the wrong answer and they stood up for what they knew to be the truth. They were so gutsy! I mean pharaoh had the power to kill them if they chose to disobey him. These women were brave and demonstrated a true faithfulness and trust in God.
Heart check moment!
Am I standing up for what I know to be the truth or am I conforming to the ways of this world?
There are so many topics in our society today that are sensitive issues. Topics like abortion and gay marriage. I’m not going to get into them but let me just say this… are we conforming to this world’s view and what this world is saying the correct answer is? Or are we standing firm in what we know God’s word says is the absolute truth?
Obviously pharaoh was going to find out that there were new little Hebrew baby boys all over the place. He went to the midwives immediately questioning them. Verse 18 “Why have you done this? Why have you let the boys live?” What nerve!
I love Shiphrah and Puah’s response. These women were so darn bold. They stood up to pharaoh without any reservations. 19 The midwives answered Pharaoh, “Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women; they are vigorous and give birth before the midwives arrive.”
Shiphrah and Puah defended God’s people and all were blessed. First the nation of Israel and then the midwives themselves.
20 So God was kind to the midwives and the people increased and became even more numerous. 21 And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own.
Verse 21 is such a great reminder that when we are obedient and faithful we too shall be blessed. We have no indication as to the age of these Godly women. We don’t know if they’ve been praying and crying out to God for children of their own. We can simply imagine the pain they might have felt every time they helped bring a new child into the world, a child that wasn’t theirs.
Shiphrah and Puah’s example sets forth a great challenge for us today. Will you join me in definding God’s truth? Will you commit to standing up for God’s word? Let’s be gutsy and bold like these two midwives, they stood up for what they knew to be true and were blessed.
My Prayer for You:
Dear Jesus, I come before you asking you to search our hearts today, Lord. Search us that all that is not of you may be removed and replaced with your love and compassion. I ask you for courage for myself and every single reader you’ve sent here today. I pray that we may stand firm in you because your word is living and true. I pray that we may not deny you but that we may live unashamed of our faith and belief in you. Heavenly Father thank you because you equip us with all that we need through your scriptures and place examples like Shiphrah and Puah in your word to remind us that your return is near. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.
Thanks so much for stopping by.
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