“The way a book is read — which is to say, the qualities a reader brings to a book — can have as much to do with its worth as anything the author puts into it…. Anyone who can read can learn how to read deeply and thus live more fully.”
~Norman Cousins

Writing is where we truly learn. Join the Journey.

I read from my scriptures (book), but you can find scripture reference here.

Monday, May 11, 2015

"Because I drew him out of the water" Exodus 1-2 Moses' mother Jochebed

Jochabed and Miriam send Moses Off 

Yesterday was mother's day. I was able to spend it with my Mother, in her 83rd year and feel grateful for the joy that she has given me. On Saturday, I drove her to the store, purchased seed and flowers and planted her a garden, and then helped her shop for food. Sunday I drove her to church and afterward we, with my husband enjoyed a delicious meal together.  Afterward as we walked by the water's edge near her home together we felt peace and joy.

Through the years she has protected me from the world. She has fed, loved and instructed me, placed limits on me, given me opportunity to play and grow and learn, and all she has asked in return is my love and respect, plus some shared moments  of time here and there.  A little more time as she matures and her body slowly fails her. Time is my gift of love to her. Time is the greatest gift.

Is she perfect? No. Is she humble about her imperfections. Not really.  Does she still have her wit and humor? Yes, delightfully so.  Does she try to make my life better? Always. Has she always done the best that she knew how? Yes. Does the life she has lived teach me to live by faith? Most assuredly.

Motherhood gives us the gift of time. Time to learn, to grow, to mature, to become. It gives us the gift of living water that comes from faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

I am thinking now of Moses' mother. I have never really thought of her before. I knew what she did to save Moses, but when you put it all into perspective, it is really amazing what she did and why?

Of the house of Levi, Jochebed had migrated with Jacob's family to Egypt. She knew the pharaoh's decree to kill all of the male children, to destroy the Hebrew family. She knew of his fear that the Hebrews would grow so numerous that they would threaten the Egyptian culture. Still, She, Moses' mother, feared God more.

She feared God more than Egypt, more than the soldiers who would have surely killed her if she had been caught. She feared God and chose to help her son live. She chose faith over fear. She needed time to ensure his safety and time to listen to God's love as it taught her what to do, so:
  • She saw that he was a goodly child
  • She hid him three months 
  • She made an ark (a boat) of bulrushes 
  • She coated it with slime and pitch
  • She put the child in it 
  • She put the ark near the river's edge
  • She pushed it towards the Pharaoh's daughter who was bathing 
  • She set her daughter Miriam to be near by
  • She had Miriam arrange for the Pharaoh's daughter to hire her for pay to nurse her own son. 

With God's help, Jochebed devised a plan. With faith in God she knew that she would not be killing her son, nor allow others to do so. She employed her mother's love to conquer the fear that ruled the day.

Not only did she want to protect him from the world that would drown him in the river Nile, she also desired to carve out a place where Egypt and the world could see his worth and learn to revere his life, his family, his culture, and his God.

Jochebed both created life and crafted life. By faith she released him into the water and by faith she prayed him drawn out again. She defied the Egyptian laws, she defied the midwives orders, she defied the lack of compassion in a world gone mad,  and she prayed in faith for guidance. She prayed in faith for hope in a plan that would save her son and her family. 

What did she rely on? The rules of men? No. The rational of men that lived in fear? No. Jochebed relied on compassion. Compassion born of faith and inherent to women. Compassion for the gift of life and for a better way. Compassion that does not live by rules but rather by the hope for emotional security.  

The Pharaoh's daughter was not alone when she discovered the ark in the bulrushes. She was with her handmaid's, who knew of the command of her father. And because her party was without the presence of men, she was empowered to choose compassion over obedience.  Men might have been strict to the law, they might have denied her the right to exercise her compassion. Driven by compliance to the Pharaoh's edict, a man would have seen the child with different eyes.  A mother's love is eternal.

The maids drew Moses from the water and Miriam, who watched nearby to both protect her brother and aid her mother's plan, came quickly to disclose that she knew of a Hebrew woman who had recently given birth, but was without child and could nurse the child. She had sent Miriam to guide the ark, to watch over. Another part of her plan to protect him, like she had protected him with pitch.

Why did she put pitch on Moses' ark? To protect him from the water that would cause the small boat to sink. The pitch kept the water out and Moses dry. What does this mean metaphorically? The pitch that Jochebed used to cover the ark that she would place her son in can be likened unto the love and faith that she was exhibiting in sending this child forth into the waters. She knew she could not keep him, for as he grew he would certainly be discovered, but she could protect him with her love, her faith, her good works, her songs and her craftsmanship, and then, once protected send him forth and rely on God's love to continue what she had begun. The pitch both protected him physically and spiritually.  

And it worked. Her foundation of faith that God would protect her son worked to not only save his life but the lives of all of the Hebrews whom he delivered from captivity eighty years later. 

The faith of a mother. What she will not do to stand between the evil that will destroy her child and the living water that will deliver him. How diligently she will pray and problem solve. So great was Jochebed's love that she would have, if needed given her own life.

For every day that she kept him alive was not her life in peril? For every day that his voice grew within him and he cooed in comfort and cried in hunger was not her life and the life of her family in peril? Yet she did this for three months. Each day praying for one more day before the day she must let him go. Praying for a plan that would ensure his survival in a world that certainly wanted him dead. 

And think of her plan to save him, was it not born of God's love for both her and the Hebrew nation?  Would a realistic plan have encouraged the hiding of her son in the household of those whom wanted him dead? Only the Pharaoh's daughter could convince her father to allow the child to live. Only the Pharaoh's daughter would pay Jochebed a wage to nurse her own son. Did the Pharaoh's daughter know the bond between mother and child? I think so, for true compassion can never be naive, but requires an eye of empathy. 

I wonder what Jochobed knew of the Pharaoh's household? Were his wives allowed to bear children? Was it a house of faith or one of desperation? How well did she know the goings on within the palace that she knew to send her son into this home? What faith she must have had to do such a thing. 
And the surprise of course is that because of Moses being raised within the household of the pharaoh as his adopted son, he knew the governmental weakness and he alone was the one who could stand before him and declare the Lord's command, "Let my people go." 

Moses' name means "drawn from the water".  And it is too the water that many people go to renew themselves, to cleanse themselves, and to find peace and answer.  Consider how Jochebed sent him into the water. Think how and why the Pharaoh's daughter visited the water edge: to find peace, to give peace, to pray, to seek answer.   Think how she she sent Miriam to stand within the water, and how Moses not only came from the water, but because of a mother's faith in the living water of our Savior, Jesus Christ was saved not from the water but because of the water.

I am grateful to all mothers that do for their children what Jochebed did for Moses. For those who must give their child up for adoption, for those who do not but strive all of their lives to place pitch in their child's boat before they send them out upon the waters of life, so that they like Moses might be drawn from the waters to save not just himself but all of his family.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails