Jochebed, Mother of Moses

A devotional by Ellen, a student at New Creations.

In the book of Exodus, a story is told of a Hebrew woman named Jochebed. Jochebed conceived soon after she married Amram, and she gave birth to a beautiful son. Although this newborn child was a gift from God, the child caused a great dilemma for Jochebed. Not long before the birth of her son, Pharaoh had announced to all the Hebrew people that any son they give birth to would be cast into the river, but any girl they give birth to would live.

Jochebed knew how beautiful her son was, and she knew the potential he held; as a result, she hid him for three months until she knew she could no longer keep him in hiding. She quickly put together an small wicker basket, covered it with tar & pitch, and laid it by the riverbank. Miriam, who was the child’s older sister, stood at a distance from the wicker basket to see what would become of her younger brother.

Shortly after the basket had been placed, Pharaoh’s daughter found Miriam’s baby brother. Miriam went and asked Pharaoh’s daughter if she should find a Hebrew woman to nurse the newborn. Pharaoh’s daughter agreed, and Miriam went and found her mother, Jochedbed, and brought her back to Pharaoh’s daughter. Jochebed was paid to nurse her own child by Pharaoh’s daughter. When the child grew to the right age, Jochebed brought him back to Pharaoh’s daughter, who then named him Moses.

In Exodus 2:2 it states, “So the woman conceived and bore a son. And when she saw he was a beautiful child, she hid him three months.” In this verse it shows that Jochebed initially took matters into her own hands rather than having faith in our heavenly Father. She hid her baby for three months illegally, and then realized that she could not continue in the way that she was going.

In many ways how Jochebed initially acted corresponds to how I was when I first arrived at New Creations Christian Boarding School. When I first came to New Creations, I had little or no faith in God. I had always believed there was a God, but I thought that He was too judgmental, and I had done too many wrongs to make anything right. I attempted to take my life into my own hands, and all that led to was disaster. When I realized that God wasn’t as bad as I had Him out to be, I started to expect more and more from Him, as if He were a human being standing right in front of me.

In Exodus 2:4 it says, “And his sister stood afar off, to know what would be done to him.” Miriam carefully watched baby Moses by the riverbank in obedience to her mother’s will, because Jochebed and her family expected something from God. At the time they might not have known what to expect, but nonetheless they expected a miracle. I’ve found that without expectations you will always be content. Although that may sound like a wonderful thing, it isn’t. Without expectations how can we expect God to fulfill our needs?

Jochebed had many virtues and traits that made her the woman of God that she was. Throughout the story it shows tremendous faith in God, incredible love, immense trust in the Lord, remarkable obedience and humility. All of these virtues are wonderful qualities to own and portray; yet I find myself not reaching my full potential in trusting the Lord and having tremendous faith in Him.

In Exodus 2:3; it states, “And when she could no longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river’s brink.” When Jochebed realized that she could no longer do this on her own, she turned her trust and her faith to the Lord Almighty, and followed His will for her son.

As Jochebed prepared that wicker basket in which to place her son along the riverbank, I continue to wonder how she must have felt. I imagine she felt a sense of peace knowing that it was God’s will to create an amazing leader with her son and observing the circumstances that were set forth.

In many ways Jochebed had to put her full faith in God, as if He were a father catching his little girl. In many ways I have grown in my faith since I have been at New Creations Boarding School, although I know that I have not entrusted all of my faith in our Lord and Savior. I have so much potential that I fail to see, as several people have told me. I know that with God I can do all things, and that I must let my light shine before all men, but how am I supposed to do that if I do not entrust my full faith upon God. I have not yet reached my full potential in my faith, but day-by-day it will continue to grow.

As I said before, God is like a father catching his little girl, and it is so much more than true. He may not physically catch us in this life, but He catches us from an eternity in Hell, and He calls us to be like Him. I must reach my full potential in my faith in the Lord, and place my full trust in the Lord to receive everything God has for me.

I’ve realized in my time at New Creations that I have so much more potential than I probably even know. I know that in my faith and trust in the Lord, I must reach my full potential, because without it I will never receive the gifts of heaven that the Lord has promised.

Jochebed has taught me many things about faith and trust. If Jochebed can give up her beautiful baby boy to someone who was trying to destroy her Hebrew nation, all because the Lord had told her to, I know I am able to follow the Lord and do anything He tells me to do. God has plans for everyone in their individual life, but without faith how can we follow what He has set in front of us? I am ready to reach my full potential in my faith and trust in the Lord Almighty.

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