Saturday, November 12, 2016

Jochebed


Women of Israel's Heroic Age
Jochebed

Jochebed: Mother of Moses. (By faith she hid her baby)

Key Scripture: Exodus 2:1-4, Exodus 2:8-10, Exodus 6:20, Numbers 26:59, Hebrews 11:23.

Her Name Means: "The Lord is our Glory."

Her Character: She was gentle and quiet in spirit.

Her Strengths: She was a godly woman of great faith, bravery, and strength.

Her Sorrow: To live in bondage as a slave.

Her Joy: She gave birth to Moses. (Future giver of the Law)

Pre-Story: Jocebed was born to the Levites during the time of the Israelite 400 year enslavement in Egypt. She was Hebrew woman, a slave. She was a descendant Abraham and Sarah, the daughter of Levi, sister of Kohath, the wife of Amram, and the mother of  Miriam Aaron, Moses.

Jacob, his sons, and their families had gone into Egypt to live because there was a severe famine in their land. Joseph, Jacob's son, was a ruler in Egypt at that time and the children of Jacob (Israel) were treated kindly. Years passed. Jacob and his sons died. The people of Israel had many children and had become a great nation. Pharaoh (King) began to fear them. If a war came, the Israelites might takes sides with the enemy and fight against Pharaoh. He made slaves of the children of Israel.

Her Story: Amram and Jochebed already had two children, a daughter Miriam and a son Aaron. During this terrible time another son was born. He was a beautiful child and they loved him very much. Because Pharaoh feared a great army would rise out of these Israelite's, he told the midwives (Shiphrah and Puah) "Every son who is born you shall cast into the river, and every daughter you shall save alive." (Exodus 1:22) Even though the order had been given, Jochebed had the courage to hide her son for three months. She wanted him to be in a safe place and heir home was not a safe place for him. So Jochebed used asphalt and pitch, sticky waterproof substances, to make the ark (basket) waterproof. She put the baby in the basket and placed it in the water among the reeds growing by the edge of the river. She sent him off with a prayer of faith.

Miriam, (Moses older sister) watched him to see what would happen. The basket bobbed and floated in the water until it came to the place where Pharaoh's daughter was bathing. She saw the ark among the reeds and sent a servant to get it. It had a cover on it, and when she opened it the baby began to cry. She said, "This is one of the Hebrews' children." Her heart was tender and she didn't want the baby boy to be killed. Miriam came out of hiding. She offered to get a nurse for the child. The baby's mother was Jochebed! Pharaoh's daughter named him "Moses," a word meaning "drawn out" because she had drawn him out of the water. His mother raised him until he was big enough to go and live in the palace.

This would be a lovely story even if it ended here but this is just the beginning of God’s plan. We don’t know if Jochebed is alive when Moses returns 40 years later after leaving Egypt, but we can see the legacy of this godly woman. Not only does her legacy live on in Moses, but she leaves behind Aaron and Miriam too. Moses is the lawgiver; he is portrayed many times in scripture as being second only to Jesus himself. Aaron and his descendents become the high priests of God’s people (Exodus 28:1). They lead the people of God in worship for hundreds of years. Miriam becomes a prophetess of God (Exodus 15:20).

Her Place in God's Divine Plan: Her son Moses would grow up to be one of God's greatest leaders, chosen to rescue the Hebrew people from slavery in Egypt. By letting go and trusting God, an even greater dream was fulfilled.

Her Challenges Along the Way:  In order to save her child she has to do the unimaginable… give him up. That had to leave a hole in her heart. Faith guides her.

Her Victories: She boldly hid her baby boy in the bulrushes in order to save his life and ultimately, the entire nation of Israel.

Lesson We Can Learn from Her Legacy: She trusted God even when it seemed hopeless. These same lessons apply today to all of us raising children in “challenging” times. Like Jochebed, we won't always foresee God's purpose in letting go, but we can trust that his plan is even better.

Genealogy:
Born: Born: 1651 BC.
Birthplace: Probably Goshen, in the land of Egypt.
Occupation: Wife, mother, homemaker.
Parents: Levi and Merari
Husband: Amram (Her nephew, thus both the wife and aunt of Amram)
Children: Miriam, Aaron, Moses.
Death: 1618 BC.  She is buried in the Tomb of the Matriarchs, in Tiberias.

In Hebrews 11, Jochebed is listed among the "heroes of faith"!!!



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