Today of course is Mother’s Day. It is a day that we set aside to honor our mommies. And of course this day means many things to many people. For some it is a day of sorrow. There are some that perhaps did not have a good relationship with their mother. Some have had difficulties with becoming a mother and this day remains a painful reminder of that fact. Still there are others whose children have caused great pain in the life of a mother.
With these difficult scenario’s one might wonder why a pastor would dare preach on such a subject. And to that I would simply respond; as difficult as this day is for some it is also a day of great joy for many and most importantly it draws our attention to the incredible God given role that mothers have in the life of their children. It’s hard to explain a mother’s job so I decided to show you a simple video that paints a very clear picture. ***SHOW VIDEO***
*What NOT to Buy Your Wife: Although the only person a man usually shops for is his wife, the whole experience is a stressful one. Many a man has felt extreme frigid temperatures for a long period based on a poor present decision. As a veteran of these wars, I’m still not sure what to buy my wife, but I’ll pass on what not to buy her:
Don’t buy anything that plugs in. Anything that requires electricity is typically a bad idea.
Don’t buy clothing that involves sizes. The chances are 1 in 7,000 that you will get her size right, and your wife will be offended the other 6,999 times. If you buy a size too large she’ll say, ”How big do you think I am?” If you buy a size to small she’ll say, ”I haven’t worn this size in years!”
Don’t buy anything that involves weight loss or self-improvement. She’ll perceive a six-month membership to a diet center as a suggestion that’s she’s overweight.
Don’t buy jewelry. The jewelry your wife wants, you can’t afford. And the jewelry you can afford, she doesn’t want.
Finally, don’t spend too much. ”How do you think we’re going to afford that?” she’ll ask. But don’t spend too little. She won’t say anything, but she’ll think, ”Is that all I’m worth?”
It is important to understand that a mother’s job is not to plan out the life of her child. God already has already designed that plan. It is a mother’s job to understand her role in God’s plan. READ TEXT
In this passage we see a mother by the name of Jochebed who understood her role as a mother. Understanding her role in God’s plan, not only saved her sons life but made possible the exodus of God’s people from Egypt changing the course of history forever. Mom’s, God has a plan for your child and it is important that you understand your role in that plan. This morning I would like to demonstrate for you three aspects of a mother’s role in God’s plan.
Protect your kids the best you can
Verse 1 says, ”Now a man from the house of Levi went and married a daughter of Levi.” It is interesting that the author does not mention the parents name here but Moses the author of this book does mention it later in chapter 6. There we find that Moses father was named ”Amram” and his mothers name was ”Jochebed.”
Amram and Jochebed met, fell in love, got married and they had a baby. This birth from a worldly perspective could not have come a worse time. Of course from a Godly perspective it was the perfect time.
The Israelites had been living in Egypt after being invited to live there by Jacob’s youngest son Joseph. The Israelites multiplied and prospered in Egypt so much so that the when a new king took he thrown he became concerned according to 1:9 that they would become more powerful than the Egyptians themselves and rise up and fight against them. He began to take steps to make sure this didn’t happen.
First he ”appointed task masters over them to afflict them with hard labor.” Basically they made them slaves and forced them to build their cities. When that didn’t work the king spoke to the Hebrew midwives and told them that READ 1:16 But the Bible says that the midwives ”feared God,” so they refuse to carry out the kings commands. Frustrated and fearful of the Israelites the king introduced his ”final solution.” He made a decree that any male child that was born was to be thrown into the Nile.
This was the context in which Moses was born to his mother and father. And the Bible says READ 2. Now what does it mean that she saw that he was beautiful? Well it could mean that he was just a good-looking little boy. After all mothers think their children are the most beautiful thing ever. But it could have more meaning to it than that.
Acts 7:20 says, ”It was at this time that Moses was born; and he was ‘lovely in the sight of God.”’ So here, it could mean that when Moses was born that somehow God impressed on her perhaps as he did with Mary and Joseph concerning Jesus that something was very special about his little boy. That God had a plan for that child’s life.
Knowing this her job was to protect her child from the perverse society in which he was born. The Bible says she ”hid him for three months.” By going against the command of the king she was putting her life on the line to protect her child in and from the world she lived.
*One day when I was 5 or 6 years old, my mom was babysitting for a friend. My little brother was probably 1 or 2 so you can imagine she was very busy that day. We lived in a house very close to the railroad tracks; a couple hundred feet maybe? Mom missed me, noticed that I wasn’t in the house. And she realized that train was stopped at house. I had climbed up ladder on the side of the car and the little boy she was babysitting was standing there watching me in awe. He was probably 3 years old and I’m sure I was trying to impress him with my climb up the top of train car. As you can imagine, my mom panicked. If the train started moving it could have been tragic. Mom ran out and told me to get down. I climbed down and most likely got what I deserved. Spanked…then hugged and cried over. They had told me never to get on the train tracks but I don’t remember them telling me not to climb on the train cars.*
God has given mothers a powerful innate passion to care and protect their children. But the protection godly mothers are to supply involves far more than just physical protection. A mother protects her children by teaching them the commands of God and then making sure that her children abide by them.
Caution: As necessary as this God given passion is, mothers must always recognize when their desire to protect their children from harm will sometimes bring further harm on the child.
Mothers, you need to understand that your children will play you if you let them. Because they know your soft heartedness and willingness to always care and protect them they will take advantage.
*A child gets drunk for the third time and gets arrested and there is mom bailing out the child. A child demonstrates reckless abandon in their finances and there is mom wanting to pay off their bills. This is not keeping them from harm it is empowering them to continue to harm themselves. This problem usually begins far before it is manifested in them as adults. Mothers often make this mistake early in the child’s life which simply because they can’t stand them to suffer.*
Your job in God’s plan is to raise that child by protecting them from falling victim to a sinful world and sometimes that means fighting against your desire to protect by allowing the child to feel the sting of their own wrong decisions.
Do all you can with what you have
We see that she hid her son for three months but no doubt it was becoming harder and harder to hide the child. He was far more apt to cry when people knocked on the door, something had to give. The Egyptians who lived around them lived as spies ready to turn anyone that might disobey the kings command.
The Bible says that she took a wicker basket and covered it with tar and pitch, this of course to waterproof the basket. The tar and the pitch were in abundance and would have been used by the Israelites in the building of the Egyptian cities they were forced to construct.
Now the question that immediately arises is why in the world did but her son in a basket with tar and pitch smeared on it. Why didn’t she get nice little boat or a dug out canoe? Well its obvious, ”Its all she had.”
She did all she could; she kept him safe for three months with what a poor slave girl had. She made a basket with reads that were abundant in that region and she covered it with tar and pitch, which the slaves used to build the Egyptian cities.
Now being a mother, you know that she was feeling what mothers often do today. As she is making that basket and covering it with pitch fear grips her as she wonders, ”Is it enough?” And apparently it was enough. It was enough for her son to live to write about it.
Isn’t amazing how we often think that God uses extraordinary people with extraordinary stuff to do extraordinary things but the truth is God uses ordinary people like this slave girl, and ordinary stuff like reeds and tar to do an extraordinary thing like raise up a boy that would eventually save the nation.
*But this is not the exception, this is the standard. God used Moses and his staff to set the people free. God used David and his slingshot to kill the giant. God used Gideon’s three hundred and jar clays to defeat thousands of enemy soldiers. God used an ordinary boy and his lunch of two fish and five loaves to feed over five thousand people.*
The reason I mention this is because every mother experience fear. It comes with the territory. That fear comes in two forms.
First, apprehension. From the moment a mother has her child when the joy begins to fade ever so slightly it is replaced by an overwhelming sense of responsibility.
*You may struggle with questions: Do I have what it takes to raise this child? Am I capable of leading them to trust and follow Jesus? Can I raise them to be wise, contributing members of society?* READ 2 Peter 1:2-3 God has given you everything you need to raise your child.
Fear manifests itself not only in apprehension but also in regret. Mother’s are notorious for beating themselves up with regret. In hindsight they think, ”If I had it to do all over I again I would…” I wish I hadn’t done this, or I wish I hadn’t done that. But you don’t have to live this way if you did everything you could with what you had.
Trust in God with all your heart
The reason a mother is able to arrive at the place where she is alright with doing all she can with what she has is because she expects God to take care of her child. *I am reminded of William Carrey’s words, ”Work as if everything depends on you, pray as if everything depends on God.”*
Jochebed knew that it was only God that could save her son. So she trusted God to take care of him. And she would not be disappointed. Notice what happens.
The literal word used for the basket in which Moses was laid is ”ark.” The only other time it is used is for Noah’s ark. This tells us that even Moses who wrote this account saw God working in his situation.
Verse 5 – The daughter of Pharaoh saw the basket as she walked down the river. Verse 6 – The daughter of the man who commanded all the babies be killed had pity on the child. Verse 8 – Agreed for her to go and get a Hebrew nurse for the child. Why not an Egyptian mother to feed the child? Verse 9 – His biological mother got him back and got paid to do what she wanted to do in the first place.
Was all of this just happenstance? No, it was divine providence. God was at work orchestrating circumstances because he had plans for this little baby. Now what was it that demonstrated that she trusted God?
She was willing to let go. She literally let he son go into a river that was full of crocodiles. This is completely against human nature. The river was the place of death. That was were all the children were dying.
It only seems right that she would take that baby as far away from the river as possible. But she didn’t. Why? I cannot be dogmatic about this but there certainly seems to me that the she placed that baby in that basket in the river by direction of God himself.
Hebrews 11:23 says, ”by faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents.” Even though letting her son go was against her known natural instincts she did it. Her son’s ultimate care was not up to her but was up to God. He was safer in the arms of God in a croc-infested waters than he was in her arms. She trusted God to do for her son what she could not.
Now when she got him back for a few years you better believe that she did all she could to instill in that young man the truths of God and then the day game she had to let him go once again when Pharaoh’s daughter came for him.
*Thomas Edison said: ”I did not have my mother long, but she cast over me an influence which has lasted all my life. The good effects of her early training I can never lose. If it had not been for her appreciation and her faith in me at a critical time in my experience, I should never likely have become an inventor. I was always a careless boy, and with a mother of different mental caliber, I should have turned out badly. But her firmness, her sweetness, her goodness, were potent powers to keep me in the right path. My mother was the making of me. The memory of her will always be a blessing to me.”
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