A Mother’s Influence
by Pastors Dave and Cheryl Koop, Coastal Church
An editor submitted a list of people to Winston Churchill, asking who on the list had been his teacher. He returned the list with this comment, “you have omitted to mention the greatest of my teachers, my mother.”
In Exodus 2 we read about Jochebed, Moses’ birth mom. She too was a great teacher and exemplifies three timeless attributes.
1. Being a godly mother is a choice.
Jochebed delivered her son during Pharaoh’s reign. A decree was issued that every male child born to a Hebrew was to be thrown into the Nile River. Life for these babies was not considered sacred and she, along with every new Hebrew mother, had a choice to make. She recognized her plan to hide the child for three months meant soldiers could discover the baby, kill him and she would be punished.
Despite the circumstances, this woman chose faith in God to protect and preserve life. What bravery. She wasn’t intimidated by the hostile culture of the day. Her determined choice was steeped in faith deeper than her circumstances.
Exodus 2:3 says “when she could hide him no longer she took for him an ark of bulrushes.’’ An ark is always a picture of safety. This mother determined that if her boy was going into that Nile, it would be in the safety of the ark.
We can’t ultimately shelter our children from the negative world we live in but we can guide them to the safety of the ark of Jesus Christ, knowing that their personal relationship with Jesus will keep them safe from infested waters.
We cannot save our children but Jesus can. The promise is unto you, and to your children (Acts 2:39). By a deliberate act of believing, backed by the power of godly lives, moms must commit their children to Christ. He alone can surround them with adequate protection.
Pharaoh’s daughter also made a choice. Verse 6 says she saw the child and had compassion on him. Her father had decreed these children should die and she boldly chose life for at least one.
2. Being a godly mother requires faith.
Jochebed had faith that God was greater than Pharaoh. Satan is no match for the Holy Spirit, and greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4).
Moms are still challenged to raise children in an atmosphere of faith in a world of hostility recognizing their distinct purpose, similar to Moses, his older sister, Miriam, and his younger brother, Aaron. Today is also a day of great anxiety for parents. Canadian children are not immune to a crocodile-infested Nile River flowing right through our society. You can turn over your concerns to God, leaving your children in His care.
3. A godly mother has influence.
Once Moses was discovered by Pharoah’s daughter in the Nile, Miriam was prepared. Her mother had already influenced her to have faith in God and as a result Jochebed was paid to nurse her own baby. Isn’t that something?
Jochebed knew her time with her boy was short so she purposed to instill truths. She told him stories about creation, Cain and Abel, Enoch, Noah and the flood. She would have taught him about the Tower of Babel, Abraham, Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot and his wife, Ishmael and Isaac, Jacob and Esau, and the 12 patriarchs. Why the Hebrew people were slaves in Egypt and about the prophecy of deliverance.
Above all, she taught him about Joseph, a young man who lived for God in the same royal courts to which Moses would soon be taken. She told him how Joseph was sold as a slave into Egypt and how, despite his very impressionable, youthful age, he took his stand against the impurity and immorality of Potiphar’s wife; how he suffered for his godliness; how God raised him up to the right hand of Pharaoh himself. Her emphasis here is revealed as Moses devoted one fourth of the book of Genesis to this story.
Eventually the order came from the palace to bring Moses. As Jochebed kissed him goodbye, I can imagine her saying, ‘Remember what I’ve taught you, my son.’ Moses never forgot he was a Hebrew. The universities of Egypt, the temptations of the palace, the lure of position, power, wealth, and the possibility of a worldly throne never erased his mother’s training.
Moses became one of the greatest national leaders the world has ever known. Aaron, became Israel’s first high priest and the founder of the Aaronic priesthood. Miriam, who was a gifted poetess and musician, was intimately associated with both brothers in the history of Israel. Thank God for the example of this mother. Thank God for the mothers of today, who will influence great leaders for tomorrow.
Happy Mothers Day!