Jochebed. Now there is a name for you.
Of all the biblical names you might know, this probably isn’t one of them.
Go ahead, take your guess: some incredible warrior whose story is tucked away deep in 2 Chronicles, a prophet who didn’t last long at the hands of Babylonians, or a Pharisee who conspired against Jesus?
Nope, she’s a mom.
But, not just any mom. Jochebed is the mother of Moses.
I love her story.
She was a mother in unfortunate circumstances. She was a slave in Egypt while a partial genocide was in progress. Baby Hebrew boys were being sacrificed to the Egyptian God of the Nile.
She defied the authorities and hid her son for three months. When hiding him was no longer possible, she got a basket and set him afloat on the Nile where he was discovered by Egyptian royalty and adopted.
This is the story of motherhood.
Perseverance. Even in the most difficult of circumstances she never gave up. She was a slave (any mothers beginning to identify?) in a culture so difficult to raise a child she literally had to save his life everyday.
Humility. Her name is hard to find, let alone spell. She is not even identified in this story that describes her most memorable moment. Its chapters later, in the genealogy of her son, that we finally see her name.
Risky. Hiding her son not only implied he was in danger, but her actions now put her and the rest of her family in danger, too. But, it didn’t matter. She made the decision that being a mother was risky business.
Creative. Without the back story, placing your child in a basket and floating him downstream hoping something good might happen probably won’t win you the mother of the year award. But in reality, this was brilliantly creative: children were daily being sacrificed in the river and a floating basket with a boy inside would not be out of place, placing the child in the reeds so that he would not float aimlessly was strategic, and selecting a spot on the river where he could be discovered by the only ones who could save him… that’s how biblical mommas roll!
This Mother’s Day weekend I hope you will celebrate the mothers in your life. Whether it’s your mom, your children’s mom, or just a mom near you, I hope you’ll take time to be thankful and thank them.
For all the times moms have persevered by making those sack lunches creative when the budget was tight. For all the times mom humbly helped with homework for which she never got a gold sticker. For all the times mom risked personal safety to stare down that bully who dared lay a hand on her baby. And, for all the times mom creatively schemed, manipulated and implemented her “whatever it takes” plan to get you in the church; we say thank you.
Mom, you are amazing and today we call you Jochebed, whose name in the original Hebrew means, “Glory of God.”
We see His glory in you… Happy Mother’s Day.