Mother's Day 2020
Today is mother’s day. First of all, happy mother’s day to all the moms out there. I know there are those who are facing this mother’s day for the first time without your mom. Recently, a few moms went to be with the Lord in Heaven. Pray for them and others who are without their moms on mother’s day.
Today I’ve selected 3 moms from the Bible to look at. These women were not perfect, but God’s Word tells us of a remarkable character trait they had. Surely there are other remarkable traits they had and I am sure they had some traits they wished were different, but the Bible focuses on a very small part of each of these women’s story. You may have even read about them, but not given them much thought. Today, my goal is not to compare moms to these ladies, but instead for us to examine the characteristics of these women during the very specific events and see if they can inspire us to find areas in our life to react or act like they did.
For our first mom, turn with me to Exodus chapter 2 starting in verse 1. For anyone who spent time as a child in church, this will be a familiar Sunday School story. In this passage, we don’t get her name, but later in Exodus and in Numbers, her name is revealed as Jochebed which in Hebrew means “glory of Jehovah” or “glory of God.” The pharoah ordered that all baby boys be killed at birth by their Egyptian midwives, and if they didn’t do it, the boys were to be thrown into the river later. If you read Exodus 1, this is the background for what comes here. Let’s read:
1 Now a man of the tribe of Levi married a Levite woman, 2 and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months. 3 But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. 4 His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him. 5 Then Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the riverbank. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her female slave to get it. 6 She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. “This is one of the Hebrew babies,” she said. 7 Then his sister asked Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?” 8 “Yes, go,” she answered. So the girl went and got the baby’s mother. 9 Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you.” So the woman took the baby and nursed him. 10 When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying, “I drew him out of the water.”
In Hebrews 11, this is what is said of her:
23 By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.
By faith. Jochebed saw something in her son. I think moms tend to do that. They see something special in their little ones when they are born. Jochebed saw something a little extra special and did what she had to in order to protect this baby boy. After 3 months, she realized she couldn’t hide him anymore and decides to put him in a basket and float him on the river. Why would a mom do this except by faith and likely inspiration from God to do so.
In my observation of moms (and dads) I have noticed that there are periods of time in parenting where we have to do this. We can’t hide our children from the reality of the world, but we can construct and teach a worldview basket that will protect them from the elements we know about. Then we pray. We pray that God will miraculously provide supernatural protection in a way only He can.
Did you know the Nile river has crocodiles in it? How is a basket going to protect a baby from being eaten by a croc? What would it be like to love something so much you would risk your life to protect it, but then when the time comes, your faith in God is big enough to release that something into croc infested waters with nothing but a basket to protect it?
Jochebed’s God who miraculously protected Moses is the same God we have today through Jesus. He says to us: Release what you love to me and I’ll provide the protection. In fact, the plans I have are greater than any plan you ever could have made. Do you think Jochebed ever thought her son would grow up as royalty? God did, and Jochebed’s faith to trust God made the way for that to happen.
What do you need to trust God to take care of for you?
Our second mom is Hannah…not our bass player…but the Hannah mentioned in 1 Samuel 1. Turn with me there. We are going to start in verse 9. Hannah was married to man who had another wife. This other wife had children, but she was not able to. This man loved Hannah and tried to comfort her, but at the same time the other wife was provoking and irritating Hannah. Imagine if that were what you were mentioned for in the Bible - provoking Hannah…anyway, Hannah did not take this well and was getting discouraged about it all, so she took it to God. If you are discouraged, be a Hannah and take it to the Lord…let’s read about what happens:
9 Once when they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh, Hannah stood up. Now Eli the priest was sitting on his chair by the doorpost of the Lord’s house. 10 In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly. 11 And she made a vow, saying, “Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.” 12 As she kept on praying to the Lord, Eli observed her mouth. 13 Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk 14 and said to her, “How long are you going to stay drunk? Put away your wine.” 15 “Not so, my lord,” Hannah replied, “I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the Lord. 16 Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.” 17 Eli answered, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.” 18 She said, “May your servant find favor in your eyes.” Then she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast. 19 Early the next morning they arose and worshiped before the Lord and then went back to their home at Ramah. Elkanah made love to his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered her. 20 So in the course of time Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, “Because I asked the Lord for him.”
Hannah was in deep anguish. After going to Lord and pleading with Him she found comfort. In verse 18, it says that her face was no longer downcast. There are people out there that will provoke and irritate. The result is often discouragement and anger. The solution is to go to the Lord about it. Plead with him, pour our your soul to Him. Pray out of your great anguish and grief. God’s response will be comfort and peace. It may not go exactly how we imagine it or want it to go, but God will provide comfort. In some cases, however, we like Hannah may get what we are asking for.
Hannah ultimately had her prayers answered and she glorified God for it.
Jochebed trusted God to take care of something she loved, Hannah relied on God to heal and take care of her anguish and our last mom trusted God for provision. Turn with me to 1 Kings 17. Unfortunately we don’t know the name of the mom - she is referred to as the widow of Zarephath. Our story starts off with Elijah being told to go to a town called Zarephath and to talk to a widow there. Let’s read starting in verse 7:
7 Some time later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land. 8 Then the word of the Lord came to him: 9 “Go at once to Zarephath in the region of Sidon and stay there. I have directed a widow there to supply you with food.” 10 So he went to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, “Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?” 11 As she was going to get it, he called, “And bring me, please, a piece of bread.” 12 “As surely as the Lord your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it—and die.” 13 Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. 14 For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land.’ ” 15 She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. 16 For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah.
Here is a mom who is at the end of her resources. She has come to the very end and then a word from God comes to her by the prophet Elijah. In order to receive this word, she has to trust in God’s word to her. Elijah tells her that God has a plan, but she must first offer all that she has in faith and on the other side of her step of faith she will have all that she needs.
I don’t know if you’ve gotten to a point like this in your walk with the Lord yet, but there will come a time. He will speak to you and tell you that ahead of you is a great blessing you were not expecting, but you must first give up all that you have.
Moses’ mom Jochebed trusted God in faith to take care of her son from certain death and he lived in the palace.
Hannah trusted God with her anguish and grief and God blessed her faith in Him with peace, comfort and then a son.
The widow in faith traded the last of her food for a promise from God for provision and her family was hungry no more.
As I think about these 3 moms in these specific situations and many moms I know in their specific situations, they all have something in common:
They are all faced something that is beyond their control. Without an intervention from God, the situation was dire.
Jochebed - certain death of Moses
Hannah - lack of child/honor/provoking by other wife
Widow - starvation
They all act out their faith as they gave up what they were holding onto and let God take care of it.
Jochebed - son
Hannah - grief and anger
Widow - last provision
God intervenes in a way they never could have expected.
Jochebed - son lives in palace and gets the best
Hannah - son who would grow up to anoint the first 2 kings of Israel (Saul and David)
Is there something right now beyond your control?
Can you plead with and pray to God about your situation? Will you listen to Him when he leads you? Are you willing to give up what He asks of you?
If you can say yes to the second question, there is a blessing ahead for you that you would have never imagined.
You might even say now that life as a whole is beyond your control. God is saying to come to Him. Give Him your life. How do I do that you might ask…well it starts with recognizing you need Him. Tell Him that. The Bible tells us to turn from running our lives our own way and let Him be in charge. Tell Him you are ready to make that step.