THE FAITH OF JOCHEBED

WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL

MARCH 17, 2024

TOPIC: THE FAITH OF JOCHEBED

BY T. O. BANSO

“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” (Hebrews 11:23 New International Version).

The name Jochebed is not a familiar name to many Christians. It is mentioned only two times in the Bible. The first is in Exodus 6:20: “Now Amram took for himself Jochebed, his father’s sister, as wife; and she bore him Aaron and Moses. And the years of the life of Amram were one hundred and thirty-seven” (New King James Version). In other words, Jocheded’s husband was Amram and Jochebed was the mother of Aaron and Moses.

The second mention of Jochebed in Numbers 26:59 provides more information about her: “The name of Amram’s wife was Jochebed the daughter of Levi, who was born to Levi in Egypt; and to Amram she bore Aaron and Moses and their sister Miriam” (New King James Version). Levi was the father of Jochebed and in addition to Aaron and Moses, Jochebed gave birth to Miriam. So Jochebed was the mother of Aaron, Moses, and Miriam. Jochebed means “YHWH is glory”, “Jehovah is glory”, “Jehovah is her glory”, or “God is glory.”

Jochebed was a woman of faith. Her name is not mentioned in the New Testament, but her faith is. Hebrews 11:23 says, “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” (New International Version). In this scripture, the names of Moses’ parents are not mentioned but credit is given to them for their faith which preserved Moses’ life after he was born. Moses’ parents referred to in this verse were Amram and Jochebed.

Amram and Jochebed 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. Because Moses’ name is mentioned in Hebrews 11:23 and not his parents’ name, one should not miss the reference to the faith of his parents. The event that this scripture refers to is recorded in Exodus 2, which does not mention the name of Moses’ parents either.

Exodus 2:1-4 says,Now a man of the tribe of Levi married a Levite woman, 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. 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. His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him” (New International Version).

From this scripture, you will see that Jochebed tried her best to preserve the life of her child, as a baby, when Pharaoh commanded his people to cast into the river every son born by the Hebrews, and every daughter should be saved alive (Exodus 1:22). Jochebed saw that her child was beautiful and hid him for three months until she could no longer hide him. Jochebed was a woman of faith. How she was able to hide her baby for three months considering that babies cry a lot is surprising.

Although Exodus 2:1-4 does not mention the role of Jochebed’s husband in the hiding of Moses, he and his wife must have taken this decision together because Hebrews 11:23 says, “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” (New International Version).

By keeping her child for three months, Jochebed took a risk. Her action amounted to going against the king’s command. If the king had found out, the baby would have been collected from her and thrown into the river. She also could have been killed. The entire family was also at risk. Jochebed’s action was a demonstration of her faith in God.

Jochebed didn’t want her child dead because she saw that he was a fine child, a special baby, a beautiful child, or a wonderful baby. But beyond the physical beauty, Moses was a child of destiny; he had a divine assignment to deliver his people from oppression in Egypt, which Jochebed was probably unaware of.

Jochebed was a woman of faith. When she could no longer hide Moses from those who would have thrown her into the river, she believed God for someone to adopt her rather than give her up to be thrown into the river and came up with an idea. Jochebed got a basket made of papyrus reeds and waterproofed it with tar and pitch. She put the baby in the basket and laid it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile River. Rather than allow someone to throw her child into the Nile, she decided to bring him in a basket and lay it among the reeds. She didn’t throw her baby away but handed him over to God. The basket might have been among the reeds where it could not be washed away.

Jochebed, by faith, did what she could do and left the rest to God. She had faith that someone would see her child in the basket, show him compassion, and adopt him, not throw him into the Nile. That was why the child’s sister, probably as planned by Jochebed and her husband, stood at a distance, watching to see what would happen to the child.

Faith is a partnership between man and God. After Jochebed had done what she could do, God intervened. One of the daughters of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river, saw the basket among the reeds, sent her slave girl to get it, opened it, and saw the baby. The child was crying, and it touched her heart. She said the baby was one of the Hebrew babies. The child’s sister who was watching from a distance must have moved near at this time. She asked Pharaoh’s daughter if she could go and call a nurse for her from the Hebrew women to nurse the child for her. Who told her Pharaoh’s daughter wanted the baby? That was what Jochebed and her husband believed in God for when Jochebed put the child in a basket among the reeds in the Nile River. That was also why Moses’s sister was waiting at a distance where the basket was put.

Jochebed believed in God for a miracle to save the child’s life through adoption and must have told the child’s sister about this. Moses’ sister must have seen the compassion and love of Pharaoh’s daughter for the child. But why didn’t Pharaoh’s daughter suspect she was the child’s sister or relation? The answer is God! God was at work.

Pharaoh commanded that the newly born Hebrew boys must be thrown into the river, but here at the bank of the river, one of his daughters was trying to save one of such Hebrew boys because somebody’s faith was at work!

Pharaoh’s daughter agreed that a Hebrew woman be called to nurse the child. Exodus 2:9-10 says, 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” (New International Version).

Eventually, the child’s mother was called, and Pharaoh’s daughter told her to take the child away and nurse him for her, promising to pay her wages. Moses’ mother was paid for nursing her baby! Joy was restored to a woman who had faith in God. God used Pharaoh’s daughter to save the life of one of the Hebrews that her father wanted dead! God works in mysterious ways! Pharaoh’s daughter named the child Moses, which sounded like the Hebrew word meaning “to pull out” or “to draw out.” Although Jochebed took her child to his adopted mother when he was old, she knew that Moses would later know his true identity, as he eventually did.

The New Living Translation renders Hebrews 11:23 thus: “It was by faith that Moses’ parents hid him for three months when he was born. They saw that God had given them an unusual child, and they were not afraid to disobey the king’s command. Note the phrase “and they were not afraid to disobey the king’s command.” Jochebed and her husband were not afraid to disobey the king’s command. Have faith in God; don’t be afraid of anyone.

Peter and the other apostles replied to the Sanhedrin: “We must obey God rather than human beings!” (Acts 5:29 New International Version). Faith is acting on the Word of God. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1 New King James Version). If obeying God leads to disobeying man, that’s in order. Jochebed and her husband disobeyed the king’s command and hid their child. They did what they could do and trusted God to do the rest. God honoured their faith. He rewarded them by making the daughter of the person who wanted to kill the child adopt him and pay his mother to nurse him.

Emulate the faith of Jechobed. Act on the Word of God. Obey God and don’t fear what human beings can do. Do what you can do and leave the rest to God. Do the possible and God will do the impossible! He knows what He will do. God will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5b). He is a very present help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1b). Live by faith – the just shall live by faith (Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38).

TAKE ACTION!

If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner, and you cannot save yourself, and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.

Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner, and I cannot save myself.  I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.

I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.

PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, help me to live by faith and not by fear or doubt. I shall not disobey God because of the fear of men.

(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).

T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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