Forward in Faith #25
Moses’ Parents: A Protecting Faith
Amram and Jocheded
Now if I entitled my message, “Amram and Jochebed” … most of you would probably have said “WHO?”
We don’t really know them by name. They didn’t make a big splash in the Biblical Pool … but they are included in the Hall of Fame of Faith
Most of us as parents are passed our opportunity to “shine” or “shake the world” but we hope that our children do, or our grandchildren and we want to give them a chance.
So really today’s message is about parenting by Faith …
So let me catch you up on our storyline.
We have seen Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham and Sarah, their son, Isaac, his son, Jacob, and one of his sons, Joseph. When Joseph died, he made them promise to take his bones with them when they left Egypt to return to the land of Promise, Canaan. That is where the Genesis record ends. As the next book, Exodus, begins we learn that over the years, God blessed the children of Israel.
Exodus 1:7 reads the Israelites were fruitful and multiplied greatly and became exceedingly numerous, so that the land was filled with them.
Then verse 8
Then a new king, who did not know about Joseph, came to power in Egypt. 9 Look … they Israelites have become much too numerous for us. Come we must deal shrewdly with them or they will become even more numerous and, if war breaks out, will join our enemies, fight against us and leave the country.”
As the account continues this new Pharaoh put slave masters over them. They forced them to build the cities of Pithom and Rameses.
But the more they oppressed them the more God blessed them and caused them to multiply.
They increased their labor in building and in the fields. Still they increased
So the Pharaoh gave instructions to the two midwives who helped deliver the babies to kill any boys who were born.
Exodus 1:17 says the midwives, … feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live
They were asked why they didn’t do it and they said that the Hebrew women were strong and were delivering before they got there.
Midwives in that day were often women without the ability to have families of their own.
It says that God blessed the Israelites because of the midwives and he blessed them too
Exodus 1:21 says Because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own
And so as a last act of desperation, Pharaoh gave the order that every boy that is born must be thrown into the Nile.
So that brings us to chapter 2 of the book of Exodus
The Israelites were living in a time that was hostile to the people of God
The Israelites were living in a time that was hostile to helpless children
The Israelites were living in a time where the reality of Jehovah God was not embraced by the public and society.
Can you imagine being people in that time?
Can you imagine being parents that that time?
Oh come one people
We LIVE in that time, today, in many ways do we not?
Read with me
And our text in Hebrews
Parents, Grandparents, those who care for the development of others, what can we take away from the story of these Israelite Saints?
How did they show faith?
The writer of Hebrews gave us an outline …
Three things we can do to model them …
What do we do with our children?
What is a faithful act?
1. Placing them in God’s Hand
- What do you believe about your children?
Exodus says “they saw he was a fine child”
The word is asteios – handsome, well bred
People we have to understand first that our children are fine, beautiful, wonderful. They are made in the image of God, they are made BY God, and they are GIVEN by God
I don’t care the circumstance by which they came.
Whether they were planned, or forced, or unexpected, or inconvenient, the result of much prayer, or of great regret, they are BEAUTIFUL and they are FROM God
Acts 7:20 says Moses was no ordinary child
In Exodus they looked at their son and saw he was a “fine child” the Hebrew word is
Towb – good, generous, festive, pleasing
Oh can I remind us
- we need to celebrate our children
We need to know that they are from God and bring us joy and pleasure
They Did all the could do …
They hid him for 3 months ..
But when they couldn’t hide him any longer …
We have to do all we can do, but there comes a time when that’s all we can do
There is only so much that WE can do to protect our children …
When Amram and Jochebed did all they could do, they put him in God’s hand.
Three months of hiding.
Three months of praying
Three months of wondering what to do
Where do you hide a growing baby boy?
Well they were throwing the other baby boys in the Nile … so we better keep him away from the Nile right? What was their plan? Hide him in an Ark made of reeds and PUT HIM IN THE ARK
In those months and following the Lord’s leading, I am sure they had scoped it out and perhaps they knew that Pharaoh’s daughter had a soft place for children
Perhaps she was barren and they knew she longed for a child
So where did they place him?
IN THE NILE
Close to Pharaoh’s daughter’s swimming hole!
- Hidden in the “ark” (basket)
They weren’t trusting the ark
They weren’t trusting the Princess
Psa 32:7 You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance . Selah
Psa 143:9 Rescue me from my enemies, O Lord, for I hide myself in you
Psa 27:1-5 The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid? 2 When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. 3 Though an army besiege me my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident. 4One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gave upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock
Oh is anyone with me today
Why are we afraid?
They were trusting God
They placed Moses in God’s hand
There is no safer place to hide our children than in God’s Hand. When they placed him in the waters of the Nile River in that little basket, he was out of their hands and in God’s hands
We have to do our part but ultimately they are in God’s hands
Folks it is a tough world we live in
It is a world that wants to destroy our children
We live in a world that wants to value embryonic stem cells more than the baby they destroy to get them
This is a world wants to steal the children we have indoctrinate them with a false religion, false gods, false worship
- So what are we going to do?
There are many discussions, debates, wars over what Christian parents ought to do with their children
Some say public school, some say private Christian Schools with a classical education, still others say Home School your children it is the only way.
Listen to me very closely … you must do all you can do
Before God you need to make the choice that you believe is right before God
But folks you can’t place your trust in the schools, public or private, you can’t place your trust even in your ability to protect your children in your own home
You have to place them in God’s hands!
And if you place them in God’s hands you can put them right in the Nile, you can lead them through the valley of the shadow of death why because David taught us that “even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil for you are with me”
Ultimately at some point you are going to realize you have done all you can do and you are going to have to put them in God’s hands
That is faith. Whether it is faith that God can protect them in a public school, whether it is by faith that the private school you send them to will train them correctly, or whether it is by faith that you are called and equipped by God to teach them yourself, you have to place them in God’s Hands because our hands aren’t big enough or strong enough and our enemy is too much for us on our own
Amram and Jochebed placed them in God’s Hands
And then the second principle we see in these Faithful parents was that they
2. Weaned Him On Faith
- What a beautiful plan this was.
Moses’ sister, Miriam, stayed close by and watched what happened
When she saw that the princess was taken with him and had compassion on him
She appeared and said “would you like me to get someone to nurse him for you?”
The Pharaoh’s daughter said “yes” Miriam God Jochebed, Moses’ mother and then the princess paid her to nurse and care for her own baby!
Ain’t God a Good God?
So, a contract was entered and Jochebed was given Moses to care for, in her home, in her way, for probably as much as 4 years.
And so, Moses, was weaned not only physically but spiritually by his Mother and Father
He was weaned on faith
You can’t GIVE them faith like you give them your hair color or eye color.
But you can show them, teach it to them, explain it to them, and encourage them toward faith
It is NEVER too EARLY
- Start with Milk – in regards to prayer, faith, God, his power and ability, Creator
If you think it is too early to train your children, then you are not paying attention. Does Madison Avenue think our children can’t be trained?
What is in a happy meal? The toys that coincide with the latest children’s movie, why, because they know they can indoctrinate our children.
Speak the name of Jesus to your children
Teach them songs.
The greatest thing we can teach our children from the earliest age is “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so, little ones to him belong, they are weak, but he is strong”
Oh the precious truth that we are placing in their hearts when we teach them that song
Jesus Loves us
The Bible is our teacher
We belong to him
He is our strength in weakness
Make sure that in your storytelling, you tell them the True stories of the scripture and make sure they know the difference.
I used to tell the boys Bible stories at night and put them IN the stories as if they were there watching it and they loved it
Wean them on faith
Teach them to pray about the things that are important to them
When AJ was 3 and 4 years old we memorized a verse of scripture for every letter of the alphabet
- Move to Cereal – or more substantial things of faith like, trust, obedience, and responsibility
- Get to the Meat – salvation, discipleship, doctrine,
Moses’ Mother and Father placed in him the foundation of faith in his early years that prepared him for the time when he would meet God face to face himself
Let me say this too, while we have to be wise about what our children are old enough to receive or understand, but let me say, do not be afraid to allow your children in on the process of exercising faith. If you are facing things as a family don’t always hide it from them, let them know what is going on so they can learn
You see, after 4 years of weaning that child, Jochebed and Amram had to take another step of faith, they had to release Moses back into the hands of the Pharaoh who had been their greatest earthly threat.
They had to allow their son to be raised in the home of their oppressor
I’m sure there were tears on that day of release, it was like the 1st day of Kindergarten only X 1000
But I’m sure that precious mother and father wiped the tears away and told little Moses, “you are in God’s hand, and we can trust him and he will protect you”
Fathers I am certain that on that day Amram blessed Moses and then they placed him in God’s hand as he went into Pharaoh’s house.
How were they able to do that?
Weren’t they afraid of what might happen to Moses in the Pharaoh’s house? Perhaps yes, but, they understood the most important principle for Godly parenting and Godly living …
3. Faith Fears God not Man
I heard a preacher this week talking about the correlation between level of Faith and Fear
I know that scripture says that “perfect love drives fear” … 1 John 4:18
But there is also a connection between faith and fear. It is kinda like a glass of water. For every bit of faith that departs it is replaced with fear … It is like a glass that is not full, what is not full of water is full of air
- So we must build our faith to decrease our fear
Job 4:6 – is not your fear of God your confidence, and the integrity of your ways your hope?
Psa 111:10 the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding
Pro 1:7 the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline
Pro 9:10 the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding
If we don’t fear the Lord, we don’t begin to have the wisdom we need to parent
If we don’t KNOW the Lord we can’t begin to understand
If we don’t know the Lord we don’t know that we were made in his image.
We don’t know that He is the one to whom we are accountable
We don’t realize that he made our children with the natural bents that they have and so He is our help and counselor to help us as we raise our children
If we don’t fear the Lord then our wisdom is stunted because HE is TRUTH
Jesus said I AM the Way, the TRUTH … if we don’t know the TRUTH … how can we have wisdom?
When we FEAR something besides the Lord, even a little, it takes away from our FAITH
Faith is the shield against the attacks of the evil one
Faith is the Victory
1 John 5:4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, EVEN OUR FAITH
You say, “but Pastor, I have to be honest, I AM afraid of man or people or things, I’m just being honest”
So do I have to empty myself of all my fear? Is that the way to do it?
<1/2 GLASS OF WATER>
Well, if I have a half empty glass of water, how do I get out the air? Do I empty my glass of the air?
No, I FILL IT with Water!!!
<FILL THE GLASS>
- So don’t turn your heart toward fear of things … turn your heart toward faith in and fear of God
Let me go back to 1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love. But Perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love
How can we love more deeply? V19 says “we love because he first loved us”
When we realize we are loved by our Creator, God, and King, we can love him in return, from the seat of love and love builds faith, increases our fear of God, and drives out fear of other things.
Let’s fill our cup with love for God, Holy fear of God, Faith in God and the “air” of fear will be driven out
You can call it doubt but it is fear
You can call it caution but it may be fear
You can call it regret but it is fear
They did not fear man but feared God and that drove out the fear of man
Fear of God is FAITH to the Fullest
Fear of God is the beginning of Wisdom
God has not given us a Spirit of Fear but of love and a sound mind
Parenting by faith NEEDS to Fear God more than anything
More than Man even means more than our kids
Sometimes we are afraid to disappoint our kids or hurt their feelings so we give in to their childish understandings instead of doing our God given job to Parent them in the fear of the Lord
If your child wants to play in the middle of a busy street and you say “no” for obvious reasons. But what if the child says “if you don’t let me play in the street then I hate you” … so do you let them go ahead and play in the street?
No because you fear hurting them MORE than hurting their feelings
The choices we make in parenting must be based MORE on the fear of God than the fear of people
- What could Pharaoh take from them?
He could take their son, but he was going to do that anyway
He could take their lives but they weren’t afraid for their lives
They would rather die and stand before God with a clean conscience than exist in fear of a godless King
Jonathan Edwards was a great preacher used by God in the mid 1700s to bring the First Great Awakening in America. Beyond the spiritual result, it helped unify the colonists and prepare for the Revolution. He was a great preacher and was president of Princeton University, back when it’s primary purpose was training preachers.
He and his wife Sarah, Feared the Lord, Weaned their children on faith and placed them in God’s hands and by 1900, their offspring included a law school dean, 1 VP of the U.S.A., 1 Comptroller of the U.S. Treasury; 3 U.S. Senators, 3 Governors, 3 City Mayors, 13 College Presidents, 30 judges, 65 professors, 80 public office holders, 100 lawyers, and nearly 100 missionaries.
Well I can’t promise you that your children / grandchildren will lead an exodus or be College presidents or even Missionaries, but I will tell you that they may never be if we don’t place them in his hands. Teaching them the ways of faithfulness by word and deed, Don’t fear the Nile, Don’t Fear Man …
Fear God, Fear God, Fear God