We Are The Products Of Our Mothers
I want to honor our mothers today. I thank God that two very special women in my life are both great mothers: my mother, and my wife, two of the greatest mothers that have ever walked the face of this earth. I've been blessed in the area of motherhood with the mother of my children and with my own mother.
There are a lot of great mothers in the Bible; they were just like mothers here today. They were ordinary women that wanted to rear their children to love God and to know God. The Bible tells us about Hannah, the mother of Samuel, how she prayed and fasted that God would give her a son. If God would give her a son, she would give that son back to God. And that's what she did. Samuel became one of the great, great men because of his mother.
Great men have always recognized the importance of mothers. Abraham Lincoln said, "All that I am, all that I ever hope to be, I owe to my mother." Emerson said, "Man is the product of his mother." Mothers are special gifts from God to us. I heard about a young man who had tried to get a date with a young lady over and over again to no avail. Finally she said, "We'll see each other, but you have to come to my home and have a meal with our family before my father will let me go out on a date with you." So he thought, "She's worth it; she's so beautiful; she's so lovely. I'll be glad to do that."
So he thought he would get her a gift. So he went to the drug store and looked and looked and looked and chose a small box of chocolates; he thought that would make a good gift. But then he decided he'd get a second gift, and he got a large box of chocolates. Went to the cash register, and the druggist, the man who owned the store, checked him out. And he said, "You're buying two gifts today." He said, "Yes, it's really for the same girl. I've got a special date with her tonight at her home. If she holds my hand, I'm going to give her this small box of chocolates. But if she gives me a kiss while her parents aren't looking, I'm going to give her this big box of chocolates." The night came. He was welcomed into the home. They sat down at dinner, and the dad called on him to lead in prayer. He prayed, and he prayed, and he prayed the greatest prayer you've ever heard. He quoted scripture. What a magnificent prayer it was. After dinner, when he and his date were alone just for a few minutes, she said, "I didn't know you were such a spiritual boy; I didn't know you could pray like that." He said, "Yeah, and I didn't know that your dad owned the drug store either."
In this passage we read about the mother of Moses. Her name was Jochebed. She was a Hebrew living in the land of Egypt as a slave. "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 Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh's daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God, rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as a greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward." (Hebrews 11:23-26)
Jochebed, was a great mother. There are several things that I noticed about her in Exodus 2. You'll see first THE DISTRACTION THAT SHE FACED. When Moses was going to be born, there were at least two million Jews living in the land of Egypt. That was a threat to the King of Egypt. He made them slaves. But he got to thinking, "The Israelites are multiplying faster than the Egyptians. Pretty soon these people are going to be greater in number than we are, and they may ally themselves with one of our enemies."
So the King of Egypt, in order to slow down the population of the growth of the slaves in Egypt, gave a command that every newborn male child must be sacrificed to the God of the Nile River.
Can you imagine the sorrow of that time? When every Hebrew mother was forced to bring her newborn male child and throw it into the crocodile infested Nile River? Jochebed had a daughter who was fifteen; her name was Miriam. She had a son who was three; his name was Aaron. Now she was going to have another child. She wondered, "Oh, dear God, will it be a boy? If it's a boy, what will I do? I will have to throw this boy into the Nile River." So what should have been a time of anticipation and excitement of a baby being born into the home was a time of fear and distraction and anxiety.
The time came for the baby to be born, and a midwife came to help with the delivery of the child. When the child was born, perhaps being washed by the midwife, Jochebed got up the courage to ask the question, "Is it a boy, or is it a girl?" The midwife said, "It's a boy, you will have to place it in the Nile River." The potential for distraction was enormous for this lady.
I remember saying to the Lord about 18 months ago, saying "I'm anxious about rearing a child in the world that we have today. I want my child to be protected; I want my child to be sheltered; I want my child to grow up knowing God and to love the things of God. Yet my child is going to be exposed to so much evil and to all kinds of negative influences." This was the distraction Jochebed faced.
But you'll notice secondly THE DETERMINATION SHE DISPLAYED. Jochebed would not bow to the pressures of the world; she would not let her faith be overcome by the edict of a king. The verse we read said that she did not fear the command of the king. She knew that her child was a special child. It said that when they looked on this child, he was very beautiful, and they knew in their heart that he was very special and that God had a plan for his life.
She was determined that she would not bow to the edict of the king who said this baby must die. She knew the law of the land was that he had to be placed in the Nile. But she said, "If he's placed in the Nile, he's going to be placed inside of an ark, a little basket, a little boat." So the Bible tells how she made this ark. She pitched it from within and without with pitch and material that would make it unsinkable. She put a top on it. She took that child down to the Nile River. She knew there was a place that was special, because the king's daughter bathed there. She placed that child in the Nile River inside that ark, because she was determined that although her child had to be in the world, he wasn't going to be of the world. So she placed him in an ark of safety. Inside that ark, that little child could not be touched by the crocodiles; that little child could not be destroyed by the king's men; that little child was made safe.
That ark is a picture of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible says that when we come to Jesus Christ and receive Him and His forgiveness, that we are placed IN Christ. Positionally we are in an ark of safety. We're in the world, but we're not of the world. She was determined, by faith, that her child had a special place in the plan of God, and her child was going to be protected. I know as parents we want to protect our children from all the evil influences that are around them. It matters not how hard you try, they're going to see evil; they're going to hear evil; they're going to be around evil. This world is going to have its shot at them. The only hope we have as parents is to place our child in Jesus Christ and to teach him to love God.
Did you know that psychiatrists and pediatricians tell us that what you teach a child in his first six years of existence will stay with him the rest of his life? I know that's true in my life. I thank God for a Christian home; I thank God for a Christian mother; I thank God for stories I learned when I was in my first years, stories about the Bible.
The story continues. The Pharaoh's daughter was bathing in the Nile River; Miriam, Moses' sister, was watching from the bulrushes on the shore. Here came the ark floating down the river. When the princess saw it, she opened it to see what was inside. The Word of God says as soon as she opened that little basket, the baby cried (Exodus 2:6). God is in such control of our lives that He even caused that baby to cry at the precise moment she opened and looked down into his beautiful face, to capture the heart of the Egyptian princess.
The Egyptian princess said, "I can't let this baby fall prey to my father's edict; this is too beautiful a baby, too beautiful a child. I'm going to raise this child as my very own son." About that time Miriam came running out of the bushes and said, "Would you like me to find a Hebrew mother to nurse this little Hebrew baby?" "I sure would." Miriam ran and got Moses' own mother and brought her to the princess. The princess said, "Take this child and raise it for me, and I will pay you wages." That's what God says to every mother, isn't it? Take this child and raise it for me, and I will pay you wages.
Here's THE DEDICATION THAT MOTHERS INSTILL. That's the third thing, the dedication she instilled in Moses affected the choice that he would later make. She took this child. Did you ever think about this? She was the one who nursed the child; she was the one to form his thoughts in the early years; she was the one who taught Moses two things quickly. Number one, she taught Moses who he was. Later on when he refused the throne of Egypt, the Bible says that he chose to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.
Moses' mother taught him that he was a creation of God. Moses' mother taught him that God made this world, that God was in control of this world. Moses had a self-confidence and a self-esteem that caused him, at the age of forty, to be a man who had accomplished so much greatness that he was second to the throne of Egypt. He was in line as an heir to the throne. Secondly, she taught him who God was, that God was the center of the universe, that God was important in his life.
The day came when there was a knock on the door. It was time. The child had been nursed; the child had been taught; it was time for him to go live in the palace of Egypt with his mother. You can identify with that when your child leaves home. What an anxious time it is. You just pray that you've done all that you could to instill in that child the dedication to God that that child will need to be successful in this world. The royal chariot carried Moses away. Moses entered a whole new world. Moses entered life on the fast track. Moses was enrolled in the finest university of his day. When the old professor stood up there and said, "Young Egyptians, you are here because you were once a little worm, and you crawled out of the Nile River, and out of that little worm you became a human being and stood on your feet."
Moses heard a voice whisper in his ear, the voice of his mother: "Moses, you were made by God, the Creator. God is with you. What that man is saying is a lie; don't believe him, Moses." Moses heard a voice in his ear, the voice of Jochebed: "Moses, remember who you are; remember whose you are; remember the God who made you, and remember the mother who raised you, and remember what I've taught you." That was the dedication that she instilled.
Last of all, there's THE DECISION SHE INFLUENCED. "By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasure of sin for a season." Why did Moses make the right decision? Because he had received the right guidance. In spite of the fact that he had been exposed to all that Egypt had to offer, Moses said no to the throne. I can imagine Moses called a press conference. When politicians call a press conference, the press loves it. They all come and answer the tough questions. Moses started off with this statement. "Ladies and gentlemen of the press, as you know, I am to be the heir to the throne of Egypt. But I have made a decision that I will not retract. I am not available to be the heir to the throne of Egypt. I am going to rejoin my people, the Hebrew people, who are slaves in this land. Because I am a Hebrew, and I so begot of the Hebrews." They began to jump up over here and over here, "Moses, Moses, Moses, how long have you known this? Moses, how could you turn down such an opportunity?" He had a kingdom delivered to him on a silver platter, and he said, "No, it's not right; I'm to serve God." The news the next day, the headlines in the Egyptian Globe-News was this: Moses Refuses Throne, Chooses Slavery.
Moses went out and, as you know, became the deliverer of the people of God. He became one of the most loved prophets of the Bible. He received the Ten Commandments from the hand of God.. He became one of God's greatest servants. It tells us that when a mother makes a determination, "This child is going to be raised for God," that she's doing a more important work than any king could ever do.