This is Mothers’ Day! It goes without saying that we wouldn’t be here today had it not been for mothers. Having said that, special days like Mother’s and Father’s Day present challenges to preachers. This is because we each bring different experiences to these special days:
-For some of us our mother is and if she is no longer living was a clear gift sent from God! We could not imagine a world without her.
-For some, however, motherhood came unexpectedly and was perhaps even an unwelcomed and difficult experience
-For some, no being able to be a biological mother has been the cause of pain and suffering
-For some, mothers weren’t all that nice to say the least
Being a mother is a wonderful privilege but it is certainly not a bed of roses! So, with all these realities, why bother with Mothers’ Day celebrations at all? I’ll tell you why, for all its stumbling blocks, pitfalls and brokenness that motherhood shares with the fallen creation, motherhood is a beautiful and natural part of God’s creative plan that brings forth the gifts of selfless love and care for the other. That is why we celebrate it.
This morning let us look at a story of a mother’s love in (Exodus 2:1-10). In this story, we learn about Moses’ mother. In Exodus two she remains nameless until Exodus 6:20 when her name is mentioned as Jochebed. Which means “Yahweh is Glory”! As I read the story, I concluded that she is one of the greatest mothers in the Scriptures. Her dedication, selfless love and sacrifice made possible the liberation of God’s people from the Egyptian Slavery. This act of deliverance changed the course of history and from that time on God has been known as deliver and provider. It would do us well this morning to look at the life of this great mother. As we do this, we will note certain characteristics that stand out as inspiration to all mothers but more broadly, the passage speaks to every person here, whether you are a mother or not.
I. Who She was:
Moses’ mother came from the Levite tribe. She, and her husband Amram, seemingly were dedicated and religious people, (preacher’s kids if you will). We see this dedication in the steps and risks she took in order to preserve the precious life of her son Moses. Just by reading the story, I got the sense that she was a woman who was dedicated to God. I believe that a mother or any person for that mater who is dedicated to God seeks to please God and if you are a mother that dedication will be evident in the way you mother your children. May I issue a challenge to us this morning as people of God! May our prayer and commitment be that each and every child here at CCF has a mother who is dedicated to the Lord! Nothing would make a lasting difference in our children’s lives than having good, godly examples in the home. That applies to us fathers as well. And let me also add to us men that there is nothing in your children’s experiences that will leave a lasting impression in their lives than the way you treat their mother. Some of these ways may include, speaking gently to her, praising her, giving some foot rubs, holding and cuddling, helping with housework and even sometimes helping with some meals etc.
Moses’ mother was a woman of many virtues:
The Decree went out from Pharaoh – Ex. 1:15-22. Moses’ parents had the courage that perhaps came from their dedication to the Lord and because of this courage, instead of following Pharaoh’s decree right a way she hid her baby. I think it would take a gut wrenching decision to not comply with the Pharaohs’ edict. We learn that when she could not hide the baby any longer as signs of a cuing happy and healthy baby who did not know the danger his life and that of his parents were in because he was shielded by a loving, caring and dedicated mother began to disclose his location and his mother had to devise another plan to save the life of his handsome and lovely baby.
I believe that God gives courage to parents who aren’t afraid to take a stand for that which is right in dark, sinful days! Men and women who demand more for their children than the world can give them. Parents who are willing to say, “Enough is enough, my child is going to learn the ways of the Lord regardless of whether they can pray in school or not.” People who will declare the same thing Joshua declared for His family, “As for me and my house we will serve the Lord (Joshua 24:15). We need some courageous mothers in these dark times to take steps to nurture their babies in this dangerous environment where all kinds of dangers come to them in our homes, neighborhoods and streets.
It is a blessing when our children live for God. But it is the parents who ought to set the example of courage and godliness for them. We should not blame the world for how our children are being shaped rather we should help shape them by our examples, teachings and dedication to them so that they don’t think that others love and care about them more than we do and hence refuse to allow those others to shape them. When this happens, we will not sit back and complain that the world is shaping our children because we are their first example. Moses had no idea what kind of danger he was in because his mother shielded him from it.
The mother of Moses was a woman motivated by a strong faith in the will of a Sovereign God! Her faith was so strong that she was named, along with her husband, to God’s Hall of the Faithful in (Hebrews 11:23-28). She needed this kind of faith to accomplish what she did for the Lord and for her son and her son likewise exercised the same faith as he accomplished God’s purpose and calling. It probably took great faith for this mother to raise her child under the circumstance. However, she was given the opportunity to teach her son about their God and about right living. She was given the opportunity to shape her child’s life. It is perhaps no accident that when God was fed up with the people of Israel and decided to destroy them in the wilderness, it was Moses who pleaded with the Lord offering himself to be killed instead of the people (Ex. 32:14). I could not help but wonder whether this was the same selflessness that he learned from his mother!
Mothers, and fathers I implore us today to taking this precious opportunity to live our lives before our children in a way that will impact them in the future. We cannot guarantee how they will turn out and perhaps so was Moses’ parents but we need to seek to live right; all we can do is our best. Let our priority be God, marriage, and then our children. Please let us not put our careers before our children because we only have them for a little while but what we give them during this time with them will guide them in the life a head. If you give your children over to God and live a Godly life before them then you have done your best. They then have a foundation from which they may not depart (Proverbs 26:6)
She had the wisdom to know when and how to comply with the Pharaoh’s command. She sort of complied but did so in a way that ensured all-important provision necessary for her baby’s survival. She made an ark, the same word used for Noah’s ship (Gen 7). This ark was not meant to hurt the baby but to be a means of salvation. The mother also ensured that a close watch was kept from a distance. Perhaps feeding provisions were also made even though such a plan is not recorded but it is hard to assume that such a wise mother would go to so much trouble only to not provide for the baby. We need wise and discerning parents in these troubled times to make the right judgment call and to ensure that our children as safe and biblically rooted.
She needed faith, courage and wisdom to:
Not to conform to the prevailing World reality – The world was out to get her son’s life but this mother stood strong in the face of this vicious blood thirst and placed her son above the will of the world! Today the world is in constant demand. We live in a world that likewise demand the allegiance and offers all kinds of goodies to win them over. The world demands our children’s attention and it is time that we Christian parents stood up and assumed our role instead of letting our children to be raised by the T.V and video games, the DS and many others that I don’t even know. Our children need and deserve better than that! We need parents who will teach their children the ways of God and steer them clear of the world and its devises. (Prov. 6:22; Deut. 6:4-9) It takes faith, courage and wisdom to go against the grain and raise your children in Godliness, but the good news is that God will bless you, and them, for it and perhaps your story will be similar to Moses’ mothers story read by subsequent generations for instructions in Godliness.
SHE WAS HONRED:
Her son became a great man of God. He was the one man whom God had chosen to be the deliverer of the people of God and the one who was later known as the Lawgiver Of Israel and to whom all the three faiths, Christianity, Islam and Judaism point to in terms of God’s law. It is probably true that Moses’ mother never imagined such an influence for her son when he was a baby. I suppose that she lived the remainder of her life and never knew what God did with the life of Moses. This mother’s love and sacrifice were vindicated in the way God greatly used her son!
Parents, you never know who you are raising! Therefore, give your children the best you have while you have them. Often parents think they have been successful when their child graduates from college, or when they make lots of money in some prestigious position. However, true success cannot be gauged on such a worldly scale. When we see our children living for and in love with the Lord, then we have truly been successful. It is perhaps more meaningful to raise a child who would have none of this world’s goods or success, but who know Jesus than to raise a millionaire who lives as if this world is all that there is.
I believe that Moses’ mother today inspired us and showed us what a loving mother ought to be. How are we in relationship to this story as parents today? Perhaps this story and the stories on the men on our panel have stirred something in your heart, May be the Lord is speaking to you about your relationship with your mother and you need to take some steps towards that relationship, please do not ignore the voice of the Holy Spirit.
Let me finish with the words of affirmation from John Killinger:
I believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God,
who was born of the promise to a virgin named Mary.
I believe in the love Mary gave her Son,
that caused her to follow him in his ministry
and stand by his cross as he died.
I believe in the love of all mothers,
and its importance in the lives of the children they bear.
It is stronger than steel, softer than down,
and more resilient than a green sapling on the hillside.
It closes wounds, melts disappointments,
and enables the weakest child to stand tall
and straight in the fields of adversity.
I believe that this love, even at its best,
is only a shadow of the love of God,
a dark reflection of all that we can expect of him,
both in this life and the next.
And I believe that one of the most beautiful sights
in the world is a mother who lets this greater love
flow through her to her child,
blessing the world with the tenderness of her touch
and the tears of her joy.
Happy Mother Day!! Go forth and celebrate these wonderful people!!