Jochebed — A Mom with a Mission

This Sunday is Mother’s Day when the kids of the world draw one-of-a-kind pictures, design cards, plant flowers and make (somewhat edible) breakfasts for Mom.

The job of being a mom can be difficult – sometimes a lot more difficult than other times. Jochebed is one of those moms who found herself in unimaginable circumstances and yet, even when the world around her was falling apart, she made right choices.

Share the Bible biography of Jochebed with your kids (or use it for a Large Group lesson in club next year). Remind kids to follow Jochebed’s example and put their trust in God. (Exodus 1, 2:1-10, Hebrews 11)

  1. Jochebed’s fame is a result of her mothering abilities – her children were Miriam, Moses and Aaron. Their father was Amram.
  2. Amram (meaning exalted people) and Jochebed (YAHWEH is glory) were both from the priestly tribe of Levi. They desired to follow God.
  3. Moses was born while the Israelites were living in Egypt. At one time, (when Joseph held a high position in the land), the Israelites were treated kindly, but Joseph had long been forgotten and the new Pharoah was not happy about the large number of Israelites. They were rapidly growing in number as more and more babies were born.
  4. Pharoah came up with Plan A – The Israelites would be slaves. He put cruel Egyptian slave masters in charge of them and gave them hard jobs such as building entire cities such as Pithom and Rameses. Others worked unreasonably long hours in the fields or spent their days forming bricks in the hot sun. Still the Israelites prospered.
  5. Pharoah now came up with Plan B – All newborn (Hebrew) baby boys would be destroyed – drowned in the Nile River. Girls, however, could live.
  6. Amram and Jochobed’s son was born in the middle of this chaos. For three months they hid him from the authorities.
  7. As Moses grew, he became more active (and noisy) and his parents knew they needed to do something. Jochebed built a papyrus basket and covered it with tar and pitch so the basket was waterproof. They she put the basket in the reeds in the Nile. (Jochebed had trust in God that this was the right thing to do to protect her son. Can you imagine how much trust that took?)
  8. Miriam was the older sister. Her parents had taught her responsibility. The Bible doesn’t tell us that her parents asked her to watch the basket (although they might have), the Bible says only that she did so. She cared about her little brother.
  9. When Pharoah’s daughter found the basket with the baby, Miriam did some quick thinking. She asked Pharoah’s daughter, Shall I go and get a nursing woman for you from the Hebrews, so that she may nurse the child for you?” Wow! How smart was that? I think her parents taught her well. And we know that Pharoah’s daughter said “yes,” and Jochebed was able to care for her son in peace for a few more years.
  10. But as Moses grew, Jochebed had to give him up again as she gave him back to Pharoah’s daughter! Pharoah’s daughter named the child Moses: “I drew him out of the water.”
  11. A combination of the strong faith foundation Moses received from his parents as a young boy and the education he received in the Pharoah’s household prepared him well for leading the Israelites out of Egypt. Although it was difficult for Jochebed to give Moses up not just once (by putting him in the Nile), but twice (as she gave him back to Pharoah’s daughter) she did what was right and God used Moses.
  12. Hundreds of years later, Amram and Jochebed were listed in the faith chapter of Hebrews 11:By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. 

We could, of course, say a lot more about Moses – but this gives us a brief picture into the life of his parents. Share the biography of Jochebed with your children (or your clubbers). Talk about your own trust in God and the comfort you find in knowing He is sovereign.