Two Famous Old Testament Mothers & What We Can Learn From Them
Pastor David L. Brown, Ph.D.
May 14, 2006
The word mother occurs 245 times in our King James Bible, 159 times in the Old Testament and 86 times in the New Testament. My dictionary defines a mother as - A woman who conceives, gives birth to, or raises and nurtures a child.
In this message we are going to look at two
famous Old Testament Mothers and see what we can learn from them.
Genesis 3:20 says, "And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living." Eve is the English translation of the Hebrew word hwx Chavvah (khav-vaw’) which means life-giver, and by extension, mother. Eve is unique in that she was created from a man.
We read in…
Eve is unique because all people after her were physically created from women and all have Eve as their ancestor, therefore she is rightly called "the mother of all living."
Since Eve was the 1st mother, we can learn something about God’s design for all mothers.
Turn in your Bibles to Genesis 2:24-25 "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. 25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed."
It is clear from this passage that a man is to marry a woman – period. Though I should not need to say it, I will say it for the record: God designed marriage to be between a biological male and a biological female.
Next, it is also clear that marriage is to come before sexual relationships and childbearing. Genesis 4:1 "And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD." The word knew means to have an intimate sexual knowledge of. And who did Adam have that intimate sexual knowledge of? The text says "Eve his wife." Right from the very beginning, sexual relationships were exclusively designed for a husband and wife within the marriage relationship alone. All other sexual behaviors, (homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, fornication, and adultery), are SIN.
Our society is so saturated with sexual promiscuity today that one in four children are born out of wedlock.
In summary, every person who is alive today or
has ever lived is related to Eve. She is the mother of all living
Jochebed’s name means Jehovah-gloried. The name of Moses’ mother is mentioned only twice in the Bible – Numbers 26:59 and Exodus 6:20 "And Amram took him Jochebed his father's sister to wife; and she bare him Aaron and Moses: and the years of the life of Amram were an hundred and thirty and seven years." We know from the Numbers reference that there was a daughter named Miriam.
In order to appreciate Jochebed, we need to understand the difficult times that she faced. Exodus 1:22 succinctly sums up the dire situation -- "And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive."
It is hard for me to imagine the anxiety Jochebed experienced when a boy was born instead of a girl. But, as soon as she knew he was a healthy boy she was not aftaid to defied the command of the Pharaoh (Hebrews 11:23) and determined that she would do all she could to see that her son would live. Let’s read the Biblical account – Exodus 2:2-10.
What thanksgiving must have poured out her heart when Miriam comes home and tells Jocebed Pharaoh’s wants to pay her to nurse her own baby. God had blessed her efforts. Her baby’s life was spared.
So, why am I drawing your attention to Jochebed, the mother of Moses on this mother’s day? Turn with me to Acts 7:22 "And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians…." From this verse we know that Moses had a thorough Egyptian education. But have you ever wondered why Moses "refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter?" In my thinking, I attribute that to his mother. It goes without saying that there were many things he could not learn from his Egyptian education. I rather think it was his mother, who, as he became old enough to understand, taught him about God, and his own people, the people of God. It was she who nurtured him in the Lord, who set before him the way of life so that when "he was come to years," he chose "to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt, for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward" Hebrews 11:24-26. Moses’ father’s God became his God too, (Exodus 18: 4).
I should note that both his mother Jochebed and his father Amram were united in their saving of Moses, and his subsequent spiritual training (see Acts 7: 20; Hebrews 11:23).
You may be wondering how long Moses’ parents had to work with him. We don’t know for sure. The Bible only says, "And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh’s daughter…" Exodus 2:10. The word translated "grew" comes from a Hebrew word which means to be large or grow in various senses, such as in body, and mind. Some Jewish scholars believe that Moses was three years old when he was turned over to Pharaoh’s daughter.
This is my point. You can teach a child a great deal in the first three years of their lives and the Hebrew word gadal – grew indicates that is exactly what the mother of Moses did!
Oh how Christian moms and dads need to begin right from birth teaching their children about the Lord and programming their "moral compasses" according to the Bible. In our day, we are witnessing first hand what happens in a culture when children grown up without a knowledge and fear of God and without having their moral standards set according to the Bible.
What our nation need are godly mothers who will make it a priority to train up their children in the way they should go.
Moses is one of the most influential men in all
of human history, and holds an honorable place in the roll of God’s
servants in Hebrews 11. His mother played a key roll!