Now a man from the house of Levi went and married a daughter of Levi. The woman conceived and bore a son; and when she saw that he was beautiful, she hid him for three months. But when she could hide him no longer, she got him a wicker basket and covered it over with tar and pitch. Then she put the child into it and set it among the reeds by the bank of the Nile. Exo. 2:1-3
Some of us, myself included, have been in situations where our fear of man has gained more power over our thought lives and decisions than our faith in God. I’ve heard it stated before that we should never make choices based on fear (of man).
In the case of these passages, the woman was the mother of Moses living in a land where the Pharaoh had given all his people an order to kill any male newborns. This was his second attempt to control the growth of the Israeli population out of fear. Fear of what?
This new Pharaoh came to power after Joseph died, and didn’t know him and possibly hadn’t experienced the beauty that came from all the God based relationships that were formed in those days.
His fear was based on the visible circumstances coupled with an imagination that was not God based. Kind of like all the ‘what if’s’ we experience today. The Israelite population had grown tremendously and he was concerned that if war ensued (‘what if’), the Israelites would ally themselves with the enemy (another ‘what if’). It’s probably a normal way for a king to think. But without the Lord in our thinking, it is also a very dangerous way to think.
Now, with this threat on newborn males, Jochebed gave birth to Moses. Oh wow. I think most mothers would understandably experience fear and maybe even panic. I’ve yet to meet the mother who doesn’t experience fear regarding the well-being of her children. Add a concern of this magnitude and only the creator of the universe can calm the spirit and provide clear thinking.
And, He did.
We’re told in Hebrews 11:23 (the faith chapter no less) that,
By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful (in the NIV this reads, ‘no ordinary’ in place of ‘beautiful’) child; and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.
After hiding Moses for three months, somehow, the Lord placed it on her heart to craft a baby sized ark. The tar and pitch she used to cover the basket are the same used for Noah’s ark. It’s like asphalt. It’s a substance that boils up from the subterranean fountains and then hardens with the sun. The Lord molded Jochebed to be a very resourceful lady.
Our Lord created us with sharp minds for a reason. The Lord chose to tell us (through His word), about her careful and meticulous planning and use of resources to protect her child in circumstances that no mother desires. Then taking further action by placing Moses in the basket and letting him go in the care of the God of Abraham. It’s no wonder those actions made it into the faith chapter.
Lord, I know I need a greater faith in you, my creator. In your name, Jesus, Amen.