The name of Amram’s wife was Jochebed the daughter of Levi, who was born to Levi in Egypt; and to Amram she bore Aaron and Moses and their sister Miriam. Numbers 26.59
Normally when you want to talk about a woman from the Bible, you talk about Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, Esther, Ruth, and Debora. Very little is said about Jochebed. Actually, nothing at all is said. That may be because her story is inserted in a bigger story and many people end up focusing on the protagonist Moses, instead of the people who were only a part of his life.
The same happens today, because many only manage to see those who stand out. They’re unable to see those who contributed to the story of a man or woman of God.
I identify myself much more with Jochebed than with Moses, she was a mother like me and went through many deserts because of this…
– She lived during a time when there was slavery in Egypt and was forced to see her children Aaron and Miriam go through all the humiliation of living a life they had no control over. If we suffer when our children make the wrong decisions in life, imagine what she went through to see her children not being able to make any decisions at all?
– When Moses was born, she lived in anguish knowing that at any moment they could kill her newborn because of Pharaoh’s command… so she hid him until she couldn’t anymore. Instead of enjoying the happy moments with her new baby, Jochebed suffered by having to hide him from everyone.
– The day came when she had to choose between seeing her son die or put him in God’s hands – literally. She placed him in the Nile River and believed. I also passed through something similar and I can say that there is no greater pain for a mother than to see her child walk away, without knowing where he is going, how he will get on, how he will survive, without any assurance… only the Holy Spirit can sustain us in those hours.
– She had momentary relief when she received her son back to feed him, but she knew that that time would be short and soon she would have to return him to the princess of Egypt. I can imagine Jochebed telling herself “don’t get attached to this child” with tears in her eyes, hugging him, kissing him, and smelling him the whole time to compensate for the short amount of time that he would be in her arms.
– Jochebed saw her son being raised from afar, by another woman and among persons that hated his people. She had to see her beloved son adore false gods and live as if she didn’t exist until his adult years. That’s right friends, Moses only left the Palace when he was around 40 years old. Can you think of a longer eternity for a mother?
– And if that wasn’t enough, Jochebed found out that her son had to flee from Egypt without any news about him for the next 40 years (and even so, she must have died before seeing him return to Egypt because the Bible doesn’t mention her again). Every morning she must have remembered her son and wondered “is he still alive?”
Friends, when we read Moses’ history we don’t think about how much his mother endured throughout his life journey. She was a part of the history of a man that was chosen by God to save His people. It is not just another random story; he would not be another man, which explains the extent of her sacrifice.
Yes, sacrifices have measures.
The greater the plan God has for your life, the greater the sacrifice He will ask of you. The greater the fight, the greater the victory will be. And the greatest of all sacrifices is to trust that God is in control, even when everything is out of control.
Jochebed was not just another woman, and neither do I want to be.