Day 16

Jochebed



Numbers 26:59, Exodus 1:22-2:10

BY Raechel Myers

Labor was hard but Jochebed was stronger. With a midwife by her side, the baby was almost here.

One more push… IT’S… A… it’s a boy…

A boy. His arrival announced with a whisper. In his first breath of life, sentenced to death. She loved the beautiful boy instantly. And instantly she breathed an anguished plea to the Lord to protect her son.

And in that room—in that very moment—with orders for the baby to be thrown into the Nile, God was at work.

Three months later, I can imagine Jochebed there—sitting in silence, staring out the window of her home. There were no words left to say, no more tears to cry, barely enough air in her lungs to catch her next breath. Breasts heavy with milk, heart heavy with sorrow. Arms empty with an ache she never before knew existed.

She could hide him no longer. The baby whom she had nursed and protected and kept hidden for three precious-yet-sleepless months was gone. Whatever was to become of him in his makeshift cradle-boat, she knew she would never lay eyes on him again.

And in that room—in all of Egypt—in the hearts of both pharaohs and slaves, God was at work.

There she sat. A woman who feared the Lord, who waited on Him expectantly, but who had seen with her own eyes that for her people, waiting meant slavery, toil, injustice, and death.

And then she saw her—through the window, down the alley, Jochebed’s daughter Miriam running, breathless, calling to her mother.

God had indeed been at work! Her baby had not drowned or been lost in the river—he had been rescued! The news was too good to be true! The woman who found him was the Pharaoh’s own daughter! She took pity on him and wanted to take him as her own. But God’s mercies didn’t end there. “The princess wants you to be his nurse! She wants to give the baby back to you to raise him and she’ll pay you to do it!”

It’s one of the most miraculous stories of motherhood and God’s mercy in the Bible.

But if we’re going to talk about God’s mercy, perhaps we should take a step back…
Where was this merciful God when Pharaoh gave the order for all of the Hebrew baby boys to be killed?
Where was He when Jochebed kissed her child for what she thought would be the last time?
Where was He when all the other Hebrew women grieved their babies?
Where was this merciful God when the same miraculous news was not received by so many of Jochebed’s friends and neighbors?

Where was God? He was where He had always been. He was on the throne, where He remains today—sovereign and good and evermore at work. God was actively working in the heart of Pharaoh’s daughter and in the heart of the Pharaoh himself.

God hadn’t forgotten the other Hebrew men and women either. He had, in fact, remembered them! God’s mercy on the Hebrew nation is precisely why He rescued Jochebed’s baby—because the baby would rescue God’s people.

And that baby, “Moses” as the Pharaoh’s daughter named him, was just a foreshadowing of The Rescuer who would also be born under an edict of death (Matthew 2:13-23), but would one day save His people to live with Him forever in the Promised Land.

Isn’t it exquisite to trace the hand of God in history? We praise God for what we can see He has done, but we often struggle to praise Him for what we can’t see while it’s being done.

Think of Jochebed today. In her darkest hours, God was at work. Let’s praise God for that work He did.

And what about us? In our darkest hours, let us also believe that God is still at work. Let’s praise Him for the work we cannot see, too.

When our best-case scenarios pale in comparison to the mercies He gives us, God is at work. And when we can see Him at work in the lives of our neighbors, but it’s hard to see His hand in our own life? Even then, the great, sovereign God of mercy is still very much at work!

Let’s end our time together today, praising God for sending us a Rescuer, who has already come to free us from slavery and our very own edict of death. Thanks be to God!

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Post Comments (237)

237 thoughts on "Jochebed"

  1. Abby Vance says:

    I️ had never thought of Moses’s story this way. I️ always got frustrated for those other families who lost their babies, but now I️ see that the Lord was saving Moses to save His people. And they just couldn’t see it yet. Such a good reminder that we can’t always see what He is doing, but trusting Him through that, knowing His plans are so much bigger than we could ever imagine.

  2. Kristi says:

    I love the reference of how God recused Jochebad’s baby because in turn he would rescuer God’s people. Sometimes when I read stories in the Bible, I get so involved in that moment- I forget what is yet to come for that person. (Moses) I also love the foreshadowing of Jesus. I love how you can see Him coming hundreds of years before his birth. History is such a great tool when seamlessly tying the Bible stories together.

  3. Sophie says:

    It says in the footnotes that Moses sounds like the Hebrew word for “draw out”, because the princess drew him out of the water — but Moses also would draw his people out of slavery into freedom. Beautiful foreshadowing of God’s plan.

    1. Shamia Pintard says:

      Wow, I love this analogy. Thank you for sharing Sophie!

  4. Becky Thompson says:

    When you can’t see His hand, when you don’t know His plan, trust His heart.

  5. Mary Beth says:

    I love Jochebed! She was one of my favorite women to discuss when I ran a young ladies Bible study at my church. To me I see her as a pillar of strength and faithfulness. She was faithful to God despite what I’m sure seemed crazy to her at the time – putting her newborn into a basket. I don’t know that I’ve ever been at that point of desperation, but she was willing to risk everything for her son. That just blows my mind. God rewarded her – by not only saving Moses’ life – but also providing for her family financially. Who could have guessed? I think this story goes to show us that God always knows what he’s doing, even whenough what he asks of us seems ridiculous or insane. Jochebed let go. She surrendered. Not only to God mind you, but also to the princess. I’ll be honest if I was Jochebed I would have been tempted to take my family and run. But Jochebed was faithful even to the point of returning her son to another woman of a different faith and culture to raise her son. This was the sacrifice she was called to make. But I’m sure she was afraid he’d forget, that he’d never come to know the one true God, but she didn’t let that stop her. She was obedient. And her obedience paved the way to our salvation. Incredible.

    1. Tawny says:

      Wow! Beautifully written Mary Beth. You should write for She reads truth! You have my vote. You have wonderful insight ❤️

  6. Adaobi Nnoli says:

    Praising God even while waiting, in disappointment, may be tough; however, God is sovereign, and always always at work!!!!

  7. Andrea Z. says:

    I love this story! And I find it very encouraging that Jochebed had to let her son go and pray that God would I protect him. And protect him he did. She could have held onto the baby longer, tried to wait until he was 6 months, but there was something about that time that didn’t realize… It was God’s timing. Sometimes I think we let our expectations get the best of us. We have our own plan as to how God is supposed to move, yet He tells us to rest in Him. Jochebed was being obedient without even knowing and her son was going to be prepared to be one of the biggest and most faithful leaders in history. God’s timing is perfect.

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