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Posts Tagged ‘motherhood’

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. The she put the child into it and set it among the reeds by the bank of the Nile. His sister stood at a distance to find out what would happen to him. The daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the Nile, with her maidens walking alongside the Nile; and she saw the basket among the reeds and sent her maid, and she brought it to her. When she opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the boy was crying. And she had pity on him and said, ‘This is one of the Hebrews’ children.’ Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, ‘Shall I go and call a nurse for you from the Hebrew women that she may nurse the child for you?’ Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, ‘Go ahead.’ So the girl went and called the child’s mother. The Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, ‘Take this child away and nurse him for me and I will give you your wages.’ So the woman took the child and nursed him. The child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. And she named him Moses, and said, “Because I drew him out of the water.” (Exodus 2:1-10)

The account of the baby Moses floating in a basket in the Nile River is a favorite Bible story. We all know that his sister, Miriam, took him to the river where an Egyptian princess was bathing. Miriam watched over her brother until the princess discovered him and adopted him. Miriam cleverly arranged for her mother, Jochebed, to be hired as a wet nurse for the baby. Later the princess would name him Moses, because she said, “I drew him out of the water” (Exodus 2:10).

Let’s review a little history so that we can understand why Jochebed had to go to such an extreme to save her baby boy. Why did she need to risk losing him in order to give him a chance to live? Why would a mother put her baby in a basket and put it in a river?

About four hundred years before this, ten of Jacob’s sons had sold their brother Joseph into slavery in Egypt. A few years later there was a famine over all of that part of the world. God blessed Joseph in Egypt. He was put in charge of all of the food in Egypt. (This amazing story is in Genesis 37-50.) Jacob and all of the rest of his family eventually moved to Egypt to live so that they would not starve. The Pharaoh at that time was friendly to Joseph and his family.

But about four centuries later “a new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph” (Exodus 1:8). During this time the Israelites had multiplied until there were hundreds of thousands of them. Pharaoh was worried that he might be overpowered by the Israelites and so he imposed slavery on them. The Israelites had to do hard labor building his cities so that they would be too busy to be able to oppose him. This was not working as well as he liked and so he ordered all of the male babies who were born to the Hebrew people to be murdered.

This was why Jochebed put her newborn baby into a basket and sent him with his sister to be saved by the Egyptian princess. Like most mothers, Jochebed loved her children and was willing to make sacrifices in order to protect them. We have a hard time imagining how it would be to live under a government that wants to kill our babies. This must have caused a lot of sorrow for Jochebed and all of the Hebrew mothers. Most of the Hebrew women would have had to watch while their sons were taken from them and killed before their eyes.

Moses in a basketJochebed risked hiding her son for three months and then she knew that she had to do something before they were discovered. Somehow Jochebed must have known the place where Pharaoh’s daughter went to bathe in the river Nile. Maybe she thought that if only the Pharaoh’s daughter would see this beautiful, helpless baby in a basket, she would take pity on it. Surely the princess’s womanly instincts would make her decide to protect the baby. Jochebed decided to trust God and put her plan in action.

Scholars are not sure which one of Pharaoh’s daughters this was, but it is possible that she was later the famous Queen Hatshepsut, the sister to Thutmose III. Others believe that she was one of the fifty-nine daughters of Rameses II. We know that the princess was a very strong and compassionate woman. We also know that she was destined for rank or power. The author of the book of Hebrews would write, “By faith Moses, when he had grown up refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter” (Hebrews 11:24). This phrase implies that Moses could have continued as royalty in Pharaoh’s family, perhaps even have been in line for the throne. Instead Moses identified with his people and was willing to obey God and lead the Israelites out of Egypt.

Whatever her rank or influence over her father the Pharaoh, the princess not only wanted to save the child, she also decided to adopt him as her own. As soon as the princess opened the basket, the boy cried. Jochebed’s plan worked – the princess had pity on the baby. Pharaoh’s daughter took Miriam’s quick-thinking advice and agreed to let her find a “nurse … from the Hebrew women that she may nurse the child” for her. Miriam was very clever not to mention that she was thinking of the child’s mother. The princess no doubt knew the law concerning Hebrew baby boys. Nevertheless she was so filled with compassion for the infant that she disregarded the Pharaoh’s orders and spared the baby’s life.

Of course we know that God was watching over Jochebed, Miriam, the princess, and Moses. God had His plan for leading His people out of Egypt through this baby eventually.

So with the princess’s permission and protection, Miriam brought the baby home to Jochebed. What a blessing from God. Jochebed Miriam babyJochebed could have her son at least for a while and not only that but be paid to nurse him!

One wonders what Jochebed’s husband, Amram, thought of all of this. The Bible does not tell us. We can only imagine that he was glad that his wife found a way to spare their son even if the joy of having their son was temporary. Eventually the child would be weaned and sent to the princess.

In those days children were weaned at about age three or four years. During this time Jochebed would have a chance to influence her son. She would have tried to give him a love for his people and for Yahweh. We don’t know how much Moses would remember while living with the princess, but certainly Jochebed had a chance to instill some sort of identity with God’s people that Moses would remember later.

How hard it must have been for Jochebed to give up her son when the time came to give him to Pharaoh’s daughter. We do not know if she ever saw him again. Maybe she caught a glimpse of him if he played in the river with his adoptive mother. By the time that Moses led the people out of Egypt, he was eighty years old. So Jochebed must have been dead by then. She did not get to see the great purpose in which she played a part. She is an example for parents to have faith in God that He will take care of their children.

In our day many young girls who find themselves with an unplanned pregnancy should be encouraged to sacrifice for those little ones. If they find that they cannot, then adoption is a good answer – never abortion. Motherhood is a special gift and calling. May we have the courage of Jochebed who gave up her child to spare his life and the princess who defied the Pharaoh in order to raise him. We do not know what God’s plans are. Let us just trust and obey.

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Angels for LIfe

For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well (Psalm 139:13,14).

What would cause a woman to give up her life for her unborn child? It goes without saying that there is tremendous love involved. But there must be more than this.

Some women who destroy their unborn children claim that they love children, too. They say that the best thing for the child is to never be brought into this cold, cruel world. Consider this quote from an abortion advocate –

“With my choice I was fighting for the right of all women to define abortion as an act of love: love for the family one already has, and just as important, love for oneself. I was fighting to reclaim abortion as a mother’s act.”

Anyone with half an ounce of sense sees all of the contradictions and lies in this statement. But, there really are women in trouble out there who desperately want to see abortion as an act of love so they can assuage their conscience over the killing of the unborn child.

So what is the difference here? Why isn’t “love” enough to convince women to bear and raise children?

Faith is needed. This week I am going to share the stories of two women who not only had tremendous love for their child and their husbands, but they had faith in the Creator Who gave them the children.

For a woman to risk dying in order to save her child, she must believe at least three things:
1.  God creates human beings. God creates them from the beginning in the womb.

2.  God is in charge of life. Only He gets to determine who lives or dies. Humans do not get to decide to end the lives of other human beings.

3.  There is a Heaven. There is a place where believers go when they die where they will be at rest and peace with God. No more sickness or death. They will get to see their loved ones later. The loved ones they leave behind can know that their mother is enjoying fellowship with God and is waiting to be reunited with them.

These blessed thoughts give a woman the courage to risk her life in order to save her child.
Consider the tragic, yet beautiful stories of two women who chose to follow God.
(These stories are from LifeSiteNews.com. You can visit that site to read more encouraging stories as well as news about the Pro-Life battle to protect the unborn.)

From LifeSiteNews – June 25, 2012, When Chiara Corbella learned she was pregnant with her third child, it was a great joy that ended in bittersweet tragedy for the young Italian mother, who died this month after postponing cancer treatment to save her cherished baby. Chiara had already lost two babies, Maria and David, soon after their births. This time the baby was healthy and Chiara and her husband were overjoyed at the prospect of having a healthy child.

Chiara had been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer and she was advised to begin treatment right away. The therapy would harm the baby however, so Chiara chose to postpone it until after the baby was born. The cancer progressed over the following year, depriving Chiara of sight in one eye before she finally succumbed on June 13, 2012.

“I am going to heaven to take care of Maria and David, you stay here with Dad. I will pray for you,” Chiara wrote to baby Francisco in a letter, one week before her death.
Her husband, Enrico, said in an interview, “I spent a lot of time this year reflecting on this phrase from the Gospel that says the Lord gives a cross that is sweet and a burden that is light.” Enrico said that he would tell his son of his mother’s love later when he was older.

Another woman who demonstrated her love and faith in God was Barbara Castro Garcia.
Barbara and her husband, Ignacio, had dated for eleven years and finally gotten married. Soon they were overjoyed to find out about her pregnancy with their first child.

Little did they know that this pregnancy, which had already brought them so much joy, was also the beginning of a saga that would test their faith to the limit—and ultimately take the life of the young mother.

Four months into the pregnancy, Barbara took a trip to the dentist complaining of a sore in her mouth. The dentist sent her on to a specialist, who diagnosed her with mouth cancer.

The couple was presented with a problem: Barbara urgently needed life-saving treatment, but the treatment had the potential to harm their unborn child.
Barbara refused to take all treatments except for a surgical procedure on her mouth that left her in a lot of pain.

Their child was born on November 1, 2010, healthy and of great comfort to her parents. Within days Barbara’s cancer flared up and she went to Madrid to see a specialist. The doctor told her that there was little hope. She began the rounds of chemotherapy and other treatments that left her without a tongue and part of her jaw. She had to be tube fed from then on.

Ultimately the cancer won and Barbara died earlier this month after having sacrificed her all for her daughter. Her grieving husband honors her memory knowing that she gave her life for her baby girl out of love “for her daughter, for me and for God.”

Many women would have made a different decision. Some have said, “Save the mother. She can always have more children.” This is a very hard thing for anyone to do. I could not condemn a woman who tried to take the cancer treatments hoping for the best.

The one thing that I believe would be absolutely wrong would be for the women to decide to just abort the babies. There are numerous stories of women in difficult circumstances who got that advice from their doctors. To just do away with the child shows an utter lack of faith and dependence on God.

The real issue here is – who gets to decide? Who is in charge – our Father the Creator or the parents?

It takes great faith, but knowing that there is indeed a loving Savior waiting for us in Heaven helps. This Savior already showed us the way Himself.

Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13).

 

 

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