Her Faith (Exodus 2)

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Illus: One day a man walked into a flower shop and asked, “What can I get for three dollars?”

The store clerk replied, “I can give you a dozen carnations, or I can give you one rose.”

The man says, “You mean I can get a dozen carnations for three dollars, but only one rose? How come the roses are so expensive?”

The clerk replies, “Oh, real simple. The scent of a carnation doesn’t last very long. It’s sweet for a moment, but it has no longevity. On the other hand, a rose is known for its ongoing scent. Even when you think it’s dead, it can be crushed, turned into potpourri, and the smell can still continue.”

A godly woman is a rose; they are valuable. However, to reject God’s plan for life is to cheapen one’s worth. There are many ungodly women who act like carnations, where their beauty is only skin deep and short-lived.

Proverbs 11:22 “Like a gold ring in a pigs snout, is a beautiful woman without discretion.”

Proverbs 31:30 says, “Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”         External beauty is beneficial but internal character is invaluable.

We are in a series titled HIS&HERS with words for women and messages for men. Our goal is to encourage men and women to walk in their God-given identity. Today and next week will examine two godly women from who’s example we can learn. Then later weeks, we will examine the example of two godly men.

EXAMINE           Exodus 2         Her Faith

Exodus 1:1-7

Those who know their Bible remember that the previous book, Genesis, ends with Joseph and his family in Egypt. Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery but what they meant for evil, God worked for good. God led Joseph to essentially become the Prince of Egypt, 2nd in command to Pharaoh. He stored up grain for Egypt’s provision & economic gain. The children of Jacob (Israel) lived in Egypt as a small people and multiplied into a great nation. God was fulfilling His promise to Abraham (Genesis 12).

Exodus 1:8-14
But in due time, “there arose a new king over Egypt who did not know Joseph… so they ruthlessly made the people of Israel work as slaves” (v.8, 13).

The Egyptians loathed the Israelites. In 1:12 “dread” = abhorrence and sick feeling. This hatred had history.

Genesis 46:31-34 “Joseph said to his brothers and to his father’s household, “I will go up and tell Pharaoh and will say to him, ‘My brothers and my father’s household, who were in the land of Canaan, have come to me.  And the men are shepherds, for they have been keepers of livestock, and they have brought their flocks and their herds and all that they have.’ When Pharaoh calls you and says, ‘What is your occupation?’ you shall say, ‘Your servants have been keepers of livestock from our youth even until now, both we and our fathers,’ in order that you may dwell in the land of Goshen, for every shepherd is an abomination to the Egyptians.”

Egypt was sophisticated culture. They were educated with their hieroglyphics and universities of the day. They were architecturally intelligent to build pyramids and great cities. They were economically savvy to advance in trade and military power. And so, shepherds were viewed as low class citizens in comparison to an Egyptian. Israel’s prosperity resulted in persecution.

Note: Yesterday’s shepherds have become today’s saints. Today’s culture has a disgust for disciples of Jesus and Christian values. And so the attack and punishments are coming at every corner.

Exodus 1:15-22 The Pharaoh’s persecution transitioned from slavery to infanticide. At first he cracked whips and now he seeks to crack skulls. He ordered the midwives to kill the male children. Today this is known as partial-birth abortion. However, the midwives feared God and did not carry out the murder.  Yet, Pharaoh commanded his soldiers to kill every Hebrew son to minimize their multiplication.

The Israelites were burdened and beaten. Yet, in their struggle they were able to grow stronger. God’s people cannot be overcomes without troubles to overcome. There is no testimony without testing. God often prepare His people through hardship in order that they may not rely on their own power but God’s (2Corinthians 1:9)

Exodus 2:1-10 In the midst of Israeli children being murdered there was born a boy. His parents hid him for 3 months and when she could no longer protect him she entrusted him to God by placing him in a basket to float down the Nile River. It was there that Pharaoh’s daughter found him. Eventually Pharaoh’s daughter would pay the Hebrew mother to nurse her own child and then later he would become the next Prince of Egypt.

From this passage we can examine commendable characteristics for women.

Faith in God’s sovereignty

It is clear that Jochebed was a woman of faith through her family heritage. She was the granddaughter of Levi on her aunt’s side, showing she belonged to the people of God. Jochebed was given her name as a symbol of faith; which her name means “Jehovah is her/our glory”. Jochebed’s actions to spare her son’s life showed that she was not bowing to Pharaoh (who claimed to be God), but was only listening to the true God who created life. Jochobed and Amram’s faith informed their life and actions; their convictions shaped their character.

Hebrews 11:23 “By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw that the child was beautiful and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.”

Faith > Fear

The Israelites grew enslaved to the Egyptians. Pharaoh ruthlessly oppressed them with slave labor and sought to destroy their growth by killing newborn sons. Egypt’s goal was to mistreat and murder Israelites to snuff their hope and stir fear.

Israel’s cruel circumstances cultivated their character. Their burdens turned into blessings to overcome fear and grow stronger in hopeful faith.

Our circumstances can drive us crazy or they can drive us to Christ. Our weaknesses are opportunities to admit our need and rely on God.

2Corinthians 1:8-11 “For we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted to us through the prayers of many.”

  • Prayer is the key to keeping our circumstances in proper perspective.
  • Do we pray about our issues as much as we post about them on social media?

Faith > Feelings.

– Driving on highway 70 the other day and saw a tractor trailer turned over on an exit ramp. Apparently, the speed of the cargo overpowered the direction of the steering wheel.

This happens in our lives when we allow our feelings to overpower our faith. When we allow our feelings to guide our life thinking, actions and decision-making rather than our faith then we become a slave to our emotions. And when our emotions rule we become unstable and untrusting in people and in God.

  • Do we care more about God’s glory or our story? Jochobed’s name and actions said “Jehovah is our glory”.
  • We must feed our faith or fade in fear.
  • Importance of reading Scripture; especially Psalms teach us to deal with emotions.
  • Importance of biblical community who read & learn Scripture together & share accountability.

Courage to act sacrificially

Jochebed was courageous in faith and action.

She hid her son for three months. We read this story and think little of this short timeframe. However, three months was undoubtedly a trying time of faith and courage. One could imagine several days that she was anxious or afraid of being caught. Yet, she persevered for as long as she could.

There came a point in time “when she could hide him no longer” and she placed the child in a floatable basket to be found along the river bank by Pharaoh’s daughter and maids.

Jochebed gave up her son in order to save his life. In fact, she did this not once but twice. The second time was after nursing him and the child grew, she released him again into Pharaoh’s household.

  • Parents are often called to make radical sacrifices for the next generation (Hebrews 11:23).
    • Sometimes the choice is to shield them and sometimes it is to send them out…
      • Dads, how are you protecting your child from worldly & unwise influences?
        • TV, Movies, Friends… Boyfriends/Girlfriends… Schedules that distract
      • Moms, how are you preparing your child to become an arrow in God’s hand?
        • If you don’t have a plan, someone else will.
        • Jochebed had a vision for her child’s future and she sacrificed for it.
          Parenthood is often about vision and sacrifice.
  • What if parents committed to sending their child on a mission experience before they left home? Instead of endless birthday & holiday presents, donate toward child’s fundraising for missions.

Shrewdness of plans.

Jochebed knew what she was doing when she sent her son into the reeds along the river. She planned with her daughter to observe the Pharaoh’s daughter to rescue the basket with the baby boy. She also planned for her daughter to arrange the offer for “a Hebrew woman to nurse the baby”. Note also Miriam’s (Jochebed’s daughter) courage to approach the Pharaoh Princess.

Pharaoh’s daughter affirmed the plan and even paid wages for the mother’s work. The shrewd plan was successful. Jochebed planned according to her capacity and then trusted God’s to act according to His purpose.

Jochebed could have focused on the wrongs of Pharaoh, the evil society, and her unjust circumstances, but instead she responded with shrewd faith.

“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” Proverbs 16:9

We can learn to trust God but also to think shrewdly. God’s Spirit gives us courage and creativity that we can use for His glory.

  • Faith leads to calculated risk for God’s glory.
  • Where in your life are you choosing complacency or comfort over calculated risk for God’s glory?

APPLY/THINK

Jochebed’s faith, courage, and shrewdness not only saved a baby but a nation and future generations.

Jochebed did not enjoy the blessings of seeing her three children (Miriam the prophetess [1st time in bible spoken of a prophetess], Aaron was Israel’s first high priest, and Moses the national leader) grow to serve God and lead the people of God. Yet, she would have a legacy that lived beyond her life.

Jochebed gave up what was most prized and precious to her and in turn would receive what was most prized and precious to God – rewarded faith.

Hebrews 11:24-26 “By faith Moses when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward.”

à Can you surrender to God what is most prized and precious to you?

à Is there something in your life that is consuming the place of God?

Christianity is not merely the addition of Jesus but also the subtraction of idols.

Growing Godly Generations has a reward that is not fleeting but faithful beyond what this world offers. Our reward is forgiveness of sin and eternal life to worship the one true King – Jesus.

  • Jochebed was a slave but would receive salvation through the work of the son.
  • As Jochebed gave up her son for the sake of saving others, so God did for us.
  • Jesus was the son who did not survive the slaughter of sin, as He was murdered on a cross.
  • Yet, Jesus showed He was the greater God than the Pharaoh of death by rising from the dead as the true King.

 

Christianity offers hope and salvation but it starts with surrender.

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