(Based on the Mother’s Day 2018 message by Pastor Nathan Bargo)
How do you know when a mother REALLY LOVES her children?
I believe that those “in the world” might answer this question a bit differently than I am about to. The world says that we show love by the number of expensive gifts or extravagant outings that we provide.
The story of Moses & his mother in Exodus 2 paints a very different picture:
Exodus 2:1-10 (ESV) – The Birth of Moses
2 Now a man from the house of Levi went and took as his wife a Levite woman. 2 The woman conceived and bore a son, and when she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him three months. 3 When she could hide him no longer, she took for him a basket made of bulrushes and daubed it with bitumen and pitch. She put the child in it and placed it among the reeds by the river bank. 4 And his sister stood at a distance to know what would be done to him. 5 Now the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river, while her young women walked beside the river. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her servant woman, and she took it. 6 When she opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the baby was crying. She took pity on him and said, “This is one of the Hebrews’ children.” 7 Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and call you a nurse from the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?” 8 And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Go.” So the girl went and called the child’s mother. 9 And 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. 10 When the child grew older, she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. She named him Moses, “Because,” she said, “I drew him out of the water.”
What does this (and the rest of Moses’ life) tell us about a mother’s love?
- It does the right thing even if it is heart-wrenching. She was willing to give up raising her son in order to save his life
- It models obedience. In Exodus 1 we read of Pharaoh’s edict that all male babies be killed. Although she could not bear to lose her som she “put him in the river” as the law commanded.
- It models faith. She had faith that God would somehow save Moses’ life.
- It shows that the prayers and actions of a godly mother will catch hold in the life of a child. Moses went on to serve God until the end of his life.
- It protects. She made sure that the basket was coated in tar & pitch so that it would not leak. She also placed the basket among the reeds to protect him from the.sun.
- However, it does not condone or enable bad behavior. As Moses grew she taught him the ways of the Lord.
- It provides. In placing him in the basket she provided a way for her child to grow up even if he had to live apart from his family.
- It teaches life lessons & spiritual heritage, In the years that Moses was being cared for by the “wet nurse” (his mother). She took the time to not only teach him right from wrong but the Hebrew (Jewish) faith as well.
- It trusts God. Moses mother got to spend his formative years with him AND she got paid for it!!
- It gives good counsel. As parents, our children get to the age where they should be making their own decisions. They may ask our advice (& we should prayerfully give oblige) But, we have to believe that the words of their Abba Father hold even more weight. See Exodus 3:1-6:13
- It lets go at the right time. Moses mother had to let go twice. The first time as an infant and the second time when he moved into Pharoah’s palace. Our culture is full of helicopter-parents who are so afraid of letting their children grow up that they end up crippling them socially, emotionally & spiritually.
As I look back over this list I realize that my now college-age. children are amazing adults even though I did not always get it right.
Father God, thank you, for proving others to “stand in the gaps” that my imperfections & occasional selfishness left. “Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you” (Psalm 143:8 (NLT)). – AMEN