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The Man With Two Moms

Exodus 2:1-10



Some have called it the first financial transaction in the Bible:  Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the bank of the Nile and drew out a little Prophet!


Moses became the kind of man he was because of the type of mother he had. In fact, who he was, was very much determined by the type of MOTHERS he had, because God gave Moses two mothers.  And they were both good mothers because they both had some of the same instincts for their roles.

For example: They both loved babies
Now, that may seem like a given… but not every woman loves kids.

ILLUS: I once read the story of a woman who went shopping for swimsuits with her mother. In the department store, though, she was having a hard time finding one that fit. After trying on at least 10, all to no avail, she grew increasingly frustrated. Trying to calm her, her mother said "Look at it this way: what would you rather have – a husband and children who adore you, or a swimsuit that fits?"  Before she could answer, a faceless voice from the next dressing room stall replied
"I want a swimsuit that fits!"

Not every woman loves kids.  But these two did.  And that was no small thing in their day because Moses’ two mothers lived in a culture of death.

A decree had gone out from the throne of Pharaoh that every male child born to a Hebrew was to be thrown into the Nile and drowned. And Moses’ birth mother – Jochebed – was a Hebrew woman.
Thus, she had a choice to make.
The society in which she lived made it virtually impossible to keep her child and she could have decided to simply allow her child to be thrown away. I mean - her son was not wanted.
She could have chosen death (the easy choice)… but she chose life instead.

And this was not an easy decision for Jochebed to make.
It required her to hide her child for 3 whole months always fearing that Egyptian soldiers would discover the baby… and not only would they kill her child but punish her entire family for disobeying the law.

Choosing life was not an easy decision.

But then consider Pharaoh’s daughter.  She knew who this baby was.  She knew he was a Hebrew.

Her father had decreed these children should die.  Her society had decided that these babies shouldn’t live.  They were viewed as a threat to their nation.

It would have been so easy to let the child die.  But she chose life instead.

Both mothers lived in this culture of death. 

And so do we.

Now I want you to understand something:
God punished Egypt because of their culture of death.  Egypt’s culture of death required that every male child born to the Hebrews was to die.

When God punished Egypt He brought 10 plagues down upon them. Do you remember what the last one was?
God decreed:

Exodus 11:5
5 And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts.

Egypt decreed death for babies.  And so God decreed death for their families as well.  An eye for an eye.

But Moses lived because Jochebed and Pharaoh’s daughter never accepted that culture of death.  They chose life.

Death. Our culture has made it so acceptable that it’s often chosen before a woman or girl has had time to consider its implications. But the aftermath of that decision is often devastating.

I want you to remember that:  Our God is a forgiving God (REPEAT).

In Egypt, there were people who escaped God’s punishment from that 10th plague. They did so by applying the blood of a lamb to the doors of their homes.
Today God tells us that we escape judgment – from ALL of our sins - when we apply by the blood of the Lamb of God (Jesus Christ) to our lives. By the blood of Jesus, God removes all of our sin from our lives.

When we get saved, God removes our sins as far as the East is from the West. He buries it in the depths of the sea. He removes it from our lives and remembers it no more.

Moses lived… and became the kind of man he became… because his 2 mothers loved life, and loved babies.

Secondly – Moses became the kind of man he was because his mothers did everything they could for him.

Jochebed hid Moses in order to save his life.  Other Hebrew mothers probably hid their children as well, but that very rarely worked.  I mean it’s kind of hard to hide a pregnant woman.  They kind of stick out in a crowd.  And the Egyptians would have been watching. They would have been waiting for the day when she would no longer be pregnant – and then they’d come for her child.

So what was she to do?  How is she going to save her baby?

Well, she decides to get a bit creative.  If Pharaoh wanted her child to be thrown into the river… that’s where she’d put him. But not before she had given her boy an edge, an advantage in life.

1. She built a little boat for him. A basket covered with pitch so it would float.
2. And she placed that boat in the bulrushes along the shore of the Nile. She doesn’t put him out in the current where it could be swept downstream. No she puts the basket in a sheltered place… a place where it could be found.
3. And it’s very likely that she scouted around for the best place for him to be found. If he’s to be found… she wants him found by someone who has the power and influence to make sure he isn’t put to death. And the only person with that kind of influence would seem to be Pharaoh’s daughter.

Jochebed had done an awful lot of planning to make sure her child survived.  Jochebed did everything she could for her son.

And then there’s Pharaoh’s daughter - Moses’ adoptive mother.
She loves this boy - takes him into her home and makes him her son.
She (like Jochebed) did everything she could for this boy as well.

Acts 7:22
22 And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds.

Pharaoh’s daughter wanted Moses to have all the advantages her culture could supply.  She wanted him to be more than a common laborer.  She wanted him to be a leader of men/ a ruler of nations.  And she succeeded in building him into a man who would become great.

And so, she did everything in her power to give him an edge.

Both of Moses’ mothers loved him so much that they did everything they could think to do to give him every advantage he could have.

But only Jochebed gave Moses the one thing that changed his life.

While Pharaoh’s daughter supplied Moses a knowledge of the wisdom of Egypt, Hebrews 11:24 tells us that the time came when Moses “…refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.”

There was something Pharaoh’s daughter had not supplied him with.
Something was missing from his extensive education in the universities of Egypt.  But what could it have been? What was missing?

(pause…) What was missing was a different kind of knowledge…a knowledge of who God truly is.

As parents and grandparents and uncles/aunts we need to realize that even with the most advanced education our society can supply - without God at the center of our children’s lives there will be an emptiness that nothing else can fill.

In Ecclesiastes, Solomon looks at all the advantages a man can have in life. Wealth, and education, and power, and success.
Toward the end of his book he declares "Vanity! Meaningless!" Ecclesiastes 12:8

But at the very end, Solomon concludes his book on the meaninglessness of life with this advice:

Ecclesiastes 12:13
13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

What did Solomon mean?
He meant that – without God – life becomes meaningless and empty.
Only God can save our soul!

Only God can help us to reach our true potential.
Only God can help us to realize our promise and possibility.

Once we know who God is… then we can realize that we’ve been made in His image, we are part of His plan, we have been created for a purpose and we have a reason to exist.

And that’s what Jochebed gave her son.
She couldn’t read to him from the Bible. None of that had been written yet.  She didn’t know it, but this baby boy would grow up to write down the first few books of the Bible.  Until then she may have told him the stories of great men like Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  But I think she did even more than that.  I think she gave that knowledge of God by sharing HER faith in God.  She told him what she believed.  She told him what God had done in her life…and in his.  And because God was REAL to her…God became real for him as well.

She knew this was a most difficult world. And there would be times when Moses would doubt whether he was loved by anyone. When that time came, she wanted him to remember that he WAS loved by at least one individual: God. She wanted him to remember that God always cared for him and would watch out for him.

Max Lucado has intriguing explanation of this truth in "A Gentle Thunder. p. 46 (given with some modification)

Moms: WHY do you love your newborn child?
I know, I know; it’s a silly question, but indulge me. Why do you?
For months this baby has brought you pain. They’ve made you break out in pimples and waddle like a duck. Because of them you craved sardines and crackers and threw up in the morning. They punched you in the tummy. They occupied a space that wasn’t theirs and ate food they didn’t fix. You kept them warm. You kept them safe. You kept them fed.
But did they say thank you? Are you kidding? They’re no more out of the womb than they start to cry! The room is too cold, the blanket is too rough, the nurse is too mean. And who do they want? Mom.
Don’t you ever get a break? I mean, who has been doing the work the last nine months? Why can’t Dad take over? But no, Dad won’t do. The baby wants Mom.
They didn’t even tell you they were coming. They just came. And what a coming! This baby rendered you a barbarian. You screamed. You swore. You bit bullets and tore the sheets. And now look at you. Your back aches. Your head pounds. Your body is drenched in sweat. Every muscle strained and stretched. You should be angry, but are you?
Far from it. On your face is a longer-than-forever love. They’ve done nothing for you; yet you love them. They’ve brought pain to your body and nausea to your morning, yet you treasure them. Their face is wrinkled and their eyes are dim, yet all you can talk about are their good looks and bright future.
They are going to wake you up every night for the next 6 weeks, but that doesn’t matter. I can see it on your face. You’re crazy about them.
Why? Why does a mother love her newborn? Because the baby is hers?
Even more. Because the baby is her. Her blood. Her flesh. Her sinew and spine. Her hope. Her legacy. It bothers her not that the baby gives nothing. She knows a newborn is helpless, weak. She knows babies don’t ask to come into this world. 

…And God knows we didn’t either. We are His idea. We are His. His face. His eyes. His hands. His touch. We are part of Him.


The love of a mother for her child is only a small taste of the love God has for you. When He looks at you He sees His finest creation. But there is one thing that mars the beauty that He desires for your life. It’s called sin.
And sin is what separates you from the completeness of His love for you. Get saved today. 

Moses had 2 mothers...make sure you have 2 fathers.  Is God your heavenly Father?

[from message by Jeff Strite]


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