The Characters-


Although we know that all scripture is true...this passage in Exodus gives us characters that could be used for the making of a Hallmark Movie...we have a King, his daughter the Princess, a desperate pregnant mother...and an order issued by the King to kill all male Hebrew babies. We also have the Midwives...who fear God more than the King. The setting is in Egypt 350 years after the death of Joseph.  All of the Jewish people had been put in to hard labor and slavery because the new Pharaoh feared their ever growing numbers. 


An Insecure Leader-


Pharaoh was an insecure King that hated the Hebrew population kept expanding. He became fearful they would join forces with his enemies and take over his land. He was unaware that it is God who rules the entire earth and controls as He wills all that happens. Pharaoh probably had many sleepless nights trying to manipulate and devise his plan to reduce the Hebrew population. So as any insecure, sleep deprived king would do…he decided to issue an order to kill all the Hebrew male babies upon birth. This wasn't really sleep deprivation, it was his evil and jealous heart. Jealousy and insecurity at it’s highest level. Imagine our sister, the heroine of this passage, Jochebed …pregnant with her third child, knowing that if the baby she has felt growing inside her for months is a boy…it will be killed. Our Hallmark Movie ending is not looking good, but hang in there...God is going to give this dire looking text...an amazing ending.


A Woman of Faith -


Hebrews 11:23 tells us Jochebed was a woman of faith. By faith Moses' parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king's edict. As a woman who followed God Jochebed had standards for her life and the lives of her family. Scripture doesn't tell us about Jochebed's emotions during this time. Perhaps it's because we are not to focus on her emotions, but rather her bold faith that scripture does tell us about. Perhaps she was completely worry free (unlike the powerful worldly king obviously consumed by fear) because she knew by faith, that God (King of the Universe) was in control. Scripture doesn’t give us the details of her thoughts or emotions. It only tells us what she does that is nothing short of heroic, risky, and obedient. While we do not know how she felt or reacted when she knew the dire situation her child could face if born a male, we do know that when crisis hit her family, she did not fall apart, but held strong to faith in God and trusted the outcome to Him.  And when the baby was born...a male...her heart was tender to prompting by God of what to do. 

The Birth of Moses -


The big day arrived and the baby of Amram and Jochebed is born...a male...a son. BUT GOD overruled the King's edict using the women who feared Him more than the king. Exodus 1:17 tells us the midwives that were supposed to kill the Hebrew babies feared God more than they feared the king and refused to kill the Hebrew male babies. We never know what Hebrew name Jochebed gave Moses at birth.  But we do know…he was a human baby and what do they do? Cry…loudly. In Acts 7:20 scripture tells us when Moses was born…”he was lovely in the sight of God”, some translations say “beautiful.” The commentary’s agree this isn’t talking about physical beauty, but the Spirit of God placed in Jochebed's heart that this baby had a special purpose.  And so for three months this family hid the existence of a newborn baby boy. At that time, the Hebrew people were so oppressed by the insecure and sleep deprived king...that thousands upon thousands of Hebrew people lived in small huts right next to each other. They lived in over crowded, closer-than-you-would-ever-want-to-be by their neighbors.  What do babies do all the time when they're not sleeping?  I have three grown daughters...this is what they did...they cried and they cried and they cried for food, dirty diapers, attention, and sometimes just because.  Think of the task for this now family of five for three months to hide the existence of a baby boy in these close quarters from authorities.


An Act of Obedience -

But the dreaded day came, when Moses was three months old and Jochebed could no longer hide the existence of her son. For three months… she felt his soft breath, smelled his sweet skin, watched him drift to sleep, her heart deeply touched at his first smiles…

it’s here the deeper part of the plot unfolds…in order to save him…

She had to give him up…

She had to trust God…

So our courageous sister selected a papyrus basket. The word basket is only used this one time in the old testament, where it is translated…understand this, as the word…’ark’. This strongly suggests a parallel between the preservation of life in Noah’s ‘ark’ and the preservation of the life of Moses through whom God would rescue Israel. That gives me chills to see how God shows us the meaning of the word ark here. This tiny baby floating helplessly in the Nile was to be the new beginning for the Israelites. Jochebed couldn’t see that, BUT GOD could see ‘the pathway known only to God’, Psalm 77:19. Jochebed sealed the basket with pitch to make it waterproof…and quietly stepped to the edge of the Nile River, placing the basket with her three month old son in the reeds along the edge…trusting God would take care of him among the hippo’s, rhinos’, snakes, and crocodiles…

Applying the lesson of Trust in our lives -


THAT was a risky move, sister Jochebed…

Scripture does not tell us what thoughts must have raced through her mind and heart…

She had no control over the outcome…

In order to save him…she was going to have to give him up

She had to trust God…

Sweet sisters…haven’t we all stepped to the edges along the banks of the Nile?

With our marriages…

Our health…

Our relationships…

Our choices…

Our grief…

Our finances…

Our jobs…


Our failures...

Some of us sit for a while and then quietly walk away with our basket gripped still tightly in our fingers…


There are those of us sweet sisters who put our toe in the water, let go of the basket...but after a while, we tread into the water and retrieve our basket back out of the water...

Yet, some of us sisters find the faith to leave the basket in the Nile and wait patiently to see what God does…

We’ve visited the Nile…we’ve sat on the shore…we’ve prayed…we’ve cried…we’ve sought God…we’ve hoped…we’ve dreamed…

God's Plans vs. Man's Plans -


After Jochebed let go of the basket releasing her tiny baby in the hippo, rhino, snake, and crocodile waters of the Nile, Pharaoh’s daughter, the princess, was bathing further up in the Nile. When the princess noticed the basket, it tells us in Exodus 2:5 she sent her attendants to bring the basket to her. The princess was immediately drawn to the baby. Jochebed had sent Moses sister, Miriam, to remain hidden a short distance away. Miriam approached Pharoah’s daughter and offered to get a Hebrew woman to nurse the baby. Pharoah’s daughter accepted and the baby…(notice no coincidences here…God perfectly timed everything)

…is returned to Jochebed…

To nurture…

To love…

To allow another three years with his mother before he is returned to Pharoah’s daughter. One commentary said this… “Those must have been precious years. Years she had to love and influence her child for God. Those early years, pre-school years, made an indelible impression on Moses. He probably learned about the Patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and the Great Covenantal promises made to the Hebrews. Perhaps he learned what it means to have faith in God and fearless courage. But there came a day when he grew older…when Jochebed had to let him go AGAIN…to let him go and trust God again.” Her faith in the Lord's provision was one of the first steps in Israel's march from Egypt. Did this faith come easily? Certainly not. Jochebed gave Moses everything she could, then gave him up—twice: once when she set him afloat in the river and once when she returned him to be raised by the princess. Both times Jochebed probably thought she'd never see her son again, but she entrusted her child to God's Hands.

The baby boy who the jealous and insecure king wanted to kill…

Became a great man of God…who one day…lead the Israelites…

Across the Red Sea on dry ground….‘A pathway no one knew was there’…except God.


Application in our lives today - 


What about you, sweet sister in the faith…

Where are you in this story?…

Have you been asked to let God have something in your own life?

Are you on the bank of your own Nile holding tightly to a basket?

Have you placed it (and resisted the urge to wade in and retrieve it) and you’re waiting on God?…

You’re still wiping tears from the Nile visit, but you know God is working it all out?…

Then one day…in God’s timing, like our sister Jochebed, you'll discover a plan that only God can see…‘A Pathway Known Only to God’ (Psalm 77:19).

We need to remember….we live in the now and we see things from the beginning to an expected end. God sees things from the end to the beginning…He sees the hidden pathways known only to Him.  The Red Sea moments. BIG moments, that start with a step of faith often times into the unknown Nile Rivers of our own life.

Here are a few things that made the women powerful in their faith -

They chose to be obedient to God more than they feared man…in Exodus 1:17 the midwives that were supposed to kill the Hebrew babies feared God more than they feared the king. Many of the Hebrew people had become idolatrous during the time Jochebed lived. However, she was unwavering in her faith staying strong during a time where many Israelites had become idolatrous.

Hebrews 11:23 BY FAITH they hid Moses…They saw life through the eyes of faith.

They were willing to step outside of what they could humanly see to walk the path only visible to God. Literally Jochebed walked to the Nile and completely trusted God's unknown plan.


We need to recognize there are no coincidences…God orchestrates everything. That means He sees everything….from end to beginning. Let’s look at the 'no coincidence' details of Jochebed –

Was it coincidence ….Jochebed just happened to put Moses in the right spot on the Nile?
Was it coincidence…Pharaoh’s daughter just happened to be bathing at that time?
Was it coincidence…that Pharoah’s daughter just happened to see the basket?
Was it coincidence…that Moses just happened to cry at the right time to catch Pharoah’s daughters attention. After all he had been pretty quiet for THREE MONTHS!
Was it coincidence….that Miriam just happened to be near by?
Was it coincidence….that Jochebed just happened to be available and able to nurse the baby?
Was it conincidence…that Pharaoh’s daughter paid a wage to Jochebed to nurse providing for her family?
Was it coincidence…that Pharaoh’s daughter just happened to have enough influence to save the baby Moses?
Was it coincidence…that Moses spent his young formative years with his mother…
Was it coincidence…that the same baby who couldn’t save himself in a basket…led all the Israelites through the Red Sea on dry land…years later

God saw the story in the basket…when nobody could have known this tiny baby in the basket would lead the Israelites to the promised land. Through Jochebed's steadfast faith and trust in God she knew that even when God seems silent, He is always working for the good of His children (Romans 8:28). When we have faith and trust in God knowing that God often works behind the scenes of our lives, no matter how many baskets we have to place in His Hands...we can trust in God’s providential care...our basket of dreams is always held safe by our Heavenly Father working in the spiritual realm to do more than we can ask or imagine...Ephesians 3:20. 


Was it coincidence…that the same baby who couldn’t save himself in a basket…led all the Israelites through the Red Sea on dry land…years later? What is God working out in your life...for years later? Are you willing to give him your basket of dreams?

If you enjoyed this devotion. How about reading 'Heart of a Warrior' A Forty-day Devotional sharing a Legacy of Faith, by author Shelly Thompson. 


It's time...to become the Warrior's God has called us to be for this generation and the one coming after us...the pages of 'Heart of a Warrior'are real life devotions God wrote on a young girls heart growing up on 5th Street in an old neighborhood known as Highland Park...a miniature Mayberry... surrounded by her parents, grandparents, and a tribe of faithful widowed women (different shapes and sizes of Aunt Bee).

Reader’s will be enchanted and encouraged with this wonderful neighborhood as they journey up the hill to ‘God’s rock’; remember breathing in the smell of amazing stacks of books during Story Hour in the old library; discover the afternoon 5th Street neighbor 'Grace' received real Jesus grace; relive summer afternoons on the back porch with southern belle aunts, sweet tea, and stories y'all; finding ‘buried treasure’ in the back alley that God used to demonstrate His restoration; walk through painful steps of saying temporary farewell’s to the faith Warrior’s in life as they pass the torch of faith to carry on for the next generation (Acts 2:39)...creating the ‘Heart of a Warrior’...for a time such as this.

This forty-day legacy devotional contains encouraging warrior journal strategies, and real life devotions...for all seasons in life and to share with those coming after you who will face the same Warrior battles. 

Your heart will be touched, warmed, revived, restored...and prepared to leave a legacy of faith for the next generation.

Return with author Shelly Thompson for forty days to where her journey began...the old house on 5th Street at the bottom of the hill. A special place where God touched a little girl’s heart for a lifetime.


Click here for more information and to order. 



Here's what Karen Abercrombie, Miss Clara from the movie War Room, multi-award winning actress, and recipient of a Dove Award and a Movieguide Grace Award, says about 'Heart of a Warrior' -

'Heart of a Warrior' is beautifully written by Shelly Thompson, a true wordsmith, who is on fire for God! With a deep warmth, sincerity and transparency, Shelly welcomes the reader in and she teaches, encourages and inspires through her own personal experiences. Because Shelly is such a gifted writer, you get to experience a forty-day journey that is masterfully painted with beautiful and rich imagery that honors the word of God as it stirs up the Warrior's Heart! - Karen Abercrombie

Jochebed 

Giving it ALL to God...Kept Safe in a Basket

By Shelly Thompson, Publisher, The Notebook Cafe


Scripture Exodus 2

The Notebook Café