The Joy and Responsibility of Jochebed

Where do you turn for a responsibility too great?

The Joy and Responsibility of Jochebed

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Joy and Responsibility.  Those two words seem to not fit together so well. right? They are definitely not synonymous.

Yet in life there are important responsibilities that are required of us that can be an absolute joy.

Children are a Joy and Responsibility.

We see this in the story of Jochebed, the hebrew slave and mother of Moses.  She looked at the child and declared the joyous Hebrew word TOWB (tōve). She risked everything for the responsibility of motherhood.  This child was her joy and responsibility.

But in life there are responsibilities too great for us to manage.  What are we to do in such situations?  Where can we turn?

When you are overwhelmed by the responsibility in your hand, you need to remember that YOU are in God’s hands. You are God’s Joy & responsibility. He wants to be all the help you need.

The Joy and Responsibility of Jochebed from Redemption Church on Vimeo.

 

Mother’s Day – The Joy and Responsibility

Sermon notes by Pastor Chris Fluitt

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Welcome to Redemption Church! Happy Mother’s Day!  My name is Chris Fluitt. I am lead pastor here at Redemption Church and I am so glad to be with you… and also all our friends out there on the internet through podcasts and social media platforms. God bless you all.

Today is mother’s day.  Have you wished your mom a happy mother’s day? Please do contact her today.

Please open your Bibles with me to Exodus 2.

Exodus 2:1 Now a man of the house of Levi married a Levite woman,(NIV)

Exodus 2:2 and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months.(NIV)

Exodus 2:3 But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile.(NIV)

Exodus 2:4 His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him.(NIV)

Exodus 2:5 Then Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the river bank. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her slave girl to get it.(NIV)

Exodus 2:6 She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. “This is one of the Hebrew babies,” she said.(NIV)

Exodus 2:7 Then his sister asked Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?”(NIV)

Exodus 2:8 “Yes, go,” she answered. And the girl went and got the baby’s mother.(NIV)

Exodus 2:9 Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you.” So the woman took the baby and nursed him.(NIV)

Exodus 2:10 When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying, “I drew him out of the water.”(NIV)

I want to talk to you today about…

Joy and Responsibility

If you are like me, the words joy & responsibility don’t seem to go together. They are not synonymous terms. In fact they seem disagreeable to each other.  But the truth is that God has called us into some joyous responsibilities.  Tasks that are very important but at the same time a joyous gift.

Children are a joy

In our scripture reading in Exodus 2 we learned of a birth of a boy.

The Bible describes the boy as a “fine child” in verse 2.  This English translation is easy to gloss over.  But you may find it interesting that the word is…

Towb (tōve)

It means good, beautiful, pleasant, precious, glad, best…  It is the word used in these very familiar creation passages.

Genesis 1:4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.(NIV)

God saw the Light and it was TOWB.

Children are TOWB.  Every child is a creation, and just as important as the light of the sun, the dry ground and sea, the stars in the heavens.

God looked down on creation and declared TOWB. This mother looks down upon her son and declares TOWB.

Children are a joy

This is so important for us to hear and believe. We are living in a day and age where children are largely seen as a punishment, a hindrance, and undesired side effect. This view point has been growing in our world.

But let us declare Children are TOWB.  They are good. They are a joy.

Psalm 127:3 Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him.(NIV)

Psalm 127:4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth.(NIV)

Psalm 127:5 Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate.(NIV)

In Matthew 18, Jesus was asked by His disciples, “who is the greatest in His kingdom?”  He answered by calling over a little child and said to the disciples… unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus rejoices over children.

This mother rejoiced over the child.

Children are a joy

But… Children are also a responsibility

Children are a responsibility

 

The Mother’s name from Exodus 2 was Jochebed.  In verse 2 it says she hid the child for 3 months…  Jochebed was a Hebrew living in Egypt. She was a slave under the rule of a tyrant Pharaoh, who had ordered all male babies to be killed by tossing them into the river Nile.

Children are a responsibility. And Jochebed felt this responsibility.

  • She went against Pharaoh’s command and chose to hide her baby. Risked death…
  • She viewed the responsibility to the Child to be above her other responsibilities as

citizen of Egypt.

  • She hid her baby as long as she could… Babies are hard to hide. They are noisy. So when

she could no longer hide her baby boy, she handed the responsibility over to God.

Moms and Dads, your children are a joy but also a responsibility.

Are we willing to risk for the little ones God has placed in our lives?

Are you willing to risk your finances, your lifestyle, public opinion, your career for the joy of responsibility?

Jochebed faced danger for her child. She took responsibility for the child until it was evident that the child needed something more than hiding.

A responsibility too great…

That growing baby couldn’t be hid forever. The responsibility of keeping the baby safe grew bigger everyday.  It became too much of a responsibility for Jochebed.

Have you ever felt that way?  Have you ever held a responsibility that just kept growing in difficulty and burden?  Have you ever carried a responsibility that was too great?

Life is filled with these responsibilities that are too great for us. Children are such a responsibility.

So Jochebed (verse 3) created an ark, a papyrus basket that would ride on the water like a miniature boat. How carefully she must have crafted the water craft.  She coated it with tar & pitch to keep the ark water-tight. With great care she took RESPONSIBILITY for creating a boat for the baby…  She placed the Baby within the vessel and placed the vessel in the reeds along the edge of the river Nile.

There comes a moment in life where we have to release our children. We must make sure that we have taken great care in preparing them. We must take responsibility as their parents. Like Jochebed, carefully do everything we can for them. Carefully construct the vessel that surrounds them…  pitch & tar their vessel with Faith, Family, Character, Wisdom…

But there is always a moment where we must release our children into a dangerous world.

I feel the heaviness of this responsibility more and more each day.  When my 6 year old comes home exposed to language and ideas that are not innocent but destructive, I am all too aware that I cannot hide my child forever.  There will be a moment I have to release this child into the world.  Will I have crafted them a vessel?

That is heavy.  Here is the good news.

Jochebed’s child, my child, your child, the little ones in your life that you feel that responsibility for..  Your Responsibility is God’s Joy & Responsibility

When Jochebed placed that vessel by the reeds and left, God remained with the child.

When you face a responsibility too great.. you need to surrender it to God.

 

Watch what happens when the responsibility is handed over to God.

In our hands…

The river Nile was a death sentence to the child.  Drowned or eaten by crocodiles.

In God’s hands…

The baby was saved in the same river in which the baby was ordered to be killed

In our hands…

Pharaoh’s command would snatch the baby away.

In God’s hands…

The Pharaoh’s daughter adopts the baby as her own.

In our hands…

Jochebed loses her son.

In God’s hands…

Jochebed is paid to nurse her baby by the family who wanted to kill him.

In our hands…

It is just another tragic story of mistreatment of a slave.

In God’s hands…

The slave becomes a prince and deliverer of his people.

 

When you reach that point where you must release your responsibility… KNOW THIS!  God does not release his responsibility.

Your child is your joy. It is also God’s Joy!

Your child is your responsibility!  It is also God’s responsibility!

You are God’s Child.  You are His responsibility & joy.

God did not just look over Jochebed’s son.. God looked over Jochebed.

 

 

Are you carrying a responsibility too great?

Do you understand that you are God’s Joy & Responsibility?

Are you ready to put your situation into God’s hands?

 

Author: Pastor Chris Fluitt

Chris Fluitt serves as Lead Pastor at Redemption Church. He is husband to Sarah, and Daddy to Will, Hudson & Joshua. Worshipper, Husband, Father, Musician, Songwriter, Blogger, Nerd, Social Media Buff, Sportaholic Connect on Google+