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The Man With Two Mothers
Intro: Mother’s Day is a bittersweet day. In the minds of many people there is no one in the world like their mother. For most, mom is a very special person. Others, however, have memories of mother that are not all that special. Perhaps the relationship was strained for some reason or the other.
So, we have to be careful as we approach the topic of motherhood. Not all mothers deserve to be elevated to a special of reverence and honor. But, some do!
· Real Mothers are special people.
· Real mothers would like to be able to eat a whole candy bar, all by themselves, and drink a Coke without any “floaters” in it.
· Real Mothers know that their kitchen utensils are probably going to end up in the sandbox.
· Real Mothers often have sticky floors, filthy ovens and happy kids.
· Real Mothers know that dried play dough doesn’t come out of shag carpets.
· Real Mothers sometimes ask “Why me?” and get their answer when a little voice says, “Because I love you best.”
Real mothers are an integral part of our lives. We wouldn’t be who we are without our mothers, nor would we be here at all!
Some of the greatest people in history will tell you how important their mothers were to their lives. George Washington, for example, declared: “All I am I owe to my mother”.
This was also true of one of the greatest men in Old Testament history, a man named Moses. 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.
Both of the women who fulfilled the maternal role in the life of Moses made certain choices in regard to Moses that impacted the course of his life. Their choices made Moses the man he became. The old saying, “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world,” was absolutely true in the life of Moses.
I want to examine the choices made by the mothers of Moses. Their choices have much to teach us about love, about life and about the legacy we leave our children. I want to preach about The Man With Two Mothers. Allow me to point out the choices these women made in the life of Moses.
I. THEY CHOSE TO GIVE MOSES LIFE
A. Consider The Choice Of Jochebed
Moses was born into a culture of death. Ill. The context of Ex. 1:7-22. According to the decree of Pharaoh, Moses should have been killed as soon as he was born.
Imagine the pregnancy. Imagine the waiting, the expectancy, the wondering whether the baby would be a girl or a boy. There were no ultrasounds to discover the sex of he baby. They had to wait until the mother gave birth. When she did, she gave birth to a “goodly” baby boy. The word “goodly” has the idea of being “good, pleasant, agreeable, and happy.” In other words, he was a lovely baby boy.
In his mother’s eyes, he was perfect, and she refused to kill him, but she chose life and hid her son. His mother chose to disobey the command of Pharaoh. She allowed her son to live. By the way, both of Moses’ parents were involved in the decision to give him life. Heb. 11:23 says, “By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king's commandment.”
So, Amram, and Jochebed hid the growing baby for as long as they could, Ex. 2:2-4. Of course others knew she was expecting. How would she explain the fact that she was no longer pregnant? How could she explain a pregnancy that had gone on that long? How could she keep the existence of a growing, rambunctious baby boy from getting out?
Her faith in God would not allow her to murder her son. But, her faith in God was so great that she was willing to trust God with the life of her son. She could not kill the baby, and she could not secure his life either. She made a little basket of reeds; applied pitch to it so that it would not leak, put her baby in it, and set him adrift on the providence of God. The baby’s older sister stayed nearby to make sure nothing happened to the child.
Here was a mother who chose life for her child. It would have been easier to take his life. Death for baby Hebrew boys was the law of the land. She could have destroyed her young son, but she chose to give him life instead!
B. Consider The Choice Of The Princess
In verses 5-6, the daughter of Pharaoh comes down to the river to bathe. When she sees the floating ark, she sends her servants to investigate. They bring her the basket, and she looks inside to find a crying baby boy. Because he is circumcised she recognizes that he is a Hebrew baby, and immediately understands that his mother has chosen life over death for her child.
We are told that she “had compassion on him.” The word “compassion” means “to spare, or to have pity on.” In that instant, this princess had a choice. She could obey the decree of her father and have the child killed. After all, it would have been easy. All she would have had to do was have one of her servants tip over the ark and the child would have drowned. Or, she could choose life. This pagan princess, born into a culture of death, chose life for a child who should have been killed.
Let’s face the facts today; we also live in a culture of death. We live in a world where the most dangerous place for an unborn child is the place that should be the safest: its mother’s womb. We live in a world where not every pregnant woman wants to be a mother. We live in a culture that allows a woman to take away the life of their child.
Illustration: Consider the following statistics about abortion.
· In 2008 1.21 million abortions were performed in the USA.
· In 2009 26,123 abortions were performed in North Carolina. Of these over 70% of those choosing abortions were women between the ages of 15 and 30. 75% of those choosing abortion were single women. In Caldwell County in 2009, 76 women chose to end their pregnancies through abortion.
· On average, women give at least 3 reasons for choosing abortion: 3/4 say that having a baby would interfere with work, school or other responsibilities; about 3/4 say they cannot afford a child; and 1/2 say they do not want to be a single parent or are having problems with their husband or partner.
· In 2009, the average cost of a nonhospital abortion with local anesthesia at 10 weeks of gestation was $451.
· 50% of U.S. women obtaining abortions are younger than 25; women aged 20-24 obtain 33% of all U.S. abortions and teenagers obtain 17%.
· 47% of women who have abortions had at least one previous abortion.
· There is much more to say about abortion. The fact is, it is too easy in our world to do away with an unwanted child. We live in a culture of death, and that cannot be denied!
· Thank God, due to the recent election of several conservatives on the state level, some things are beginning to change. Just last week our governor signed unborn victim’s legislation into law. This law says that if an expectant mother is murdered and her unborn child also dies, the murderer will face two murder charges. Budget legislation in our state house has been introduced that will decrease the amount of money available for abortion in North Carolina from $1.4 million to $50,000.00. Pray that the trend in North Carolina will continue.
· We need to pray for our pro-life lawmakers, and pray that God will change the hearts of those who are pro-death. If God can providentially touch the heart of a pagan princess and make her choose life for a Hebrew baby, He can touch the hearts of lost lawmakers and doctors and help destroy this culture of death in which we live.
Let me make two quick statements.
1. Thank God for every mother who chooses life for her child! I applaud you and thank God for you, I praise the Lord that my mother chose life for me. This is always God will, as every human life is precious to the Lord.
2. If you have had an abortion, I want you to know that God loves you and He cares about you. Your chose to end the life of your child was a sin, but it is a sin that can be forgiven. Bring it to God and allow Him to cleanse your heart and soothe the pain you feel over what you have done.
Death would have been easier, but both these women chose to give Moses life.
I. They Chose To Give Moses Life
II. THEY CHOSE TO GIVE MOSES LOVE
Both of the women God placed in the life of Moses loved him more than they loved themselves. His birth mother risked her life to save his life. His adoptive, Egyptian mother risked the wrath of her father, the Pharaoh to save his life.
Why would they do this? The only answer that makes sense is love. They loved Moses more than they loved themselves. Their love for him motivated them to action.
Jochebed loved Moses because he was her son. Her body gave him life and nourished him as he grew, verses 7-9. Her love for Moses allowed Moses to fulfill the greatest earthly destiny ever designed for any Hebrew. Because his mother loved so much that she risked everything to save him, he was able to lead his people out of Egyptian slavery, destroy the armies and power of Egypt without lifting a single sword or firing a single arrow. Her love allowed him to fulfill his God-given destiny to be a savior of his people.
The princess loved Moses because God put it into her heart. There is no other reason that this pagan daughter of Pharaoh would adopt the son of a Hebrew slave. Her heart was moved by the plight of a helpless child and she took him as her own son.
She named him “Moses.” The name means, “Drawn Out,” referring to the fact that Moses was “drawn out” of the Nile River. This name was also providential. Moses was “drawn out” so that he might one day “draw out” others.
It is hard to escape the irony of this situation. Pharaoh had to pay for the upkeep of a child he had ordered to be murdered. Again, this is the providence of God.
Just a reminder, we serve a God Who is in charge of all things. He is controls every event in life to accomplish His purposes in the world, Psa. 115:3; 135:6; Eph. 1:11.
God put love for this child into the hearts of two vastly different women. God spared Moses from certain death because He had a plan for this man’s life. He would use Moses in a tremendous way. There is another reason that God spared Moses.
According to Acts 7:29-20, which says, “The same dealt subtilly with our kindred, and evil entreated our fathers, so that they cast out their young children, to the end they might not live. In which time Moses was born, and was exceeding fair, and nourished up in his father's house three months.” The phrase “exceeding fair” literally means that he was “fair to God.” God loved this child and worked in the hearts and lives of others causing them to love him too.
If you were born into a family where you received love, you should rejoice! If you have been loved, you have been blessed.
Illustration: Years ago, a young mother was making her way across the hills of South Wales, carrying her tiny baby in her arms, when she was overtaken by a blinding blizzard. She never reached her destination and when the blizzard had subsided searchers beneath a mound of snow found her body. But they discovered that before her death, she had taken off all her outer clothing and wrapped it about her baby. When they unwrapped the child, to their great surprise and joy, they found he was alive and well. She had mounded her body over his and given her life for her child, proving the depths of her motherly love. Years later that child, David Lloyd George, grown to manhood, became prime minister of Great Britain, and, without doubt, one of England’s greatest statesman.
Illustration: The mother of three notoriously unruly youngsters was asked whether or not she'd have children if she had it to do over again. “Yes,” she replied. “But not the same ones.”
Illustration: A teacher asked a boy this question: “Suppose your mother baked a pie and there were seven of you--your parents and five children. What part of the pie would you get?”
“A sixth,” replied the boy.
“I'm afraid you don't know your fractions,” said the teacher. “Remember, there are seven of you.”
“Yes, teacher,” said the boy, “but you don't know my mother. Mother would say she didn't want any pie.”
Illustration: Washington Irving once said, “The love of a mother is never exhausted. It never changes--it never tires--it endures through all; in good repute, in bad repute, in the face of the world's condemnation, a mother's love still lives on.”
Thank God for mothers who love their children!
Illustration: Author Max Lucado offers some intriguing insights into a mother’s love in his book “A Gentle Thunder.” With some adaptation, here are his comments.
“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 she say thank you?
Are you kidding?
She’s no more out of the womb than she starts to cry!
The room is too cold, the blanket is too rough, the nurse is too mean.
And who does she 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.
She didn’t even tell you she was coming.
She just came.
And what a coming!
She 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 her good looks and bright future.
She’s 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 her.
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 Him. “
Thank God for the love of parents for their children. Genuine parental love is a window into the very heart of God.
I. They Chose To Give Moses Life
II. They Chose To Give Moses Love
III. THEY CHOSE TO GIVE MOSES LEADERSHIP
Both of the mothers God gave Moses invested themselves into his life.
A. His Egyptian mother gave him the best that Egypt had to offer. Acts 7:21-22 says, “And when he was cast out, Pharaoh's daughter took him up, and nourished him for her own son. And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds.” This means that she gave him the best education available. It is possible that Moses, by virtue of being adopted by the daughter of Pharaoh, was in line for the throne. He was trained as a prince in Egypt. He was trained for leadership, and that training would serve him well in his later years.
B. His birth mother gave him something his adoptive mother could not give him. His real mother introduced Moses to the God of Israel. She told him about the true and living God. She would have warned him about the false gods and religions of Egypt. She would have told him the stories of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. She would have told him about the reason the Israelites were in bondage in Egypt. She would have told him about the promises of God to delver His people from bondage some day. She would have instilled within him a love and respect for the God of his fathers.
Her lessons took root in heart. How do we know? Heb. 11:24-27 says, “By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.”
By the time he was grown, Moses understood that God would use him to delver the people of Israel from their slavery. Acts 7:24-29 says, “And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him that was oppressed, and smote the Egyptian: For he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them: but they understood not. And the next day he shewed himself unto them as they strove, and would have set them at one again, saying, Sirs, ye are brethren; why do ye wrong one to another? But he that did his neighbour wrong thrust him away, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge over us? Wilt thou kill me, as thou diddest the Egyptian yesterday? Then fled Moses at this saying, and was a stranger in the land of Midian, where he begat two sons.”
C. The lessons Moses learned from his mother set the very course of his life. Thus it is with the children we have been given the responsibility to raise. We need to give them something that all the universities, schools, and extracurricular activities in the world cannot give them. We need to give them knowledge of God!
If they leave your home and unable to balance their checkbook, but with a clear understanding of Who God is and Who the Lord Jesus Christ is they are well ahead of the smartest of their peers. If they leave your home not knowing how to dance, play ball, conjugate a verb, solve long division problems, or multiply fractions, but if they leave knowing that the Bible is the Word of God, Jesus is the Friend of sinners and that God loves them, they are far, far better off than their peers who learn nothing of God from their parents.
What I am saying is this: In the culture in which we live, parents want their children to have more than they did. We want them to have a better education, a better home, a better life. What we should want more is that they have a deep, personal, abiding relationship with God. What we should do is to do everything in our power to cultivate their love for the Lord. We should pray with them, and pray for them. We should read the Bible with them, and to them. We should take them to church faithfully. We should see to it that they are involved in the programs of the church. We should see to it that our personal walk matches our profession of faith in the Lord. We should be real in front of our children!
More than anything, we should give our children Jesus Christ and Him crucified and resurrected, the only hope of salvation!
Illustration: Chuck Swindoll gives the following insight on how we raise our children.
Conc: God providentially prepared Moses for his role as the deliverer of Israel through the two women he gave him to be his mothers. Their influence made Moses into the man he became.
· If you were blessed to have a good, godly mother, you should thank Him for that today.
· If your mother was not what she should have been, ask the Lord to help you overcome her negative influence and to help you be a better person than she was.
· If your mother is lost, you should pray for her salvation.
· If your mother is alive, you should confirm your love for her.
· If you are like me, and you need the Lord to work in areas of your life that are lacking, you should come to Him today.
· If you would like to come and pray for your children’s growth, maturity and successful departure from your home, this would be a good time. After all, “The most important thing that parents can teach their children is how to get along without them.”
· If you are out of God’s will, you should come home today, so that you can be the kind of influence God wants you to be.
· If you are lost, you should come to Jesus Christ right now for salvation. He will forgive your sins, save your soul and change your life. When He changes you, He will change those around you through you.