Saturday, May 12, 2012

A Mother’s Makeup


Life is designed to grow bigger than can be contained by the womb in which it began. Life is destined to fewer confines and greater capacities.

Neither the womb nor the grave shall limit the plan of God.

The story we are about to review came at a very hard time in the life and plight of the Israelites. These Children of Israel were living as slaves of the Pharaoh in Egypt and they were multiplying in population and in strength faster than the Egyptians were comfortable with.

Concerned with the potential of someday being overrun by their captive workforce, Pharaoh’s advisers convinced him to order the Egyptian mid-wives to murder each new baby boy at birth and only allow the female babies to live. Pharaoh felt that this would help to prevent or better control any future uprising or revolt from the Israelite slaves. Because of Pharaoh’s plans the Hebrew women began delivering their children before their Egyptian mid-wife/nurse could arrive. Such was the case with a woman named Jochebed who was married to a Levite named Amram. (Exo 6:20)

Today we will review some great lessons about motherhood which the Bible teaches us through both the biological mother and the adoptive mother of Moses. To begin our Mother’s Day message let’s look at:

Exodus 2
1  And a man of the house of Levi went and took as wife a daughter of Levi.
2  So the woman conceived and bore a son. And when she saw that he was a beautiful child, she hid him three months.
3  But when she could no longer hide him, she took an ark of bulrushes for him, daubed it with asphalt and pitch, put the child in it, and laid it in the reeds by the river’s bank.
4  And his sister stood afar off, to know what would be done to him.

Mothers come in all shapes and sizes, kinds and variations. There are:
        Biological Moms
        Adoptive Moms
        Foster Mothers
        Spiritual Mothers
        Mother Figures from all walks of life

What qualifies someone to be a mother, biological or otherwise? Well there are at least three essential ingredients that we consistently see from God’s Word, which have been confirmed since creation, that go to make up a mother.

1.  Love

And by the way, birth mothers are not the only mothers who love and adore their children. Children often experience a mother’s love from more than one mother figure. Such was the case with Moses …

Exodus 2
5  Then the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river. And her maidens walked along the riverside; and when she saw the ark among the reeds, she sent her maid to get it.
6  And when she had opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the baby wept. So she had compassion on him, and said, "This is one of the Hebrews’ children."

Literally she opened her heart when she opened that basket and then and there, she fell in love. It did not matter that the child was of another race, a different culture or even considered by some to beneath her and a potential enemy … this child touched her heart, a heart that no doubt God had prepared for just such a time as this … a heart that was now full love … the love which feels sorry for, takes pity on, releases compassion towards … the love which motivates a mother to take the next step:

You know, we not only see that Pharaoh’s daughter was moved with compassion for the child and took the place as his mother, later even giving him the name of Moses … but also Jochebed, his biological mother loved Moses so much that she risked her life and the security of her family to have him and hide him before placing him in the trusted hands of the Lord. It takes love to trust and it takes trust to let go of someone you love so dearly. Jochebed loved Moses and trusted God …

As I said, this child needed a foster mother to adopt him and God had no doubt prepared the heart of Pharaoh’s daughter for just such a work. Her heart was now filled with love … the love which feels sorry for, takes pity on, releases compassion towards someone… the love which motivates a mother to take the next step:

2.  Care

Exodus 2
7  Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, "Shall I go and call a nurse for you from the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for you?"
8  And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, "Go." So the maiden went and called the child’s mother.
9  Then 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.

Not only did Pharaoh’s daughter love and care for baby Moses, she was also willing to pay for what she believed was best for him … best in many ways no doubt … best for now and best for the future. You see, Pharaoh’s daughter was most likely going to have to “butter-up” and soften her dad somewhat to get him to warm up to the idea of having an abandoned slave baby from the river raised in the Palace as the adopted grandson of the Pharaoh --- however, a woman in love, willing to give of herself at great personal cost can seldom be denied anything they desire … she knew her daddy would eventually be ok with this. But for now – she had to take care! In these few minutes this little baby had gotten under her skin. Over the next 40 years Moses would become the unquestionable son of this woman he came to call mother. True motherhood, as God designed, whether biological, adoptive, or step related, is a spiritual dynamic.

Luke 1:31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.

Time in the womb – or in the heart – makes one care. This is the type of care that commands a singular priority and a focused commitment - that says, “this is my child” and I am one hundred percent responsible for them… if they eat it will be because I fed them, if they are clean it will be because I bathed them, if they succeed it will be because I taught them.
God intends for each child to be conceived in the womb, loved from the heart, and cared for by a mother without regard to personal cost.

Motherhood takes love, care and the third God ordained element necessary for motherhood which we see in the life of Jochebed and indeed all throughout the plan of God is that of:

3.  Boundaries

Exodus 2
10  And the child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. So she called his name Moses, saying, "Because I drew him out of the water."

From the very beginning of the Bible and the account of creation, ever since God presented Adam with his new bride and he called her “the mother of all living”, God has given us to understand that boundaries are a necessary and ordinary part of a mother’s makeup. Although motherhood is God’s hope for the world, the need for separation is a vital factor in that continuing plan of God. Boundaries can be beautiful …

Galatians 1:15  But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace …

The first boundary a mother has to prepare to deal with is the birth of their child. It is a separation experience. For whatever time a child is in the womb, whether it is the actual physical womb in the sense of traditional pregnancy and gestation or the many other applications of this principle from adoptive motherhood to spiritual motherhood, that special moment of conception, like when Pharaoh’s daughter opened the little basket and saw the baby, that moment when the seed of new life suddenly chooses you as the safe place to grow, from that time on it is inevitable that future separation and the need to establish new boundaries will occur.

All life is designed to grow bigger than the womb in which it began.

We must let it grow … and growth will demand some separation. It might be painful at times but it is not actually designed to hurt but to help. In fact the very first time God mentions the concept of motherhood in the Bible, He speaks of the necessity of boundaries and healthy separation to facilitate greater growth. We find this first mention of motherhood in:

Genesis 2:24  Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

Much could be said today about a Mother’s love, care, and the steps she prepares herself and her child to take in the future, however, no Mother’s Day would be complete if we did not recognize the well deserved honor we all owe to all mothers.

Perhaps the reason why God expects us to give such honor to our mothers is due to the extra He requires from them to make His plan work. A mother is designed to:
·        Give First
·        Give Most
·        Give Always

How does she do this? It’s just in her makeup …

A mother is expected to give more to the relationship than she initially receives in return If she refuses, she will never become a mother. And remember:

Neither the womb nor the grave shall limit the plan of God … life is designed for greater things than either birth or death can define.

Mothers, we love you and we thank you for giving first, giving most and giving always! We honor you … God bless you … Happy Mother’s Day.