Wednesday, July 14, 2010

When Giving Up Is Good (Exodus 2:1-10)

Some people will do anything to keep from giving up. After all, giving up shows weakness, doesn’t it? Or does it? Sometimes, giving up is the greatest thing you can do. Just ask Jochebed.

When her baby was born, Jochebed and her husband Amram “saw that he was no ordinary child” (Hebrews 11:23). Maybe Moses was especially cute, or maybe his parents sensed a divine call on his life. One thing’s for sure—they did not want to lose him. So they hid him for three months, defying a royal command to kill all baby boys.

As Jochebed nursed Moses and rocked him to sleep, she likely prayed for his safety. She held Moses close to her heart and appealed to the heart of God. But when God put an idea into her mind—a plan that could save Moses’ life—Jochebed risked giving up a big part of her own life. Even though it hurt, Jochebed was willing to give Moses up. She could do it because although she cared deeply about Moses, she did not cling desperately to him. She clung only to God.

The source of Jochebed’s strength is implied in the meaning of her name, “Jehovah is her glory”. Jochebed knew that the greatest joy comes not from clutching good things to ourselves, but from giving everything to God and watching Him use it to draw attention to Himself. Long before “kingdom perspective” was a catchphrase, Jochebed embraced God’s far-reaching plan for His world—a plan that involved her son, a plan that would point all nations toward God’s Son.

Jochebed may have had no idea of the magnitude or specifics of God’s plan. She may not have imagined that her son would be the deliverer who would foreshadow the ultimate Deliverer. She may not have dreamed that Moses would talk face to face with Almighty God, receive the Law and prepare God’s people for the Promised Land. But she did realize that to cling to Moses would not bring ultimate good—for her or for him. To cling to God, though, and to pursue His glory, would bring nothing but good, ultimately.

Jochebed’s greatest legacy is not that she was Moses’ mother, but that she was willing to give up being Moses’ mother. She was willing to embrace God’s plan—whatever it involved. She trusted that God knew what was best, could do what was best and would do what was best. He did! And God’s best was better than Jochebed could have dreamed. It always is.

Copyright © 2010 Sherrie Lorance. All rights reserved.


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