Jochebed: Unafraid

By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.
— Hebrews 11:23 ESV

I've recently read a book "An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth." by Chris Hadfield. It's a pretty easy to read book despite all the science, determination, and intelligence we understand it takes to become an astronaut. His little life lessons are pretty thought provoking too. 

He talks about striving to be a zero. You see, when we're at the top of our profession and everyone is looking to us and we're making these decisions that affect everyone, we're a plus-one. When we're being obnoxious and flaunting our superiority to others and saying things like "I'm too good to clean toilets" that's a negative-one. When we're a zero, we're watching the plus ones and striving to be useful, even if being useful means cleaning out a cabinet or a toilet. A zero understands that they're contributing to the whole mission (or the big picture), that it doesn't have to be all about me, but it can be all about the collective us. 

When I think about Jochebed, I think about someone who aced being a zero. She birthed this beautiful baby boy at a time when all the baby boys were being murdered. She looked into his sweet face and saw beauty, the same sort of beauty that God saw when He made creation, and she just couldn't hand him over to be murdered. She saw his potential, she saw that he was worth preserving, and I believe she had faith in God to protect this innocent baby boy from the hands of those murderers. 

She stood unafraid against the murderous intentions of her time and chose to hide her baby for three months. First, I am so amazed that she succeeded in this endeavor as my own children would cry so loud at night! Their own neediness and dependency simply would give them away at any moment of the day. Yet, she hid him. She watched him grow for those three months until it became obvious and clear that she would no longer be able to hide him.

Yet, I consider how gut wrenching it must have been. To look at your own child WHO YOU WANT and understand that you won't be able to keep him. If she chose to keep him, she would have risked his life. Yet, if she left him in a basket, he could encounter a miracle and have his life preserved. 

She put him in a basket, taking great care to waterproof it, and set him adrift. I imagine her turning her back in complete anguish as she left him in God's capable hands. No longer seeing his sweet, toothless baby grin. Knowing that should God rescue him, she'd likely not have a hand in rearing him. She might not ever again get to hold him closely. 

Yet, she let go. In the face of all the possibilities, she let him go. She entrusted his safety, his health, his maturity, and his destiny into God's hands. No one else, but God, could save her precious boy. 

In a beautiful and merciful turn of events, God did rescue her son. He put her son in Pharaoh's house. He gave her son to Pharaoh's daughter and took care of Moses' destiny. In His mercy, Jochebed was chosen to take her son back, and nurse him until he was weaned. Then she handed her beloved baby boy to be adopted and loved by Pharaoh's daughter. 

Jochebed hid Moses for three months, unafraid of the consequences. The consequences of hiding him were less than the pain of losing him. The consequences of loving her son deeply were better than willingly handing him over to be murdered. 

In all her efforts to preserve her son's life, she ensured Israel's freedom from Egypt. Her small acts of defiance in those first three months would eventually become the hope of an entire nation as her son defiantly led the Israelites out of Egypt. She stood unafraid of what the consequences would be to her own self and chose to humbly and lovingly leave her son's fate in God's hands. 

Do we live unafraid in the same way that she did? Do we look into the face of someone worth our humility and efforts and seek to protect them at all cost? Do we defiantly do what's right rather than submit to the evil around us?