By Verse : Exodus 2:1-11 Topic :

May 13,18  Mother’s Day


Thinking about this week’s sermon, knowing that it is Mother’s Day, I began to wonder what God’s message to all of us could be. I could use Proverbs 31 about the character of a Godly women…. “She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her…. Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her the reward she has earned and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.” 

With that being said, we could pick up our things and go make a phone call to mom, or take her out to lunch, or for those whose mom have gone on to glory we can pause and remember some wonderful memories that we still cling to. Moms! We might say the backbone of many families. Tough as nails at times, but they have soft hearts. Moms, cook, do laundry, take care of the home, act as a nurse or doctor, and even offer advice when asked…or even when not asked. They have kissed a hurt, nursed a pain, and have been there to smooth the way. They have eyes in the back of their heads, and they have open arms to welcome a child or a grandchild to come, sit, and rock.

*Erma Bombeck once explained Mother’s Day by saying: “The easiest part of being a mother is giving birth. The hardest part is showing up for it each day. Mother’s Day is traditionally the day when children give something back to their mothers for all the spit they produced to wash dirty faces, all the old gum their mothers held in their hands, all the noses and fannies that were wiped, and all the bloody knees that were ‘made well’ with a kiss.

Yes, every year we think of moms on this day. This morning following worship, in our overflow room, we will celebrate Mother’s Day with some refreshments, so I hope you all will take a moment to join all the moms before heading out for the day.

This morning’s subject seemed to be God confirmed once again. By that I mean I knew what Scripture I wanted to use, and it seemed to be confirmed when I went through the check-out counter and saw a life magazine about Moses. For you see, the Scripture for today is about Moses’ birth found in the book of Exodus.

Like perhaps many of you when we think of Moses we think of the movie The Ten Commandments. When I think of that movie I think of two men. I think of Charleston Heston who played the grownup Moses and I think of Yul Brynner who played the Pharaoh. I can see both of them now in my mind as Moses tells Pharaoh to let his people go, and he says, not on your life. Well not exactly those words but close.

Before his birth this was a tough time for the Hebrew nation. The Pharaoh who did not know Joseph saw how the Hebrew nation had grown so much that he was afraid that one day there would be an uprising and his own people overthrown, as well as himself. So, he enslaved the Hebrews. And then he decided to have all the boy Hebrew babies killed, just like King Herod did later during the time he was searching for baby Jesus thinking if he could get rid of the one who was to take his place he could reign forever. How foolish he was. How foolish that Pharaoh was.

Exodus 2:1-11 is about the birth of Moses, how when Moses was born his mother kept him hid so that no one outside the family would know about his birth. It says, “When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months. 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. His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen. Then Pharaoh’s daughter went done 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. She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. “This is one of the Hebrews babies” she said. Then his sister asked Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?” “Yes, go,” she answered. And the girl went and got the baby’s mother. 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. When the baby 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.”

Thus, we have the birth of Moses and God’s hand was upon him.

3 unnamed women are prominent in this story and in the life of Moses. 3 unnamed women who God used to carry out his eternal plan of salvation. 

First is his birth mom.  With all the problems that Pharaoh’s edict caused, Moses’ mother must have struggled with what to do. If they found out about Moses being born, well, that would be the end of Moses. But her faith opened the door to trust God to take care of the situation. So, with much prayer, much soul searching, she decided to keep him as long as she could, and then when it would be more difficult for her to hide him she would figure out what to do. A plan came to her mind. A plan, could we not say, that came from God. A plan that would save her son. So, Moses’ mom, though that was not the name she gave him, with the help of his sister, and dad, built that little basket, placed him in it, and she and Moses’ sister went to the Nile and placed it among the reeds and let it drift as it may. Maybe they asked God’s guidance for the basket as they launched Moses on his new journey. Maybe they prayed for the person or persons who would find the basket, that it would be the one who could give her son a good home. So, bathed in prayer, and perhaps putting something of herself in that basket that perhaps he could hold on to, they released the basket, and Moses’ sister stood by to watch what was going to happen, to make sure he was safe.

The second unnamed woman was Moses’ sister. We know when the Exodus took place years later, Moses’ sister Miriam was with him. But this may not have been his sister who watched him float down the Nile. But she stood watch. She made sure that he would be safe.

The third unnamed woman was Pharaoh’s daughter. At just the right time of day, at the precise time that was needed, she went to bathe herself in the Nile. What happened was amazing, for she saw in the water a basket floating and sent her attenders to bring it to her. When she opened it, to her amazement, she found a crying baby. But his was no ordinary crying baby. It was one that belonged to a Hebrew mom. Perhaps she was shocked that this baby lived this long. And she took him in her arms, rocked him and realized this child was hungry.

There you have it. The story of Moses’ birth, his journey in the Nile, and his rescue. And all three women had a part of his story and his heritage. Think of it. Moses survived it all. Don’t you think it was surprising that this mean Pharaoh let his daughter keep the Hebrew child? Or was it that Pharaoh’s daughter just said she found a baby in the Nile, not mentioning it was a Hebrew? God’s hand was on this situation, as it is in many of our lives as well. 

But there is more. Because his sister was close by when Pharaoh’s daughter realized the baby she was holding was hungry, out of the darkness came Moses’ sister and asked if she could find a Hebrew mom to help nurse the baby. Who do you think she had in mind? RIGHT! You already guessed it. She ran home to mom and said, “Mom, mom, come quickly your son has been found by Pharaoh’s daughter and she needs you to nurse him. Come quickly with me.”

So, sister and mom run as fast as they could to the palace and we find that Pharaoh’s daughter gives Moses back to his mom to raise for a while, or until it was time for him to be returned to the one who would raise him. And get this…. Pharaoh offered to pay her for her service. 

Isn’t God good? I imagine during those months, perhaps years, Moses real mom raised him and told him of his background and where he came from. She, like Samuel, the priest’s mom, had great influence on what would be, as she planted seeds of his roots in his mind which he would one day remember. Yet, God used Moses. He had a plan for this child plucked from the Nile. His plan included an education for Moses in the leader of the Egyptian world. He would be schooled by the best teachers and learn many things about their culture, which one day would become handy. And one day he would return to lead his own people to the Promised Land.

Three prominent women who were part of Moses’ life. His mom, his sister, and his step-mom, if we can name her that way. All having a part in raising the deliver of God’s chosen people.

I think we all know that moms have one of the most important roles in all the earth. Who else wipes away our tears? Who else kisses our hurting finger? Who else helps soften our dads hearts? I found that George Washington, our 1st President said this about his mother – “All I am, I owe to my mother. I attribute all my success in this life to the moral, intellectual and physical education I received from her.” And President Abraham Lincoln said – “I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life. All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” Our 25th President William McKinley said, “By the blessings of heaven I mean to live, die and in all things please God, in the faith of my mother.” The great preacher, Charles Haddon Spurgeon once said, “I cannot begin to tell how much I owe to the solemn word of my good mother. All the books of the world could not contain her godly influence upon me.” And John Calvin said  “The noblest calling in the world is that of mother. She who rears a family of God fearing sons and daughters whose immortal souls will be exerting influence throughout the ages… long after paintings have faded and books have worn thin, deserves the highest honor that men can give.”

And on this Mother’s Day we celebrate with you moms. We celebrate the sacrifices that is asked of you. We remember mom’s who are far away, who have gone on to glory, who are still with us today. But the one thing many of us realize. Most moms were always there.

I remember the time when I had to tell my mom that I was leaving the Catholic church to become a minister in the United Methodist Church. We didn’t know how she would take it. Her reaction was, “If God is telling you to do that, who am I to tell you differently.” My mom had great influence in my life, but she knew she had to let go and allow God to work in my life. And once I became a pastor, my mom would drive by Methodist churches and wonder if someday I would be pastor there. She never did get to see me or hear me preach but we did send a tape or two for her to listen to. I believe she was a proud mom.

This morning we honor all moms. They are a gift from God, given the grace and love needed to raise a child or children. They brought us into the world. They fed us. They changed our diapers. They bathed us. They watched us grow and leave home. They are seed planters. They are soul cultivators. They come in all sizes and shapes. They are the unknown who have given birth to presidents, great preachers, amazing generals, scientists, doctors who heal, who discover great medicines. They are the unknown, unsung heroes that we give thanks for this morning. We praise moms who are still with us, and those who helped shape our lives. Some do their roll well. Some might fail. But all have brought us into this world. We can learn from them. God didn’t make them perfect. He just made them moms.

Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms. Enjoy the blessings from God today and forever more.

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