Blessings: given by God, not earned by man
One of the questions today opens the door to a very difficult and troubling subject. It is one that is a stumbling block to many causing a separation between them and God. God blessed Jochebed’s courageous faith. Moses was saved. Miriam wasn’t struck down for approaching an Egyptian princess. Jochebe was even given the privilege of getting paid to nurse her own child. But what about the other mothers of Hebrew boys?
Were those mothers and fathers less courageous? What of the ones who refused to throw their own child into the Nile and paid the price at the hands of Pharaoh’s guards? What of the mothers and fathers living in the tents or huts around Amram and Jochebed? What would they have felt knowing a boy was living for 3 months as their neighbor while their own child had drowned? And what about the infants themselves?
There is a small voice we can hear that wants us to hold God culpable for the wickedness of mankind. Why did he not stop this? Why would He allow innocent babies then and today to be murdered? What did Jochebed do that other mothers did not to “earn” the blessing?
But we must look at it in another light. Is a parent a bad parent if they live in an area where gang violence takes the life of their child? Is a leader of a nation a bad leader if they send soldiers into battle against tyrannical and terrorist forces? Is a local mayor bad for allowing police and fire-fighters to put their life on the line each day? When bad things happen we don’t lash out at leaders. We acknowledge the bad for what it is and the righteous fighting against it as heroes.
God, in his love for us, mankind, has given us freedom. He gave us the gift of being able to choose: Do we want to follow Him and live in a perfect relationship with Him? Or do we want to follow ourselves and our own wants and desires and to be our own god? Since Adam and Eve we have had the choice and have made the wrong choice again and again. That is called sin. God is not bad for giving us that choice – He is good and loving and gracious. A parent is not bad for allowing her children to choose to love her and obey her – they are her children not slaves. Unfortunately, choice can and does take us down the wrong path. Through sin, evil flourishes in this world. Through sin bad, horrible, unthinkable things happen.
For the mothers and fathers of Hebrew boys other than Amram and Jochebe it would have been very difficult to see. But, in their day, in their neighborhood, in their midst, God was answering their prayers. This is not the path God chose. We chose it. But that also does not mean our action in any way reduced God’s power and plan. The fact that we have chosen (and continue to choose) the wrong path makes it harder on us, but God is God and His promises are always faithful and true. While the atrocities of man are horrific and there is no comfort found in the loss of innocent lives, God’s plan and promise to bring His people home to Him for all eternity is unchanging. The blessing is not one that we earn. Jochebe did not earn the blessing of Moses being saved. She opened her arms of faith and received the gift of the blessing of God.
We should do the same. The blessing, the one bestowed on all the Isrealites in Egypt through Moses, was a blessing of being set free of bondage and returned to the promised land. In the same way we are are offered the blessing that by the grace of God, His son paid the price of our sin so we could return to a perfect and eternal relationship with Him.
9. Amram, Jochebe, Aaron, Miriam
a. Faith, God’s provision to keep him hidden and they were not afraid of the king’s edict because faith
b. Promised land: Gen 12:1, Gen 15:7; Increase number Gen 17:6, He would be their God, Gen 17:7;
c. Trusted God but put in papyrus basket coated in tar and pitch, placed in reeds at bath time, Miriam on guard duty
d. Moses survived, not eaten, not killed, not drowned, Pharaoh’s daughter disobeyed, paid to have him raised, took as her son
e. Financially with business changes