Jochebed And Moses: The Incredible Power of Active Faith

I have heard very little comments on Jochebed’s faith. In its quietness and simplicity, it demonstrated an amazing depth and sincerety that moved God himself, thereby bringing forth the most astounding results. It is indeed a tremendous example of what we could accomplish with very little resources of our own, if committed in prayer to Our Heavenly Father.

At the time the nation of Israel was going through the fires of affliction heaped upon them by one of the most heartless and cruel dictators in history. They were completely enveloped in hopelessness on a daily basis, because of the cruel edict of this tyrant that every new born baby boy must be cast into the river., How could they stand up to this monster, who was taking away their strength? It was at this time that Jochebed gave birth to her son. It should have been a time of rejoicing, but instead it was time of distress, because she was flooded with expressions of fear, hopelessness and discouragement around her. She was a woman of faith, because, unlike the others who only saw the power and strength of Pharaoh, she kept her focus on the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God Jacob, who had clearly demonstrated his almighty powers to their fathers.

The Problem was How Could She Prevail Against this Powerful Ruler? What indeed could she do? where could she start, and how could she – a poor, insignificant woman, with little or no resources – overcome the edict of this powerful dictator? She thought of the papyrus from which boats were made - barely what was available to her; she could make a sort of cradle with this, and seal it with pitch….. then what? Beside this, there was a blank wall, beyond which she could not see. Yes, even though Jochebed had her faith, the weakness of the flesh would have surfaced from time to time, when daily looking hopefully for a sign from God that her baby would be rescued, she saw distressingly, nothing.

Her God was More Powerful Than the Adversary, Pharaoh: This was her son, and she would do what she could to save him, even though what she had was woefully little, ridiculously inadequate, considering the crisis she faced. As the time drew near for her to make a decision, she worked with it – the bulrushes and the pitch - committing all to God. Finally, she prepared as best and as lovingly as she could, and committed the cradle of bulrushes containing her precious baby in the care of her Father. God, was certainly hearing the earnest prayers, and beholding the anguish of this desperate mother. Moreover, greatly touched by her simple act of faith, he was moved to “come down to deliver this baby”. Jochebed had done as much as she could with what she had, and had left the rest to him.

In recognition of Jochebed’s simple act of faith, Our Heavenly Father used her down-to-earth ingenuity - that insignificant cradle - to raise out of it, one of the most renowned leaders in history, even the conqueror that would eventually defeat that very tyrant, who so cruelly oppressed his people, finally destroying him in the sight of all the nations around. This is indeed a powerful example for our benefit, on what we could accomplish when we place our focus and faith in our LORD, rather than dwelling on our own meager strength and ability. Our Present Challenge: We are faced with a huge problem – that of our brethren, who through no fault of their own, have had to take refuge in camps, because of cruel politics. We are aware of the undesirable living conditions of these places, and the defenselessness, hopelessness, and despair of their occupants. We, in this part of the world, only have to recall the horrid conditions of the shelters provided for the Katrina hurricane victims, to have an idea of the hardship and misery in which our brethren are living. Can we be comfortable living with this knowledge of the on-going suffering of our brethren, without making an effort to relieve them? Yes, I agree that it is a very complex situation as every one has noted, and I would go further to admit that it is beyond our capacity to handle it, humanly speaking. This is exactly the position that Jochebed faced. She did not, however, give in to the hopelessness of our limitation like the other people around her. She did what she could, with what she had, prayerfully, diligently, faithfully committing her efforts to the Almighty, and he did the rest. God does not leave us to struggle on our own.

When God commissioned Moses the daunting task of releasing his people from the clutches of Pharaoh, he told him, “Certainly I will be with thee;….”. (Exodus 3: 12). When he summoned Cyrus, his anointed to rebuild his house, he told him, “I will go before thee and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron:” (Isaiah 45:2). It is the same God whom we serve to-day, and he will do the same for us, if we commit this matter to him, and start with what we have, for the sake of our brethren, who are his children too. Like Jochebed, we can start with small steps, and gradually develop this operation. God did not create the world in a day, neither did he deliver Israel in one day. He worked gradually, and we can follow his example. The important thing is to begin this operation with a plan and proceed in a diligent manner. We have many brethren, who have management skills, and there are many who would be able to offer excellent ideas, We need a proactive, ongoing programme aimed directly at resettling those brethren who are desirous of living independently on their own. Because this problem is the result of a chaotic world situation, its resolution should not be confined to one regional group, but should be the concern of the brotherhood worldwide. It is such a huge project, that it requires the joint effort of all the Christadelphian groups working together, and including other capable brethren, praying fervently to Our Heavenly Father for his guidance and his power, as we cannot do it on our own. Even Cyrus, a king, could not do it on his own, and as God helped him, so he will help us, if we will put our shoulders to the task in an effort to bear the burdens that our refugee brethren are carrying. Ephesians 3: 20,21: “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the Church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen”

Together as we bear our brethren’s burden,

Esther Worrell