We often think the heroes in life are the people who do great and courageous acts, and rightfully so. These people often make great sacrifices, many times without knowing whether their actions will even make a difference. As it is with any great hero or person, there are usually other people in their lives that don’t get much fanfare. Yet these people are critical to that person’s life.
Two of the greatest heroes in the entire Bible were Moses and Samuel. However, could it be the heroes of their story weren’t actually Moses and Samuel themselves, but two other people that don’t get as much fanfare? These would, of course, be their moms. These men’s moms, like all moms, have the opportunity to shape the lives of those with whom they are entrusted.
Let’s see how this plays out in the lives of these two men.
A Tale of Two Mothers
Quick question. What is the name of Moses’ mom? Most people don’t know the answer because when we are first introduced to Moses, we know she was there but we don’t know her name. You have to go to Numbers 26:59 to find that her name is Jochebed.
When you read the story of Moses’ birth in Exodus 2, you learn that he was born during a time when every male Hebrew boy was thrown into the Nile and killed. His mom tried to hide him, but after three months she couldn’t hide him anymore. So, she did something interesting. Jochebed put him in a basket and placed him in the reeds along the banks of the Nile river. The place that was marked as a place of death, became the place Moses got life.
As the story goes, Pharaoh’s daughter finds Moses and takes him as her son. Moses’ sister was following the scene and asked Pharaoh’s daughter if she should get someone to nurse the baby and Pharaoh’s daughter said yes. Guess who she went to get? You got it: Jochebed. She was able to nurse her son and when he got older, he became the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.
Hannah, Samuel’s mother, was married but could have no children. This situation tormented her. You can read about it in 1 Samuel 1. In her distress, she cried out to God and he blessed her by giving her a son, whom she named Samuel (which means asked of God or heard by God). Hannah made a promise that if God gave her a son, she would give him to the Lord all the days of his life and that is what she did. Samuel went on to become one of the great prophets in Israel.
Two very different stories, yet two very incredible moms. And both of their stories and choices mattered. I want to share with you three important ways these moms mattered and also why you matter.
3 Reasons Moms Matter
1. Your Prayers Matter
We know Samuel’s birth was the result of Hannah’s prayer. While it doesn’t mention it explicitly in Exodus, it is safe to assume that when Jochebed was placing Moses in the basket, it was accompanied with much prayer. After all, what mother is not going to pray in that situation? God heard the prayers of both women and God hears your prayers too.
Typically, a mother’s heart for her child is different than a father’s heart. There is a special bond that a mom tends to have with her children because she gave birth to them (my wife reminds me of this from time to time). What this bond can do is cause a mom to pray for her child like no one else. In fact, other people may give up on a child, but a mom usually won’t.
For you moms, know today that there is power in your prayers. You may not always see the outcome but know and believe that God is working. Regardless of how you are praying for your children or what you are praying for – keep praying. God not only hears those prayers, but he honors them. Trust that he will bring them to pass and let nothing stop you from praying because your prayers matter and they are having an effect.
As James 5:16 reminds us, the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
2. Your Trust in God Matters
One great lesson these women can teach us is that they were willing to let go of their children and trust God for their future. Moses was born in the midst of chaos and death. The odds of his survival were not great, yet his mom did what every mom should do. She put her trust in God to protect her son. Hannah did the same thing, she trusted that if she gave her son to God he would serve him all the days of his life.
Samuel and Moses grew into great men of God while being surrounded by less than ideal circumstances. Moses was raised in the Egyptian culture and was trained in their education and philosophies. Samuel had the “privilege” of being raised around Eli. Eli was not a strong priest and he had two sons who the Bible described as scoundrels with no regard for the Lord. Despite the scenarios in which these young men were raised, God still developed them. Their mothers had to trust God’s ability to do this.
You have to do the same. It is very easy to become concerned and worried when you look at the society in which we are living. You may be wondering how your children will turn out. You may be concerned about the influences they are exposed to. I would like to encourage you today to be like Jochebed and Hannah. Pour the truth of God into your children. Give them everything they need for godly living. After you have done that then there is only one thing you can do: trust God for the results.
3. You Have Great Influence
What’s fascinating about both of these stories is that each mom only had a limited amount of time raising her son. The Bible tells us that Samuel was taken to the temple after he was weaned which means he was anywhere from 2 to 4 years old. Moses was probably about the same age when he was taken back to Pharaoh’s daughter.
Like these women, you only have a relatively short amount of time to raise your children (hopefully longer than two to four years) yet the time you pour into them is not in vain. Your teaching, your love and your care for your children all matters. Even if you can’t see it initially, you are creating a level of influence in your children that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.
Remember, Jochebed and Hannah only got at most four years, and look how their sons turned out. Make the most of the time God is giving you because you have great influence.
Thank You Moms!
As you know moms, the time moves way too fast. From conception to birth to grown and out of the house, it all seems to happen in the blink of an eye. I encourage you to treasure the moments that God has given you with your children because they will be gone before you know it.
To all the moms who read this today I want to say thank you for all you do. To my mom who was one of the biggest godly influences in my life growing up I too say thank you. Thank you for the evenings at the dinner table doing Bible reading and prayer. Thank you for the times I’ve seen and heard you crying out to God, always reminding me who your true source is. I can tell you today God has heard your prayers. Your son is all grown up now and he has become the man of God that you always prayed he would be. You are truly the hero in my story.