Lean in Like a Hebrew Slave

This article is a follow up to, Lean into Jesus.

Imagine for a moment that you are a pregnant Hebrew slave under the rule of a harsh Pharaoh who just ordered your baby to be thrown into the Nile river if the baby is a boy. How would you respond to Pharaoh’s command? Knowing that you could face death if you disobey, would you throw your baby into the river to his death?

Then Pharaoh commanded all his people, “Every son that is born to the Hebrews you shall cast into the Nile, but you shall let every daughter live.” Exodus 1:22

Jochebed lived during this time and faced such a decision when her son was born. I wonder about the angst she must have felt during her pregnancy. Did she cry out to God and ask him for help? Was she struggling to trust God and his will?

Jochebed gave birth to a baby boy whom would later be named Moses. She already had two other children, Miriam and Aaron. We read in Exodus 2:2-3 that Jochebed choose to do all that she could to save her son’s life. She hid him for three months and then faced what I can only imagine was one of the hardest decisions of her life.

When she could hide him no longer, she took for him a basket made of bulrushes and daubed it with bitumen and pitch. She put the child in it and placed it among the reeds by the river bank. Exodus 2:3

Did you read that? She put her three-month-old baby into a basket and put it in the reeds on the banks of the Nile river. She had no way of knowing what would become of him. Think about how you would feel and what emotions you’d be bombarded with. How heartbreaking to not only give your child up, but to also put him in a dangerous situation with only hope that someone would rescue him.

Through the pain that I’m sure overwhelmed Jochebed, do you think she scolded herself for not having enough faith because she was hurting? Too many times allowing ourselves to feel pain somehow equates to lack of faith. So we try harder to trust God more. What we seem to forget is that we can rest in God’s arms securely because He loves us even though we struggle with our faith through our pain.

Scripture doesn’t tell us how Jochebed was feeling, but as a mother, I know that I’d be terrified for my child’s life and in my weakness I’d be questioning God’s plan. I have faced and will face challenges where I need to follow my convictions and move forward in the dark, trusting that God will reveal the next steps. Even in our doubt and fear God supports our footing and grows our faith in Him.

The example of faith that Jochebed exhibited in God is something to take notice of. In God’s sovereignty, He knew that Moses would be safe and He knew that Pharaoh’s daughter would take him in as her own (Exodus 2:5-6). God also knew that Jochebed would be his wet nurse until he weaned (Exodus 2:7-9). Jochebed did not know any of God’s plan. She had to patiently and faithfully wait as each step was revealed to her.

Trusting God is not something that comes easily or painless. It is also not something we can do on our own. I imagine no one told Jochebed to “lean into Jesus” as she watched from a distance while another woman raised her child. To lean into Jesus, to trust Him, we need Him to work within us. On our own, we can not trust, regardless of how hard we work at it. We will always need God to work within us to obtain faith and trust in Him. It is an ongoing process that will not be completed until we meet Him in Glory.

Our focus needs to be on the cross and not on our circumstances. We most certainly can and need to walk through the emotions of the pain we are experiencing, but we cannot sit in the misery. God will help us move forward through our circumstance, while also working within us, drawing us closer to Him. We can find rest and peace knowing that even in our lack of faith, God still loves us and will continue to guide our steps according to His will. Lay your burdens at the foot of the cross an put your hope in His sovereignty.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”  John 14:27

Questions for Consideration:

  1. What does the term, lean into Jesus, mean to you?

Practical Application:

  1.  Write down circumstances in your life where you struggled to trust God, yet you experienced Him loving you despite your lack of faith.

11 thoughts on “Lean in Like a Hebrew Slave

  1. “Our focus needs to be on the cross and not on our circumstances.” Yes and amen!! I won’t say I never take my eyes of Jesus, but life is so much better when my eyes stay focused on Him. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Something that has stuck with me about this story is that Moses’ name is not a Hebrew name, but an Egyptian one. And it means “to pull out/draw out” of water. How appropriate that God would years later have Moses pull or draw Israel out of Egypt, and take them through water?

    All Jochebed knew was that she was trying to save her baby 😉


  3. This issue is hard for me, just because God doesn’t always help. Sure, Jochebed’s baby was saved. But all the other women saw their children be murdered. God saved her son, but He did not save the others. So I think there is a fine line between trusting God and fooling ourselves with the erroneous belief that He will save the day. Most often, God lets the child die.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are correct that God doesn’t always answer our prayers as we ask Him to, but He does always answer. No person dies, including babies, unless God allows it to be so. Death is the brutal result of the fall of man in Genesis. We were not meant to experience death. The loss of any life is absolutely heartbreaking for those left to bear that void, but those who go to be with Jesus are in a far better place than we are. I believe that God does always help, but maybe not in the way we would like, He is always there to comfort us and draw us closer to him. More often than not, suffering is what brings us to our knees, weeping at the foot of the cross and He is there with us. Blessings to you.


  4. This one rings true for me…I’ve had to trust God with the life of my child, over and over again. I’ve been through the fear, the indecisiveness…it’s not easy by any means, but I’ve learned so much about the faithfulness of God. Thank you for a well-written reminder!

    Liked by 1 person

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