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The Faith of Moses' Parents

Faith often begins in the parents. The Apostle Paul speaks to Timothy of "the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice" (2 Timothy 1:5).

Amram and Jochebed's faith was shown in the fact that Moses was hidden by them for three months, "because they saw he was a proper child" (Hebrews 11:23); or, as Stephen says, "beautiful before God" (Acts 7:20, RSV). They believed he would be a fitting instrument for God to use, and so they hid him in spite of the commandment that every male baby should be cast into the river. And when his mother could no longer hide him, she took the king literally at his word. She put the child at the river's brink, but in the basket she had prepared.

Let us not be afraid to have faith for our children, to lay hold upon God for them even before they are able to lay hold upon Him for themselves. It is true that children must trust in God for their own salvation. However, suppose that Moses' parents had not believed for him. Suppose they had said, "If he were old enough, he might trust in God; but we must cast him into the river and let him die." That would have been the end of Moses as far as human power was concerned. But what a place they put him in! He was taken from the river by Pharaoh's daughter, adopted by her, and then put back under his mother's care until he was of sufficient age to go permanently back to the king's court.

Long before every earthly advantage was given to Moses, God's tender care had given him all the benefit of a mother's love and training in the fear of God and His ways. How diligently that dear mother must have made use of her time! How she must have taught that young child that he was identified with those bondsmen who were the people of God! How she must have instilled into his mind the promises of God, that He would visit them and bring them up out of Egypt, and give them an inheritance! No doubt she made faithful and diligent use of her opportunities. Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Take this child away, and nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages." In a much higher sense, what untold wages are given to a faithful mother, if she has spent time and strength and prayers in bringing up her children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord!

As we look upon the children God has given us, let us say "Oh, let them be beautiful for God throughout eternity!" At first, let us throw every safeguard around them; make every effort to shield them from the evil of the world. As they grow up and we can no longer keep them under our eye constantly, we will have to launch them out on the river of life—sent off to school or to some employment. It is then that faith, by God's grace, does as Moses' parents did! They put the child of their care in the ark and said, "We will count upon God for him." So godly parents commit their beloved children to Christ as they send them off—not in a careless way, but counting upon that precious Saviour who has saved us, to keep our dear ones and to bring them unspotted out of all that into which they will be thrown.

—Adapted from Lectures on the Epistle to the Hebrews by Samuel Ridout