Mother's Day 2015

Sunday, May 10th, 2015


Today we celebrate Mother's Day. If your mother is still alive and if you haven't already done so, remember to call her and wish her well and thank her for all she did for you. If, like mine, your mother has passed away, it would be good to reflect on her and thank God for her. Until you are a parent yourself and have children of your own, you may have little understanding of all the things she did for you.

She carried you in her womb for about 9 months. You probably don't remember a whole lot about those 9 months during which she put up with the discomforts of pregnancy. You probably don't remember her putting up with morning sickness all day long in order to have you. My mother told me that I made her sick for 9 months. Hopefully, she thought I was worth it. You probably don't remember kicking in her womb as she was trying to sleep, but she remembers.

Then came a day when she went through labor to give birth to you. It wasn't any fun for her, but she endured it in order to have you. Our first child was due on Labor day in 1964, and I remember everyone wishing my wife Happy Labor Day!

Then how happy your mother was to have the privilege of holding you in her arms, of kissing you, and of caressing you and of being able to bend in the middle once again. She likely thought that you were the most beautiful baby she had ever seen in her life. Then, you grew up; but she never forgot how beautiful her baby was.

You probably don't remember that she nursed you, changed your diaper, bathed you, and dressed you. You probably don't have any idea of how badly she felt the first time you got sick and how she was up half the night because she was so concerned for you. You probably don't remember that you began to be a demanding rascal, insisting on being fed at midnight and again at 4:00 a.m. and insisting that she pick you up and hold you when you had already been fed, had a clean diaper, and had already been burped.

Perhaps, like me, you were privileged to have a mother who was saved and faithful in God's house. How blessed you and I were to have mothers who loved us, who met our needs, who went without in order to meet our needs, and who set good examples for us. Not everyone is so privileged.

When you think back about you mother, what are some things which come to mind about her? It would be good for you to make a list of privileges you had because she was your mother. I remember that my mother was an especially good piano player and that I grew up with good, godly music in the home. She was a church pianist beginning at age 12 and continuing until she was about 85 or 86. We had a piano and an organ in our living room. As a result of my mother's music, the world's music never had any appeal to me. I was in the 8th grade when Elvis Presley became popular; and even though I was not really living for the Lord, I couldn't stand his style of music.

You and your mother have a unique relationship. She was privileged to be the only woman in the history of the world to give birth to you, and you had the privilege of being one of her children.

In Exodus 1-2 we have an example of what one woman by the name of Jochebed did for her child. Most people probably don't recognize her by her name, but most believers probably recognize what she did for her son as well as the name of her son.

We see -

I. THE EXAMPLE OF JOCHEBED - Exodus 1:6-2:10

Exodus 1:6 - And Joseph died, and all his brethren, and all that generation.

Exodus 1:7 - And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed [i.e. became] exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them.

Exodus 1:8 - Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph [i.e. did not know about Joseph].

Sometime after the death of Joseph, the Israelites were made slaves in Egypt.

Exodus 1:9 - And he [i.e. the king of Egypt] said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we:

Exodus 1:10 - Come on, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth out any war [i.e. in the event of war], they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land.

He did not want to lose the Israelites. The economy of Egypt was based on the work force provided by the slave labor of the Israelites. If the Israelites left Egypt, Egypt would be ruined economically.

Exodus 1:11 - Therefore they did set over them taskmasters [i.e. slave masters] to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities [i.e. store cities, storage cities, or supply cities], Pithom and Raamses.

The treasure cities housed weapons and supplies to be used in case of attack.

Exodus 1:12 - But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew [i.e. the more the Egyptians afflicted the Israelites, the more the Israelites multiplied and grew]. And they were grieved [i.e. the Egyptians were in dread] because of the children of Israel.

Exodus 1:13 - And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigour [i.e. to serve rigorously]:

Exodus 1:14 - And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in morter, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigour [i.e. was rigorously].

Exodus 1:15 - And the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew midwives, of which the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah:

Inasmuch as there were nearly 2 million Israelites by this time, these two midwives were likely the chief midwives. They could not have been the only midwives. When you have a population of 2 million to 2 1/2 million people, you could have a lot of babies born every day. How many babies do you suppose might be born in a city like Chicago or Houston every day? [Chicago's population in 2014 is estimated to have been about 2.7 million and Houston's population in 2014 is estimated to have been about 2.2 million.] How many babies? A bunch! Maybe a hundred or more a day? There is no way that two midwives could keep up with it.

Exodus 1:16 - And he said, When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the stools [i.e. upon the delivery stools, which were pairs of bricks or stones on which the women crouched in childbirth.]; if it be a son, then ye shall kill him: but if it be a daughter, then she shall live. [Female children were allowed to live because they could be married to Egyptians and, therefore, assimilated into the culture.]

Exodus 1:17 - But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive.

Good for the midwives!

Exodus 1:18 - And the king of Egypt called for the midwives, and said unto them, Why have ye done this thing, and have saved the men children alive?

Exodus 1:19 - And the midwives said unto Pharaoh, Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are lively [i.e. vigorous], and are delivered ere [i.e. before] the midwives come in unto them.

This may be a true statement; but even if it was a lie, the midwives are not commended for lying, but for refusing to kill the baby boys. The pharaoh had resorted to male infanticide. Perhaps the midwives were deliberately slow in arriving to help the mothers.

Exodus 1:20 - Therefore God dealt well with the midwives: and the people multiplied, and waxed [i.e. grew or became] very mighty.

Exodus 1:21 - And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that he [i.e. God] made them houses [i.e. families or households].

Exodus 1:22 - And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river [i.e. into the Nile River], and every daughter ye shall save alive.

Exodus 2:1 - And there went a man of the house of Levi [i.e. Amram], and took to wife a daughter of Levi [i.e. Jochebed].

We learn the names of the man and the woman in Exodus 6:20

Exodus 6:20 - And Amram took him Jochebed [Hebrew pronunciation is Yo ke VED] his father's sister to wife; and she bare him Aaron and Moses: and the years of the life of Amram were an hundred and thirty and seven years.

Exodus 2:2 - And the woman conceived, and bare a son: and when she saw him that he was a goodly child [i.e. a beautiful child], she hid him three months.

Hebrews 11:23 - By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king's commandment.

Exodus 2:3 - And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes [i.e. a papyrus basket], and daubed it with slime [i.e. with asphalt or tar] and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags [i.e. in the reeds] by the river's brink.

Exodus 2:4 - And his sister [i.e. Miriam] stood afar off, to wit [i.e. to know] what would be done to him.

Exodus 2:5 - And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the river; and her maidens walked along by the river's side; and when she saw the ark [i.e. the papyrus basket] among the flags [i.e. among the reeds], she sent her maid to fetch it [i.e. to get it].

How timely! Remember Psalms 37:23 and Romans 8:28 . Note that this lady who found the baby was not just anybody. She was Pharaoh's daughter, the same Pharaoh who had ordered the murder of all the Hebrew baby boys. Had the lady who found the baby been anyone other than Pharaoh's daughter, the baby might have been killed. God was already guiding this baby at 3 months of age. God had previously guided in the conception of this baby and in the woman's not fearing Pharaoh's commandment to kill the baby.

Psalms 37:23 - The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.

Romans 8:28 - And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Exodus 2:6 - And when she had opened it, she saw the child: and, behold, the babe wept. And she had compassion on him, and said, This is one of the Hebrews' children.

What else would you expect the baby to do? He was undoubtedly hungry. Of course, he was crying.

Also, what else would you expect a young lady to do with a little baby who is crying? Of course, she had compassion on him. But, don't forget that God was in control of this whole thing. When she took him home, can't you just hear her saying to her father, like a child who just found a lost puppy, Oh, Daddy, can I keep him? Can I keep him? But, remember that God was guiding in this whole process. And, how could Pharaoh turn his daughter down? After all, it was only one Hebrew baby boy. Pharaoh had no idea that in 80 years, Moses would be the Israelite who would lead the Israelites out of Egypt.

Exodus 2:7 - Then said his sister [i.e. Miriam] to Pharaoh's daughter, Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee?

Exodus 2:8 - And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, Go. And the maid went and called the child's mother.

Exodus 2:9 - And Pharaoh's daughter said unto her, Take this child away, and nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages. And the woman took the child, and nursed it.

God in His sovereignty rewarded Moses' mother for saving her baby by paying her to nurse him.

Exodus 2:10 - And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son [i.e. he became Pharaoh's daughter's son]. And she [i.e. Pharaoh's daughter] called his name Moses: and she said, Because I drew him out of the water.

Jochebed risked her life for her baby, but she had no idea that her baby was God's chosen man who would eventually lead Israel out of Egypt. What a great example of a mother who feared the Lord! Likewise, your mother had no idea of what you would become.

We move on to -


1. A child is to obey his parents. This includes his mother.

Ephesians 6:1 - Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.

Colossians 3:20 - Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.

2. A child is to honor his father and his mother

Ephesians 6:2-3 - (2) Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) (3) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

3. A child honors his parents by heeding their instructions and thereby living for the Lord

Proverbs 1:8 - My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother.

Proverbs 6:20 - My son, keep thy father's commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother.

Proverbs 23:24-25 - (24) The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him. (25) Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice.

4. A child dishonors his parents by paying no attention to them and by disobeying them and thereby not living for the Lord.

Proverbs 10:1 - The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of [i.e. the grief of] his mother.

Proverbs 15:20 - A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish man despiseth his mother.

Proverbs 19:26 - He that wasteth [i.e. assaults or mistreats] his father, and chaseth away [i.e. drives away] his mother, is a son that causeth shame, and bringeth reproach [i.e. disgrace].

Proverbs 20:20 - Whoso curseth his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in obscure darkness [i.e. pitch darkness or deep darkness].

Having his lamp . . . put out in obscure darkness is a picturesque way of referring to death [Bible Knowledge Commentary].

Proverbs 23:22 - Hearken unto [i.e. listen to] thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old.

5. A child honors his parents by looking after them in their old age or in their time of need

I Timothy 5:3-4 - (3) Honour widows that are widows indeed [i.e. honor widows who are really widows]. (4) But if any widow have children or nephews [i.e. grandchildren], let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite [i.e. repay] their parents: for that is good and acceptable [i.e. pleasing] before [i.e. in the sight of] God.

6. A child dishonors his parents by failing to look after them in their old age or in their time of need

I Timothy 5:8 - But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel [i.e. worse than an unbeliever].

Matthew 15:1-9 - (1) Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, (2) Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. (3) But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? (4) For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death [i.e. he must be put to death]. (5) But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me.

The word translated gift is literally corban - The word referred to something devoted to God by a vow which could not be violated. According to the scribes and Pharisees, if a son had the ability to support his parents, he could escape this responsibility by declaring that the amount he would need to support them had been dedicated to God. If he did this, he would be free from financial responsibility toward his parents, even if he never gave the money to God. Following this devious tradition, the scribes and Pharisees had nullified the Word of God which commanded them to care for their parents.

We continue with Matthew 15:6

(6) And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free [i.e. he shall be free from any obligation to provide for his parents]. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. (7) Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias [i.e. Isaiah] prophesy of you, saying, (8) This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. (9) But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.


So, here we are a number of years after our mothers gave birth to us and, along with our fathers, raised us or are in the process of raising us.

By now most of us realize some of the things our mothers did for us. Let's thank God for our mothers and take our responsibilites toward them seriously and treat them as God would want us to treat them. It is God's will that we honor them and that we look after them if they need for us to do so.