"Now Amram, a man of the house of Levi (the priestly tribe) went and took as his wife (Jochebed) a daughter of Levi. And the woman became pregnant and bore a son; and when she saw that he was exceedingly beautiful, she hid him three months. And when she could no longer hide him, she took for him an ark - or basket made of bulrushes or papyrus, making it watertight by daubing it with bitumen and pitch. Then she put the child in it and laid it among the rushes by the brink of the river. And his sister, Miriam, stood some distance away to learn what would be done to him. Now the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river, and her maidens walked along the bank; she saw the ark among the rushes and sent her maid to fetch it. When she opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the baby cried. And she took pity on him and said, ‘This is one of the Hebrew's children!' Then his sister said to Pharaoh's daughter, ‘Shall I go and call a nurse of the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?' Then Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Go." And the girl went and called the child's mother. Then Pharaoh's daughter said to her, ‘Take this child away and nurse it for me, and I will give you your wages." So the woman took the child and nursed it."
Exodus 2: 1-9, Amplified Bible
"Courage" - The state of mind or spirit enabling one to face danger or hardship with confidence or resolution.
Is there a situation in my life that needs God's courage to enable me to overcome?
"Courage is fear that has said its prayers."
"Courage is not the absence of fear, but the judgment that something else is more important than fear."
Our text today is a rather lengthy one, but in order to understand the woman, Jochebed, this entire passage in Exodus 2 needs to be studied for it gives us insight into the life of the Godly woman. And it helps us better understand what it means to be a woman of courage.
As Exodus 2 says, Jochebed was born into the tribe of Levi, a tribe that produced the priests of Israel. This fact tells us that she and her husband, Amram, were spiritual people - desirous of raising spiritual children.
With an edict by Pharaoh that all male babies were to be murdered at birth, you can only imagine the fear Jochebed must have had that her new baby would be found and murdered. For three months, the Bible states, she kept her secret hidden. With every knock on the door, terror seized her heart. But if Pharaoh thought that by killing the baby boys, he'd eliminate the Israelites, he was sadly mistaken. He completely underestimated the wisdom of a courageous woman who had God as the ruler of her life. And in the case of Jochebed - this mother, "committed her way unto the Lord, and He directed her path."
First, Jochebed didn't fear what Pharaoh could do to her - not with God on her side. In the words of the Psalmist, David, "The Lord is on my side: I will not fear. What can man do to me? (Psalm 118: 6, Amplified Bible). Jochebed not only understood these words - she lived them everyday of her life.
Second, Jochebed didn't fear what Pharaoh could do to her children. Remember, not only did she hide her baby boy in the river, she also sent her daughter stand watch. Two of her children were at risk. But Jochebed exhibited the courage borne of a true belief in God's promise: "For thus says the Lord: Even the captives of the mighty will be taken away, and the prey of the terrible will be delivered; for I will contend with him who contends with you, and I will SAVE thy children" (Isaiah 49: 25, Amplified Bible & K.J.V.). This is one of my favorite texts in Scripture. I have sent it to many of you to claim over the lives of your own children. It is a promise from the mouth of God. This promise can take a heart filled with fear and replace it with the courage of a lion.
Last, Jochebed didn't fear what Pharaoh could do to the Israelites. In the comforting words of the prophet, Jeremiah, "Your words were to me a joy and the rejoicing of my heart, for I am called by Your name, O Lord God." (Jeremiah 15: 16, Amplified Bible).
Jochebed was a woman of courage because she never forgot she was God's daughter…she never forgot God promised to save her children…and she never forgot her ancestors and her family were called by God, Himself.
I love these words penned by Teresa of Avila, herself a woman of immense courage; "I look upon the courage which the Lord gave me as one of the greatest favors He has bestowed upon me. It is very wrong for a soul to behave like a coward or to bear anything offending God, since we have an all-powerful King and a Lord so mighty that He can do everything."
Women of courage - this is what God created us to be! Courageous in our trust as daughters of the King. Courageous in our faith in His power in our lives and the lives of our family. "Be strong and of good courage. Dread not and fear not; be not dismayed." (I Chronicles 22: 13, Amplified Bible).
"When I am lonely
Filled with despair
Who gives me courage
To go on from there?
And who gives me faith
That will never die?
Somebody bigger than
You or I!"
Wait and hope for and
expect the Lord; be
brave and of good courage
and let your heart endure.
Yes, wait for and hope
for and expect the Lord."
Psalm 27: 14
Strength to Live Our Lives Courageously
"Father, hear the prayer we offer;
Not for ease that prayer shall be,
But for strength that we may ever
Live our lives courageously.
Not for ever green pastures
Do we ask our way to be;
But the steep and rugged pathway
May we tread rejoicingly?
Not for ever by still waters
Would we idly rest and stay;
But would smite the living fountains
From the rocks along our way.
Be our Strength in hours of weakness,
In our wanderings be our Guide;
Through endeavor, failure, danger,
Father, be Thou at our side."
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeetsjesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal for $8.00. Or by calling Transformation Garden at 1-888-397-4348.
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.