By Byron Day, BCM/D President and Pastor of Emmanuel Church, Laurel, Md.
When we leave this world, we ought to leave a mark. Something for which we will be remembered, admired, or recognized by those family, friends, or those who crossed our path in life. In days gone by, young people would carve their name in the desk to let you know that they had spent an entire school year in that desk. It was not unusual to discover ”Clarence was here” or ”Denise was here” scrawled somewhere on the desk. This was a way of leaving your mark or to some extent obtaining some glory. This reminds me that as followers of Jesus we ought to leave a mark, make some kind of impression that allows others to know that we were here and hopefully made a difference for the kingdom of God.
In the month of May, we celebrate Mother’s Day and that reminds me of a mother that is noted in scripture but is seldom mentioned. Jochebed, the mother of Moses, is mentioned by name in Exodus 6:20. I am always fascinated when God takes the time to mention someone by name in His Word. Most probably do not give her much thought, but I think that there are a few things worth noting from Exodus 2:1-10. I would like to suggest that a mother’s glory can be found in her faith, her faithfulness and her fame.
Jochebed’s faith is demonstrated in the midst of adversity in the promise of God. At a time when Pharaoh has issued an edict that all Hebrew males born are to be killed, this mother dared to hold onto the promise of God and hide Moses for three months (Ex. 1:22; 2:1-2). She also showed faith in the present circumstances with an awareness of the presence of God by recognizing God’s favor upon the child and hiding him despite the potential danger to her own life (Ex. 2:2). Moreover, she showed faith in the future of the child and power of God by placing him in an ark and believing in God’s power to keep and deliver her son (Ex. 2:3-6).
Jochebed’s glory is also exemplified by her faithfulness. Hebrew women had a difficult life. They were considered nothing more than a possession and not much more value than a slave. Their primary duty was to bear children, to serve the clan or family and act as household manager. Jewish women were teachers of the children who were weaned within 1 to 3 years and taught history, manners and religion from ages 3-6 years old. No doubt, this woman was able to perform this duty in the life of Moses (Ex. 2:7-10). Finally, the mother of Moses left her mark and her fame as revealed in Hebrews 11:23-27. No, her name is not mentioned, but her character, her faith and faithfulness is displayed in the testimony of a son who perhaps was one of God’s greatest servants. This is her mark, this is what she left behind, and this is a mother’s glory.
About a month ago, I lost my mother who is now with the Lord. Her name is not in the Bible, she is not famous, and she barely graduated high school. However, the faith, faithfulness, character and love of Dorothy Day hopefully will always be exemplified in her son.