by Kristen C. Strocchia
“By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.” Hebrews 11:23
Thinking about where the Hebrews lived during this time–cramped city quarters, echoing streets, Egyptian soldiers and slave masters on patrol–it is easy to see why it took faith to hide a baby for three months. That’s about thirteen weeks or ninety-one days–25% of a year!
During this time, Moses would’ve probably been waking for frequent nighttime feedings, while his mom, Jochebed, would’ve needed to conceal and make time for nursing her growing baby, night and day. This takes hours a day sometimes with newborns, especially when you add diaper changing and, in Moses’ day, diaper washing and drying. Plus, for the first three months, babies like to be held almost perpetually.
But since no Hebrews were allowed to keep their babies during this time, not only would the family have had to hide every cry, coo, giggle and dirty diaper that Moses made, Jochebed would still have had to perform whatever slave duties she’d been assigned when she was told to do them so as not to raise suspicion that would lead to someone discovering baby Moses at home. And while she was working, Moses would still need to be fed and tended to so he didn’t start crying.
No doubt his father, Amram, played a key role in leading the family through this time of trial. Their own lives may even have been at stake had they been caught, and there were other children for them to consider as well. But Moses’ parents saw that God had a plan and purpose for his life just as they saw for his brother, Aaron, and his sister, Miriam.
By faith–absolute certainty in what they hoped for, but couldn’t see–Amram and Jochebed risked hiding their infant son, Moses, for the first three months of his life, because they believed that his life mattered to God, and they did not fear the pharaoh. Rather they revered the awesome power of God and trusted Him to take care of their whole family.
Many people in history have faced dangerous governments and cultures with no way to leave this situation. We ourselves may in fact be living in the last days, in which case the scriptures paint a clear picture of the difficulty and danger to come. Regardless of the times we may face, like Moses’ parents God wants us to see the plan and purpose He has for the lives entrusted to us and all lives. And regardless of the dangers that preserving those lives pose to us, we are to fear God–in reverence and awe–not the people that can physically harm us. This is not to say that we have to place ourselves in harm’s way, but when we find ourselves there, we lean on the Lord and hold true to His purposes.
Are you willing to risk persecution to preserve the sanctity of all human life? Does your faith fear God more than man?