Lessons in Gentleness and Strength from Jachobed

I can think of no greater example in the Old Testament of gentleness and strength required by a mother than Moses’ birth mother, Jachobed.  She gave birth to a son during such a cruel time in the history of the Israelites knowing immediately what that birth would mean.  Like any mother would, she tried for three months to protect her youngest child.  I can just imagine Jachobed trying to keep her precious son quiet by gently cuddling, rocking, and walking with him.  Yet, when it became impossible to protect her son any longer, she had the strength to give him up-perhaps wondering whether or not the basket would keep him safe and what would happen next. Jachobed even sent Miriam to watch over the baby.  How strong she must have been to be willing to chance losing two children.  What faith in God!

Jachobed must have been a wonderful model of both strength and gentleness for Miriam and Aaron.  She certainly is a model for us as we “train our children in the way they should go”.  How then can we teach this same gentleness and strength to our own children in today’s world?

One way is to spend time reading the Bible story to our children.  We can use that quiet time just before sleep to read the story of Moses and to ask questions such as:

  1. “Who do you think gave Jachobed the idea to protect the baby by placing him in a basket at the edge of the water”, and how do you think she made the basket so that it would float rather than sink”?
  2. ““How do you think Miriam and Aaron felt about their baby brother being placed in the basket”?
  3. “How do you think Jachobed, Miriam, and Aaron felt when the Pharaoh’s daughter found the baby and wanted to keep him”?
  4.  “What was Jachobed’s reaction to being asked to care for her own son for the Princess”?
  5. “Why do you think God rescued the baby”?

Another day, you might try making a basket that will float.  Try using various types of materials to see which will float and which sink.  Once you have a floating basket, add different items to the basket to see which items make the basket sink.  Talk about the weight, size, and shape of the baskets and objects that float versus the ones that sink.

Finally, read the story over several nights using multiple versions of the Bible.  Discuss how each version has the same story but might use different vocabulary.  Talk about Jachobed, the gentleness with which she cared for Moses, her strength in being willing to give up one of her children in order to keep him alive. Reflect on how she must have had so much faith in God and His love as He provided for both mother and child.


© 2013 Elizabeth B. Loveday. All Rights Reserved

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