But when she could no longer hide him, she took an ark of bulrushes for him, daubed it with asphalt and pitch, put the child in it, and laid it in the reeds by the river's bank.
“I am crucified with Christ. Nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.”
Unexpectedly, these words come to mind as I read this morning of Jochebed’s obedience. Though pharaoh demanded her son be cast into the river, hers was an obedience resting on Jehovah, God of heaven and earth, Creator of a Nile whose arms would reach out to claim only death for her son.
And I must admit, as I watch her trusting hands and follow her courageous feet to a riverbank, there’s something about Jochebed’s obedience which speaks to my lack. Something about her faith-ing that puts the frequency of my sight-walking to shame.
Jochebed doesn’t bow to the enemy of her soul, doesn’t cringe in fear, though he’s ordained destruction for her son. And though faith-ing may have been birthed during a three-month sojourn of the soul, it was the waters of life, not death, on which we see her rest her son.
Interestingly, this word ark is used only twice in scripture, and though in the Noahaic account we envision the enormous water vessel of salvation, the Septuagint translation actually bears a picture of a different vessel carrying an unexpected cargo … for “kibotos” is rendered there casket, a death-house. Thought provoking, for from this ancient vessel strode life, in eternal covenant.
As I reflect on the treasures hidden in ark, I watch Jochobed’s pitch covered hands, working diligently inside and outside, assuring not a single reed of salvation’s vessel remains uncovered, not the minutest gap remains unsealed regardless of the resultant bleeding inflicted upon her own hands. Watching, I can’t help but wonder about Jochebed’s understanding of God and His covenant. I can’t help but listen as God stirs into remembrance His promise never to leave or forsake His people … to never leave or forsake her, His commitment to be their shield and their very great reward … to be hers.
For somewhere within the passage of those three months, somewhere between birth and this day, from death Jochebed laid hold of life. Her faith invested in another vessel reminiscent of that ancient pitch-covered Noahaic one, a vessel also now pitch-sealed, inside and out, a vessel carrying one destined for a watery grave into the fullness of new life. And I stand pondering obedience’s priceless picture.
Jochebed calls me to the water’s edge, calls me to hard obedience. Obedience necessitating my look, not at the rushing torrent, but at the One Who said, “Do not fear … I am your shield, your exceeding great reward.” Obedience calling me to trust the sealing, inside and out, of the Holy Spirit in my life, that this vessel, by sight destined to carry only death, by faith knows only life. For, indeed, through grace, I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.
Your words never fail to reach deep into my heart and stir the waters of introspection; seizing my wayward thoughts so that I may be still and know that HE is GOD. The Lord uses you to speak to me. Truly you are blessing!