The morning sun was just beginning to color the edge of the Egyptian horizon. Jochebed wiped away her tears as she gently rocked her little son, holding him close, feeling him nuzzle against her neck.
She turned to her young daughter and son. “Miriam, Aaron, you know what to do now. Take the basket and head down to the river.” Miriam nodded solemnly and left with Aaron, the two walking quickly in the early morning light.
Jochebed looked down at her precious baby boy, dreading the moments that would come. She would not have him be one of the thousands of Hebrew baby boys tossed into the river for the crocodiles to feed upon.
If only life were different, she thought, if only they had been Egyptian rather than slaves…
No, I will not despair. Elohim is in control. Her resolve grew; she needed His guidance to do what was required of her.
She had managed to hide her little one for three months—three months longer than most of the others. Elohim had been kind in giving her those memories. Now she must fully trust in Him to deliver her son.
Elohim, I know that you will save him.
The sky grew brighter and Jochebed realized it was time to leave. She wrapped her son tightly and hid him beneath the folds of her shawl, being careful not to look too obvious as she walked towards the Nile.
A few neighbors were stirring at this early hour. Some stared at her in curiosity but she managed to smile at them casually, praying her hesitation and fear did not show on her face. Please, Elohim, do not let them catch me now.
No one did.
The mighty river soon came within view, the tall reeds swaying in the breeze. Jochebed strained her eyes to look for her other children. She finally noticed them on the bank of the river, warily avoiding being seen.
Jochebed looked cautiously to make sure there were no signs of the crocodiles that often hid amongst the reeds. She waded through the warm river, clutching tightly to her little one. Miriam followed closely behind her, placing the basket in the water.
Jochebed swallowed a sob that was welling in her throat. She wouldn’t cry in front of her children; this would be hard enough on them. She drew her infant son close for the final time.
“My son, you are in Elohim’s hands now.” She whispered in his ear. “He will be in control of your life the rest of your days. I know…I know that He has much in store for you, even if I cannot raise you.” She kissed him firmly on the cheek and placed him in the basket. He stirred slightly and smiled in his sleep, unaware of the danger that might lie ahead.
“Miriam, Aaron, say goodbye to your brother.” She managed to say softly.
The two children both bent down and kissed their brother on his small cheek. She noticed Aaron was crying and Miriam’s lip was quivering.
Jochebed placed the cover on the basket, catching a glimpse of her son one last time. How she wanted to pick him up and hold him close to her and forget this! She bit her lip as she guided the basket through the reeds, not wanting to let go.
Jochebed surrendered the basket to the current of the great river, watching it drift through the reeds. She felt her heart breaking as easily as a clay jar, the fragments unable to be pieced together again. Had she done the right thing? She could still go after the basket…
“Mama, I’m gonna follow the basket and make sure he’s alright.” Miriam stated and disappeared into the reeds.
For a moment, Jochebed had a sense of apprehension, afraid that she might lose her daughter to creatures of the river. But then a sudden small voice, as quiet as the wind, calmed her fears.
Trust in Me, Jochebed.
She suddenly knew with an overwhelming certainty that her little one would be protected by Elohim’s hands and that everything was happening for reasons she would never understand.
“He won’t drown or be eaten by the crocodiles like the other babies will he Mama?” Aaron asked, wiping his eyes.
Jochebed looked down him. “No, Aaron, he will be fine. Elohim will protect him.” She hugged her son tightly, trusting that her Lord was in control.
Based on Exodus 2:1-4, NIV version.
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