As is customary and today being Mothers’ Day, we are honouring our mothers; traditionally, not only mothers but we honour all the ladies in our church. All thy ladies in our lives are very special and throughout history, God has used ladies/mothers to influence the world. This morning, from God’s Word, we will look at some mothers and the faith that they exhibited. I know that we will learn a lot. Fact is, anytime we open God’s Word, we learn, or ought to learn something from Him. The Holy Spirit is always there to illuminate the pages of His holy Word to us.
Our outline for the sermon will be according to the following:
THE PRODUCTIVE MOTHER: Eve, Genesis 3:20
THE ASSERTIVE MOTHER: Rebekah, Genesis 27
THE PROTECTIVE MOTHER: Jochebed, Exodus 2:1-4
THE IMPRESSIVE MOTHER: Hannah, 1 Samuel 1:10-11, 24-28
THE INFECTIVE MOTHER: Zarephath Widow, 1 Kings 17
THE INSTRUCTIVE MOTHER: Eunice, 2 Timothy 1:1-5
THE SUPPORTIVE MOTHER: Mary, John19:25a
As we look at these mothers, I want you to understand that:
None of them were perfect, yet each of them demonstrated strong faith in God. And God, in turn, rewarded them for their confidence in Him. Now, we have to understand that these mothers lived in an age when women were often treated as nothing. Yet God, being who He is, welcomed them and appreciated their true worth. He does the same today with mothers. After all in Romans 2:11, He is no respecter of persons.
Let me start by providing a short summary on Eve.
1. THE PRODUCTIVE MOTHER: Eve, Genesis 3:20
Genesis 3:20 And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.
Looking at Genesis 3:20, we can tell that Eve was the mother of all living people who have been and who will be. Her name, “Eve, ” means “to breathe” or “to live.” Isn’t it ironic that she did the opposite, bringing death to all? She was the first productive woman to ever give birth to a child and therefore the first mother. She didn’t have a single role model neither did she have a mentor when she became pregnant and eventually gave birth to her first child. As the first productive mum, she was able to blaze the maternal path for all future mothers.
Sadly, her first son killed the second; you know the story how she grieved because Cain murdered his younger brother Abel, unprovoked. Yet despite these tragedies, Eve went on to fulfill her part in God’s plan of populating the Earth. She produced more children; some say 33 sons and 23 daughters. So by God’s grace she became or she earned the title “Mother of All the Living.” But even as the first and mother of all, she is probably best remembered as being the first to be duped by satan.
But there is one very important thing we can learn from Eve: The importance of being aware of the enemy’s schemes, his desire to ruin families. When we are most vulnerable, satan will come around because he wants us to doubt God’s character and His words to us and satan will say, softly, “Did God really say …?” Let us not ever question what God says in His Word, the Holy Bible. If or whenever you find yourself beginning to doubt, doubt your doubt.
2. THE ASSERTIVE MOTHER: Rebekah, Genesis 27
Rebekah, like Hannah, Elizabeth and even her own mother-in-law Sarah, was barren. But through prayer, she conceived and gave birth to twin sons, Esau and Jacob. At a time when women were typically submissive, Rebekah was quite assertive. At times she took matters into her own hands. Her assertive quality led her to become Isaac’s wife. It also led her to do the wrong thing; for example, of her twins, Jacob became her favourite. She didn’t just play favourites. The Bible records that she schemed and connived so that she was an accessory to one of the biggest daddy dupes in all of history. But we can’t lay all the blame on her alone. After all, the Bible does say that Isaac loved Esau because he was an outdoorsman; but Rebekah loved Jacob. Sheer and plain favouritism. It is not the way to raise children.
Much later in life as Isaac was near death and had lost his eyesight, Rebekah helped Jacob deceive Isaac into blessing him instead of Esau. She covered up key areas of Jacob’s body (his hands and neck) with goatskins. The idea was to imitate Esau’s hairy skin. Upon touching those parts of Jacob’s body which Rebekah had covered in goatskin, Isaac blessed Jacob, thinking it was really Esau. Rebekah’s assertiveness led to her becoming deceptive which in turn led to strife between Esau and Jacob. Many years later, however, Esau forgave Jacob and they reconciled.
3. THE PROTECTIVE MOTHER: Jochebed, Exodus 2:1-4
Jochebed, the mother of Moses is one of the least mentioned and as it appears, also one of the underappreciated mothers in the Bible. She showed tremendous faith in God. You just have to give it up for her and the midwives who, in their act of civil disobedience, allowed Moses to be born. They will rather obey God than man, like Peter said in the Book of Acts 5:29. Jochebed was the mother who took great risks to protect her son Moses when Pharaoh ordered that all the Hebrew baby boys be slaughtered. Mothers have protected us in many ways. They have protected us physically and kept us from danger. God knowing the end from the beginning, He so worked that Pharaoh’s daughter’s servants found Jochebed’s baby, Moses, in the Nile River. As a result, Jochebed became her own son’s nurse and was also “paid” too for nursing her own son.
Mothers have protected us morally by teaching us right from wrong. Many times they have also protected us emotionally by keeping us from things they knew would hurt us. Mothers have also protected our spirits, you know, protected us spiritually, bringing us up to love and serve the Lord. In the end, look at what God did with Jochebed’s son Moses. He used Moses mightily to free the Hebrews from their 400-year bondage of slavery in Egypt. Finally, this same Moses led them to the Promised Land. All because his mum risked her life to protect him.
4. THE IMPRESSIVE MOTHER: Hannah, 1 Samuel 1:10-11, 24-28
Hannah’s story is one of the most touching in the entire Bible. It is also very impressive. She specifically prayed for a son for many years (she was barren). In her case, it was even worse as Peninah, her husband’s other wife cruelly taunted her. After years of persistent prayer and patience, God gave her a son (v.20). In turn, she offered or gave the baby Samuel to the Lord (vv.20-28) because that was her promise. That was entirely selfless and impressive of her to honour her promise to God. She gave away what she wanted so badly. But she gave him to no one but to God. You can only wonder what her husband and rival thought after having been barren all these years!
So Samuel was taken to the Lord’s house when he had been weaned and he was left with the priests to become a servant of the Lord. Hannah meanwhile continued to impress us in her work for the Lord. She never gave up on God. Hannah reminds us of Elizabeth in the New Testament. Elizabeth dedicated her son, John, to God, and like Hannah’s son, John also became a great prophet, John the Baptizer whom Jesus called the greatest of all prophets. There are at least four things that we can learn from such impressive mothers.
- God answers prayer concerning our children.
- We should offer up our children to the Lord to use them as He sees fit.
- Like Hannah, we should support our children in doing the Lord’s will.
- We should let them learn the ways of the Lord early, from infancy. In fact 2 Timothy 3:15 says “and that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” That word “child” also means “infancy.”
We will continue the remainder of this message next Sunday God’s willing. Ladies, mothers, never doubt how important your role is to the young ones here and to those you are in contact with. In many cases, the rewards are seen down the road, so don’t stop praying and keep on trusting God. Amen. A BLESSED MOTHERS AND LADIES’ DAY TO ALL LADIES.
Shall we pray.