Jochabed was a Levite. So was her husband. In those days the Levites had not yet been elevated to the priestly rank, but they must have had some bent toward God, not evident in other tribes. Perhaps they were the ones who kept alive the stories and truths now written down in the book of Genesis. In any case, the Holy Spirit deems it important enough to note the fact that Amram and Jochabed were Levites. Jochabed was the mother of Moses. The first significant fact was that she had him. It seems to have been a deliberate decision. She and her husband, we are told, were "not afraid of the king's commandment" (Heb. 11:23). The death sentence had already been signed into law—all Hebrew male children were to be thrown into the Nile. (No wonder, later on, Moses turned the water of the Nile into blood.) So, down there in that ghetto in Goshen, Jochabed gave birth to a baby boy who would one day humble Egypt in the dust and change the course of history forever.
Then she hid him. The boy was born under the sentence of death. She was determined to see him soundly saved. So she began by hiding him from the world and its prince by hiding him in the haven of her home. She firmly shut the door of her house and kept out all the evil influences of the world. A godly home was her first line of defense against the world and its ways. God intends that our homes should be sanctuaries against the world and everything for which it stands. The world has its prince, motivated by a malice against the human race that defies description. The world has its programs, and they are diametrically opposed to the Word of God. The world has its pleasures, but the Bible calls them "the pleasures of sin" (Heb. 11:25). Jochabed made sure that all such things were firmly shut out of her home.
But the time came, as it always does, when Moses could no longer be hidden at home. At this point, Jochabed exercised faith. She said, "How does God save those who are under the sentence of death?" She thought about Noah and his ark, and then she made a little ark for Moses. She put him in the ark and put the ark in the river. Now it was all up to God. All she could do now was watch and pray. She had now hidden him in the hollow of God's hand.
Finally, she held him. A series of events took place in which God demonstrated His sovereignty and His ability to defy the prince of this world. As a result Moses was adopted into the Egyptian royal family, but not until Jochabed was given the opportunity of nurturing him. Evidently she devoted her time to teaching Moses the truths that he later immortalized in the book of Genesis. Especially she drilled him in the story of Joseph (one quarter of Genesis is devoted to Joseph), the story of a young man who had lived victoriously for God in the courts of Pharaoh.
Jochabed held him! No Egyptian school, no Egyptian seduction, no Egyptian sophistication had a chance. Jochabed had done her work well. She had wedded her boy to God's Word, and God's Word held him against all the world could offer. What a woman! Such women are desperately needed today.