Think about the most influential men and women who have ever lived; those who have brought the most good into the world. I’m sure that a few names spring to mind. But perhaps they aren’t the most influential people in the world. Perhaps the most influential people in the world were their parents.
In 1865, William Ross Wallace wrote a poem that has long been forgotten. Yet its final two lines are still remembered today, because they contain a vital truth:
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.
One of the most influential people in the history of the world, other than Jesus Christ, was Moses. He is considered to be one of the most important leaders who ever lived, claimed by Judaism, Christianity and Islam as among the greatest of the prophets. Moses led the exodus of the children of Israel out of Egypt and it is through him that the first five books of the Bible were written. God also gave the Ten Commandments to Moses for the people, and their principles have influenced most of the legal codes in Judaeo-Christian and Islamic cultures.
Influential people aren’t always the most famous
Yet there is a difference between being well-known and influential. There are many who have never been recognised yet whose influence on our world has been profound. Amram and Jochebed, Moses’ parents, were such people.
The Pharaoh of Egypt was concerned that the Hebrew population was growing too large, and so he cruelly decreed that all the newborn babies of the children of Israel were to be killed. Amram and Jochebed were determined to save their child, and so,
“By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.” (Heb 11:23 – NIV)
In this way, Moses’ parents preserved his life, until the time came that they could no longer hide him. Then Jochebed came up with the audacious plan to have the daughter of Pharaoh find Moses and shelter him, while still being able to nurse him herself.
We don’t know for how long Moses was with his biological mother, under the protection of the Egyptian princess, however it was probably long enough for him to learn something of his history. Can you imagine with what care Jochebed taught her son, knowing that all too soon she would need to give him up?
Who knows what legacy your influence will leave upon the world?
Jochebed taught her little son Moses what the royal family of Egypt, and its priestly schools, could never teach him. We have no specific information in the Bible about those years; however, I am sure that Jochebed taught Moses about love for one true God, and about love for his people. She taught him about faithfulness of God toward Abraham and the patriarchs. It is obvious that she did her work with the utmost diligence, because from Moses’ subsequent story, it is evident that he never forgot what she taught him.
When the time came, Moses went to live with the daughter of Pharaoh, who adopted him as her own son. Speaking of mothers, we should not forget the love that the princess obviously had for Moses. We should not forget the love of adoptive parents.
We tend to think of Moses as a rugged individualist who appears in history out of the blue, and rose to greatness through the sheer power of his abilities and will. That is absolutely not true. The kind of greatness that works for good is never a solo act, and our parents are often the key factors in our lives.
Of course, we live in a complicated world. Your own parents, no matter how great they were, weren’t perfect. And in some cases, there are people in our lives who are better mothers and fathers to us than our own ever were. And I confess that I haven’t been the father I could have been either, although I did what I thought was best and right.
There are still people who need fathers and mothers, and uncles and aunts, and even brothers and sisters. They’re all around you. Reach out. Who knows what legacy your influence will leave upon the world?
This is for everyone, but if you’re a believer in Jesus Christ, then this is even more powerful. It’s the Gospel that unites us. Welcome to the family of God!
Article supplied with thanks to Dr Eliezer Gonzalez.
About the author: Dr Eli Gonzalez is the Senior Pastor of Good News Unlimited and the presenter of the Unlimited radio spots, and The Big Question. Sign up to his free online course called Becoming a Follower of Jesus to learn about Jesus and His message.
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