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Have you ever felt like everything is hopeless, that oppression and injustice seem to have the run of the day? We see many examples in the psalms of cries against injustice and suffering. In Psalm 22, David writes, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest. Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel” (v. 1–3).
We recognize these words, repeated later by Jesus on the cross. I (Sarah) expect they also would’ve resonated with Jochebed, nursing an infant doomed to death and hiding him for three months. I imagine she was crying to God for answers, ideas, and some way out of this impossible situation. Yet even in the midst of her uncertainty and suffering, Exodus 2:2 tells us, “she saw that he [Moses] was a fine child.” This recognition is reiterated in Hebrews 11 when the text says Jochebed and her husband “saw that the child was beautiful” (v. 23). In the midst of difficulty and heartbreak, this family boldly declared God’s goodness.
Author Kelley Nikondeha reflects on this scene, writing,
“She recognizes that her boy is good, using the very same word God uses in describing the days of creation. Jochebed’s son possessed the deep goodness of creation, stamped with God’s own image, a boy as good as anything God ever made. Her eyes might have been tired and full of tears, but she saw clearly.”1
1 Kelley Nikondeha. Defiant: What the Women of Exodus Teach Us About Freedom (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2020), 43.