To ask whether a mother will forget her child is incomprehensible, because everyone knows that a mother is loving and caring by nature, and more so with her own child. Her relationship with her child starts at conception. The mother and child are closely knitted together through the physical and spiritual umbilical cord, so it is unfathomable to think that the mother will ever forget her child. Nevertheless, the Lord said, “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!” (Isa. 49:15) In saying this, the Lord implied that a mother can actually forget the baby at her breast. But while the mother’s love may fail, the Lord’s love will never fail.
The Bible is replete with examples of how mothers had not only forgotten their children, but also failed to have compassion on them. One such case was the woman who rolled over her newborn child in her sleep. When she realized that her own baby was dead, she took the baby of another woman living in the same room and put him by her breast, while she put her dead baby by the breast of the other woman. As they argued over who owned the living baby the next morning, their case was elevated to King Solomon for resolution. The king ordered that a sword be brought in and that the living baby be cut into two, so that each woman would get a piece. The woman who rolled over her baby did not show compassion and quickly agreed that the living baby be cut into two. Meanwhile, the mother of the living baby pleaded that the life of the baby be spared. She had compassion on her baby and agreed to give him to the other woman. For this show of love and compassion, King Solomon decreed, “Give the living baby to the first woman. Do not kill him; she is his mother” (1 King 3: 27).
In another case, a woman sought the help of the king saying, “Help me, my lord the king! ….This woman said to me, ‘Give up your son so we may eat him today, and tomorrow we’ll eat my son.’ So we cooked my son and ate him. The next day I said to her, ‘Give up your son so we may eat him,’ but she had hidden him” (2 King 6:26-29). Only a foolish woman could ever think of such wickedness, killing her own baby and eating him to satisfy her hunger. This turn of events is not surprising because we are told that “The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down” (Prov. 14:1). Yes, even in today’s world there are foolish women who concoct schemes to bring destruction to their own children just to satisfy their cravings. We often hear of mothers enticing their children to go into prostitution or sell drugs for them to have comfortable lives. There are those that teach their children to steal to bring food on their table. All these are the works of foolish women who care more about themselves than the children that the Lord blessed them with.
While there are some who choose to be foolish, there are more of those who are builders of their homes. They are the unsung heroes before the eyes of their children. They are willing to make sacrifices and give up everything to ensure that their children will have a good future. They are diligent in guiding and instructing their children, following the command given in the Book of Proverbs: “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it” (Prov. 22:6). These mothers keep watch over their children and even pick the people that their children associate with, believing that “bad company corrupts good character” (1 Cor. 15:33).
To ensure that their children get the best blessings should the opportunity come along, these mothers are ready to act and bear the consequence of their actions, just as Rebecca did when Isaac was about to release his blessings. With Esau being the first born, he was to receive double portion of the blessing. However, Rebecca wanted Jacob, Esau’s twin brother, to receive such a blessing because he was more deserving. Therefore, she concocted a scheme whereby Jacob would get the blessing. Jacob refused, saying, “But my brother Esau is a hairy man while I have smooth skin. What if my father touches me? I would appear to be tricking him and would bring down a curse on myself rather than a blessing.” Rebecca responded, “My son, let the curse fall on me. Just do what I say; go and get them for me” (Gen. 27:11-13). Only a loving mother is willing to take the consequence the way that Rebecca did to ensure a bright future for her child.
Mothers, by nature, will not forget the baby at their breast. But if our mothers ever do forget, our comfort is that God will not forget us. He will always be with us as a Father to the fatherless or motherless (Psalm 68:5). May the name of the Lord be glorified always! Hallelujah!