The Faith of Moses (Hebrews 11:23-29)
vs. 23-26, “By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the kings edict. By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking for the reward.”
Moses’ parents had faith, which overpowered their fear.
Moses chose to be a part of God’s people rather than to enjoy the comfort and power afforded him as part of Pharaoh’s household. There was a greater reward. By faith, Moses actually saw Christ.
In short, FAITH IS TREASURING CHRIST ABOVE ALL ELSE. The reward of that is receiving God’s promise of an eternal dwelling place where we can experience perfect communion in fellowship with God again. (see Heb. 11:39-40, 12:28)
vs. 27, “By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen.” When “he left Egypt” refers to the Exodus in which God demonstrated His power over the elements, which the Egyptians believed their “gods” controlled. Moses feared the LORD, who cannot be seen, over the visible “gods” of the Egyptians.
vs. 28, “By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of the blood, so that he who destroyed the firstborn would not touch them.” After God’s people were set free from slavery, they kept the Passover to remember God’s miraculous deliverance. By faith, Moses saw this practice as a foreshadowing of Christ. We know that the Passover is a picture of Christ’s once for all sacrifice which delivers us from bondage to sin and death (Hebrews 10:10-18). We have to remember Moses was a servant who served the perfect Son of God. His faith we should emulate inasmuch as it leads us to treasuring Christ.
vs. 29, “By faith they passed through the Red Sea as though they were passing through dry land; and the Egyptians when they attempted it, were drowned.” What a picture. This was simply impossible for humans, but God miraculously delivered His people. The difference between God’s people and the Egyptians was that Israel (and the Egyptians which joined them—“a mixed multitude”) had faith. The Egyptians were trying to preserve their workforce, rebelling against the LORD who clearly demonstrated His might and sovereignty. This may have looked impossible, if foreboding, for the Israelites. But Moses their leader had faith. He saw Christ at the other end of the sea. Moses saw Christ holding back the waters, making it possible to pass from an old life of slavery into a new life of freedom.
Do we have a love for Christ more than anything else? HE is our reward, and there is nothing better. Everything else will be swept away in the “water” of God’s judgment—the “passing pleasures of sin,” which is everything not of God’s will.
As Paul says in Philippians 3: 7-8, “But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ.”
This challenges me. I have to be willing to give up my comfort, my identity—everything—to gain Christ. I have to think of my life as good as trash in comparison to my love for Jesus. But I know Jesus will not disappoint. As Paul says, we will be raised from the dead. Let’s trust in His promises, treasuring our relationship with Jesus above all else.