This entry will be the last of the series in the Heroes of Faith, Today we will be looking towards Heb 11:23-27.
The author of Hebrews was sharing about 2 characters in the bible.
1. Moses Parents: They decided to keep the baby Moses hidden
2. Moses who forsake his life in the palace of Egypt for his life with God.
Moses Parents (Ex 2:1-8)
So the story of Moses Parents was short, as the bible did not said much about it. The story happens so far that there was a new King in Eygpt who did not know Joseph (Then the Hebrews who lived in Goshen were in huge numbers) the king, fearing his political power may be compromised, started to oppress the Hebrews.
Initially, he ordered for the Hebrew Midwives to kill the any baby boy when they help the women deliver children. This order wasn’t followed, then he ordered for a massacre of all Hebrew boys. Some of the reader may wonder why did the king order this. The only possible answer I can gather is, if all the boys are killed, the Hebrew daughters will have no choice but to either marry Egyptians (and be assimilated to population) or remain unmarried. This would lead to the destruction of the race.
Then in Ex 2, there was a Levite couple who gave birth to a baby boy. But they find the boy very Beautiful. I did a few search around, the RSV and King James version translated that to be Goodly, meaning Pleasant Looking). but the Jewish translation in http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/9863/jewish/Chapter-2.htm translated that as good. Stephen in Acts said he was ”well pleasing to God”.
I am unsure what the parents see in the child, perhaps out of the love of their kids, or perhaps they can see that God has a higher plan for the child. So because of that Faith, they decided to hide the child, ignoring the Pharaoh’s command to kill him. When he is 3 months, when he cannot be hidden anymore. They have no choice but to make an basket for him and drift him away in the Nile river, sending their daughters to follow it. I am wondering what is going on in the parents mind at this time, perhaps like all of us, they will be worried, and they will not know if they will see him again. But keeping on to the faith in God, they decided to let the baby drift into the river and entrusting God to take care of him.
When man has ran out of ideas, that is when God intervenes, as we follow onto this story, the basket miraculously flowed into the place where the daughter of the Pharaoh is bathing. When she saw the baby, she had compassion on him. This is when Moses sister Miriam came and offered to find a nanny (her mother) to take care of Moses.
The author of Hebrews uses the fact that the parents kept the child is due to their faith, but what is the faith of the parents? After pondering this for sometime, I think
1. They believe that God has a plan for the child and if they were to kill him, Gods plan will not come
2. They always believe in what their forefathers says, that God will bring them out of Egypt one day,
3. If the child is indeed Gods instrument to keep the promise, God will take care of them.
Hence their faith is shown when they let the boy go. When they were with the young Moses, I can be very sure that the passed this faith to Moses, as we can see the Moses in the next section.
Moses Early Life
Strangely, the book of Exodus was very quiet about Moses life before he started to visit his brethren in Egypt. Hence we can only gather from the following verses
Acts 7:20-22: At this time Moses was born, and was well pleasing to God; and he was brought up in his father’s house for three months. But when he was set out, Pharaoh’s daughter took him away and brought him up as her own son. And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and deeds.
Heb 11:24-26: By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.
We can gather the following about Moses Early childhood
1. He was trained in all the knowledge of the Egyptian, and was groomed to become an important Prince in Egypt
2. His mother most likely taught him everything about God, and also the fact that Moses is not an Egyptian.
3. His mother must have shared about the hope that God will take the people out of Egypt one day.
4. He must have heard of all the deeds by the Pharaoh to totally annihilate the Hebrew Population, and How God allowed him to survive.
5. Perhaps the idea that God will deliver the Hebrews out of Egypt using the hand of Moses is also taught to him by his mother.
From all this, when Moses became of age, he suddenly wanted to visit his brethren and to take care of them. But he chose to forsake his status as the prince of Egypt because he can see the heavenly home that his forefathers hold on to strongly. He is very sure that the promises of God are much more precious then any Gold in Egypt. Hence he backed this faith up by forsaking his worldly processions
Quick Summary of Moses life
1. He tried to use his own strength to deliver the people, but he forgot to follow God, Hence God sent him to Midian for 40 Years
2. He returned to Egypt after God has molded him 40 years , at the age of 80.
3. God gave delivered the Hebrews by giving ten plagues to the land of Egypt. And on the tenth plague, he ordered Moses to keep the passover.
Other deeds of Faith by Moses (Passover)
God shared with Moses that he will be dealing the greatest blow to the Egyptians by killing all the firstborn(Ex 11:1-10). and God gave specific instruction to Moses to follow (Ex 12).
1. Kill a lamb, takes its blood
2. Use Hyssop, dip it with the Lambs blood and spread it on the door post and lintel
3. Whoever who does not follow will have the firstborn killed
If we were to look at the instructions, many a times in our present times, when God gives us specific instructions, we tend to bargain with God (Like Lot when he is asked to flee), if not we would try not to follow, claiming that we only need to believe in God and that’s all. But here you can see the Faith of the people as well as Moses, is being make perfect by their actions. By doing so, they prove that they fully believe in God.
Other deeds of Faith by Moses (Crossing the Red Sea) (Ex 14)
So the Hebrews finally left Egypt, taking the body of Joseph with them. They journeyed a few day and camped near the Red sea, God has already warned Moses that the Pharaoh will pursue them in Ex 14:1.
So Pharaoh mustered his chariots and began chasing the Hebrews
So as the chariots are approaching, the people were all frightened. Hence Moses comforted the people saying that God will save them. (Knowing what God has told him). But then, I believe if we were Moses, we would be afraid, and I am sure after that Moses cried out to the Lord, hence God gave him the instructions
1. Lift the Rod Stretch his arms towards the Sea
2. The Sea will divide, and the people will pass through it.
Then the angel of the Lord as well as the pillar of cloud came and stood between the Egyptians and Hebrews. This is then Moses follow the exact instructions of God. And the people passed on dry land.
As for the Egyptians, they attempted that and were all destroyed .
Over here, it is Moses who held onto the believe that God will deliver the people, and his willingness to follow Gods instructions, that allowed this miracle to happen.
I hope by now we would all understand that Faith, is not just a mere belief, it is always backed with physical actions, and our actions will prove how strong our faith really are. Therefore, if God were to give us a difficult order, how would we respond to it? Think about all the examples before us that we have studied so far.
In fact the author of Hebrews mentioned many other bible stories in the later verses. There are a few more I would like to summarise here as conclusion
1. Joshua faith in God allowed him to use Gods way to attack Jericho, if we study this battle, we would know that the idea of marching around the walls wont help one win the battle usually.
2. Rahab chose to take in the spies because she knows where God is. And she became one of Jesus ancestor.
3. Take a look at the story of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets. and see if you can pick up anything more about faith?