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Hebrews 11:23-29: Enduring Faith 3

Our pastor has been teaching through Hebrews, and for the past few weeks we have been camping out in the Hebrews 11. It’s a great place to be … so much to learn! The focus of this week’s sermon was on Moses.

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.

Hebrews 11:23

Moses was born during the catastrophic period when the king of Egypt had ordered all Hebrew baby boys to be murdered. You’ll remember that Israel had moved with his 12 sons to Egypt during the great famine. Joseph was second only to the Pharaoh in those days and the family of Israel was treated well. But Israel’s family grew, and grew, and leaders in Egypt came and went. Until there was a time when no one of importance remembered Joseph. And those in leadership felt threatened by the Israelites. So the Israelites were enslaved, and then they were persecuted by throwing their baby boys into the river. But Moses’ parents hid their baby, seeing that he was not an ordinary child. They acted on their faith!

By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.

Hebrews 11:24 – 26

We don’t know much about Moses’ young years except that he was brought up as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. That means he would have had access to all things wealthy, an excellent education, fanciful entertainment, worldly goods. The writer of Hebrews tells us that as a young adult, Moses was willing to lay aside those pleasures, the treasures, for the sake of Christ!

Moses had an eternal perspective!
He persevered because he saw him who is invisible!

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.

1 John 2:15-17

I love this idea that Moses “persevered because he saw him who is invisible.” The story of Moses and his relationship with God is inspiring.

  • God had a meal with Moses and other Israelite leaders!  God did not raise his hand against these leaders of the Israelites; they saw God, and they ate and drank. (Exodus 24:11)
  • God knew Moses face to face! Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face (Deuteronomy 34:10)
  • God spoke to Moses as a friend! The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend.  (Exodus 33:11)
  • God was pleased with Moses! “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.” (Exodus 33:17)

And you might be thinking for a moment, if only I could be like Moses, experience God the way Moses did. Moses did have a great relationship with God, but ours is sweeter still. Jesus opened the way for us to commune with God directly, needing no mediator, no sacrifice, no temple. Jesus taught his disciples that it was better than He go away so that He could send the Helper, the Spirit of God who dwells within us.

We are never out of God’s presence!
God lives in us and we live in Him!

This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit.  And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.  If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God.  And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 

1 John 4:13-16

Even before the sacrificial system was in place, before specific instructions about the blood, Moses believed God, trusted Him in applying the blood to the doorposts so saving the firstborn of Israel and securing Israel’s release from Pharaoh. Moses had no previous experience to fall back on, only the conviction that what God said, he must do!

By faith he kept the Passover and the application of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel. By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned.

Hebrews 11:28-29

Interestingly the author of Hebrews also attributes faith to the Israelites as they crossed the Red Sea in fleeing Egypt. The people cried out in terror before stepping into that dry river bed but in the end they did step out — not just in courage — but in faith that God would provide for them.

And when the Israelites saw the mighty hand of the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and put their trust in him
and in Moses his servant.

Exodus 14:31

Our pastor called the Israelites faith “ragged.” And you know I’m so grateful that even “ragged” faith makes it into God’s “faith hall of fame!” There is hope for me, for all of us, when in the midst of despair, fear, or grumbling, our faith is weak.

Moses was human, had faults. He did not aspire to be Israel’s champion. But Moses walked with God, learned from Him, developed a relationship with the living Lord! His was a growing faith – engaging his heart, soul, mind and strength!

Our friend, Jesus, invites us to do the same – developing our relationship with Him, engaging our hearts, souls, minds, and our strength!

Lean on Him and find Him faithful!

When I fear my faith will fail,
Christ will hold me fast;
When the tempter would prevail,
He can hold me fast!

I could never keep my hold,
He must hold me fast;
For my love is often cold,
He must hold me fast. 

I am precious in His sight,
He will hold me fast;
Those He saves are His delight,
He will hold me fast.

He’ll not let my soul be lost,
Christ will hold me fast;
Bought by Him at such a cost,
He will hold me fast.

He will hold me fast,
He will hold me fast;
For my Savior loves me so,
He will hold me fast.

Ada R. Habershon, 1908
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