The Book of Hebrews #56 chapter 11:23-29 pt. 2
The Book of Hebrews
Moses: The Decisions of Faith, Part 2
Hebrews 11:23-29
 
Last week we began a study of the faith of Moses and I said to you his faith is best seen in the decisions that he made.  When he was 40 years old, he turned his back on his Egyptian upbringing and chose to be true to his heritage and faith as a Jew.  HE put his trust in God’s Word and rejected the all that Egypt had to offer him.
 
Not only does faith make the choice to reject some things, it also chooses to accept or embrace some things and that was true for Moses as well.
 
So what does true faith accept as illustrated by Moses?
 
First of all, faith accepts
 
- the Lord’s Plans
 
verse 23
 
Pharaoh had issued a decree to kill all the Hebrew boys but Moses’ parents hid the child and protected him from the order.  Later they float him down the river and he winds up in the care of the Pharoah’s daughter and has his own mother for as a wet nurse.
 
Now I find it odd that of all the things the writer to the Hebrews could have said about that, the only thing he tells us is his parents hid him because they saw he was a beautiful child.
Now from our perspective, that’s no big deal because everybody thinks their child is a beautiful baby.  I know that because they bring them up and show them to you expecting you to say how beautiful they are.  That is a very awkward place to be because I make it a habit to not lie.  So you have to be creative in how you acknowledge that child. “Boy that’s quite a baby you’ve got there!”  “Looks just like his grandpa!”  Nobody’s got an ugly child so why does the author chose to use this phrase?
 
Well the word “beautiful” is a very interesting word. In Exodus 2:2 it appears in the record there, “The woman conceived and bore a son and when she saw that he was beautiful, she hid him for three months.” And in Acts, it also describes him in similar language as to what we would assume was his looks, or his form.
 
But certainly there’s more here than.  And if you get to digging around a little bit, you discover what he meant.  For instance, in Acts 7:20 when Stephen is preaching just before his stoning, he apparently is quoting Exodus 2:2 and he describes him, as the KJV says, “exceeding fair”.  NIV says he was no ordinary child.  The New American Standard says he was lovely in the sight of God and the New King James describes him as well-pleasing to God.
 
Now that tells us a little more, doesn’t it? He’s a beautiful child, but his parents recognized that beauty isn’t what’s on the outside.  It isn’t just that his parents thought they had a cute baby and wanted to protect him because he was just such a cute baby. God had set His sights on this child. They knew this child was God’s child, that he was fair in God’s eyes.
It was not their human attraction to his looks or form that caused them to hide the newborn. Of course they loved him but all other parents love their children. Of course they thought he was a beautiful child.  Every parent does.
 
But this was a child who was special to God, fair to God. They knew that the child had a divine destiny. They trusted God then that they could protect that child and they could put that child in a basket and let that child go and God would bring about the destiny that He had planned for that child.
 
So this is how faith acts, not just with Moses, but we back up to Amram and Jochebed and we learn that faith accepts the plan of God., or if you will, the promise of God, or if you will, the purpose of God. They were confident in the fact that God had a purpose for this life. We don’t know how they knew that, but certainly it had been declared to them and indicated to them. And so Moses’ parents are models of faith who trusted the plan of God.
 
By the way, think about how their faith was confirmed.  Pharaoh’s daughter found the little baby and Miriam said, “By the way, if you’d like a Hebrew mother to nurse the baby, I know of a perfect one,” and the baby went back to Jochebed and stayed there for years and was developed.
 
Don’t you know it was much easier for them to trust God the next time they needed to?  And what Moses was to become was confirmed by his parents as he grew.
 
 
I wouldn’t be surprised, if everyday his mother said to him, “Son I don’t know what all is going to happen to you in your life, but I am convinced that you have been specially called by God.”
 
So by the time he went back to Pharaoh’s palace, he already knew that God had a special plan for him.  I think that is where the call on his life first originated and maybe was reiterated to him as he grew through those forty years.  And in the whole time he was being exposed to the Egyptian wisdom, he never deviated from what he knew was his calling.
 
So his faith was like his parents and that is what is behind the fact that he refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.  He refused the prestige, the prominence, the treasure, the power and the pleasure.  None of it had any effect on him because early on it was made clear that he was special to God. He knew it. He believed it. And he acted on it.
 
He was a beautiful child, well-pleasing to God, lovely in His sight.  That’s what makes the next thing Exodus records of him a little bit difficult to understand.
 
Exodus 2:11-14
 
Now that doesn’t sound like a very lovely, well-pleasing in the sight of God kind of thing to do does it?  And to be clear, the Bible doesn’t say this it’s the right thing to do.  It’s not the right thing to do.  IN fact, it’s a sinful thing to do.  But it’s what happened and it is what it is and it indicates, right or wrong, that Moses was willing to pay the consequences of being identified with his people.
 
And notice, he goes out the very next day acted like he was in charge of people’s behavior. In fact, he is judgmental of someone who has wronged a fellow citizen. Is that not hypocritical?  That’s what the man thought also.  If he had been familiar with the teaching of Jesus, he might have said, “Hey Moses, you better get the beam out of your own eye before you start being critical of the toothpick in mine!”
 
So why did Moses go out and act like nothing had happened and it was just business as usual?  I think he understood that the plan God had for his life was now beginning to unfold.  The slaying of the Egyptian was a critical turning point in his life.
 
The deed can’t and shouldn’t be condoned, but it began the process of eventually7 bringing about God’s will in releasing His people from bondage.  And by the way, he’s not the last or the only one where God has used something tragic and sinful to turn that life toward the purposes of God.
 
And just like with us, there are some consequences to what he did.  Not only is Pharaoh out to kill him, even his own people rejected him because they were afraid that the Egyptians would come and kill them all.
 
Verse 15
 
He was forced to leave the land for forty years, live in the land of Midian while God shaped him into the leader He wanted him to be.  And for those forty years, he knew he was Israel’s deliverer. I’m confident of that.  He bore the reproach of an anointed one. He knew what he was to do.
And when the time came, and he had been prepared by God, he waited forty years and then went back, commissioned through a burning bush used of God to send him back with a holy boldness.  He walks into Pharaoh’s presence, pronounces divine judgment on him, and orders him to let the people of Israel go. True faith accepts the Lord’s plan.
 
Secondly, it accepts
 
- the Lord’s Provision
 
Hebrews 11:28
 
The last plague God sent to Egypt was the angel of death killing all the firstborn unless the blood is splattered on the doorposts and the lintel. That’s recorded for us in Exodus 22. And the point being made in Hebrews is Moses did it because he trusted that was God’s provision for their deliverance.
 
He didn’t try to make it on his own. He didn’t try to develop his own strategy. He accepted God’s provision, “You will be spared if you do this.” He took God at His Word.  Can you imagine what kind of tension that created?
 
How would you have responded if I came and knocked on your door and said, “I hate to have to tell you this, but the government has put out an order for your children to die and you only have one hope.  God said you were to kill a lamb and smear the blood of that lamb around your door and you’ll be safe.  See you Sunday in Sunday School.”
 
 
Can you imagine what kind of faith it took to accept the provision of God and tuck your children into bed that night?  Listen:  That is the same kind of faith that you exercise when you trust that what happened on Calvary’s cross 2,000 years ago keeps you safe from death and hell.
 
When you approach it logically, it makes no more sense to believe that the blood Jesus shed way back there in history can keep you safe for eternity than it did for Moses to believe that the blood of a lamb smeared on the door could protect those children.  But our faith is not in the blood, but in the revealed Word of God and the provision He makes.
 
Let me give you one final think faith accepts.  He accepted the Lord’s plans and the Lord’s provisions and
 
- the Lord’s Promise
 
verse 29
 
You talk about being on a roller-coaster.  No sooner have the Israelites been released to leave the land of Egypt when they are confronted with the Red Sea.  Here they are trapped with the Red Sea in front, and mountains on the sides and Pharaoh’s breathing down on them from behind.  They’re full of fear.  And then Moses gives them a command. He says this, “Get ready to see the salvation of Jehovah.” That’s a lot of faith. He was believing God for a major miracle.
 
Now Moses had some experience with miracles.  He’d seen his rod turned into a snake.  He’d had leprosy and been healed.  He’d witnessed the plagues.
But nothing before this day could have prepared him for stepping off into that sea bed. But faith hears God’s promise and moves right into the fury. So if you’re waiting for a cruise liner, Moses, forget it. God’s got to do something miraculous if you make it out of this alive and that’s what He did. He split the Red Sea and they all walked through on dry land.
 
Biblical historians believe there were as many as two million Jews who passed through the Red Sea as God held the waters back.  Again, that is stunning act of faith. I can’t imagine what it must have been like to step off into that sea bed.  The average depth of the Red Sea is 1,610 feet.  At its deepest it is over 7,000 feet.
 
There are a number of underwater shelves or bridges and many historians believe it may have been at one of those where they crossed.  But I don’t care how deep or shallow it was, at some point you’re still going to be out in the middle of the Red Sea with a wall of water on either side walking on nothing but the promise of God.  And when Pharaoh tried to follow, you know the story.  His entire army was drowned.
 
Read the story of Moses and you will discover it is not the story of Law.  It is an amazing story of faith; a faith that makes the right choices.  Some of those choices involve rejecting some things and others involve accepting some things. And if we’ll listen and trust Him, we can make the right choices by faith as well.
 
Let’s pray.
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