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Moses, when he
months by his
saw he was a
child; and they
afraid of the
Amplified: [Prompted] by faith Moses, after his birth, was kept
concealed for three months by his parents, because they saw how comely
the child was; and they were not overawed and terrified by the king’s
Bible - Lockman)
faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents,
because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of
the king's commandment. (NLT
- Tyndale House)
Phillips: It was by faith that Moses was hidden by his parents
for three months after his birth, for they saw that he was an
exceptional child and refused to be daunted by the king's decree that
all male children should be drowned. (Phillips:
Wuest: By faith Moses, having been born, was hid three
months by his parents, because they saw that he was a comely child.
And they did not fear the mandate of the king. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: By faith Moses, having been born, was hid
three months by his parents, because they saw the child comely, and
were not afraid of the decree of the king
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Today in the Word
Hebrews Study Guide
Hebrews 11:23–29 Moses: A
Study of Hebrews
Hebrews 11 Commentary
Hebrews 11:23-29 Seeing Him Who Is
Hebrews 11:23-26 Faith's Choice
Hebrews 11 Commentary
Hebrews 11:23 The
Roll Call of Faith
Hebrews 11:23-27 The
Choices of Life
Hebrews 11:7-12 Faith and Failure
Hebrews 11:20-29 The Faith of
Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses
How can I get to Heaven?
11:1-3,6-8,13-19,24-26 Exhibit Your Faith
Hebrews 11:23-31 The Eyes of Faith
Hebrews 11:24-26 The
Choice of Moses
Hebrews 11:23-28 Moses, the Faith of
Hebrews 11:23-25 Things Faith Accepts and
Rejects, Part 1
Hebrews 11:26-29 Things Faith Accepts and
Rejects, Part 2
Hebrews 11:24-29 The Crisis of Decision
Hebrews 11:24-27 The Faith of
Hebrews 11 Sermons -
by Puritan writer - >1000 page Pdf!
Thru the Bible Commentary
Hebrews 11:24 Moses
and the Decision of Faith -p 457
Hebrews 11:27 Israel
and Redemption by Faith -p 461
Hebrews 11:23-29 The Maturity of
Hebrews 11:26, 27
Hebrews 11:23-28 Liberated for
love by looking to the reward
Hebrews 11 Word Pictures
Hebrews 11:24 The Faith Of Moses
Hebrews 11:23 Parental Faith
Hebrews 11:27 Faith in the Invisible God
Letter to Hebrews -
329 page commentary
Hebrews 11:23-27 By
Hebrews 11:24-27 The
Hebrews 11 Exposition
Hebrews 11:23 The Hiding of
Moses by Faith - Pdf
Hebrews 11:24-26 Moses: His Faith and
Decision - Pdf
Hebrews 11:24-26 Moses' Decision - Pdf
Hebrews 11:8-38 The
Activities of Faith
Hebrews 11:23-29 The Faith of
Moses and the Israelites
Hebrews 11: Word
Hebrews 11:23-28 The Faith Of Moses
Hebrews Inductive Study Part 2
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 KING'S EDICT: Pistei Mouses gennetheis (APPMSN) ekrube
(3SAPI) trimenon hupo ton pateron autou, dioti eidon (3PAAI) asteion
to paidion, kai ouk ephobethesan (3PAPI) to diatagma tou basileos: (Ex 2:2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9,
10; Acts 7:20) (He 13:6; Psalms 56:4; 118:6; Isaiah 8:12,13; 41:10,14;
51:7,12; Daniel 3:16, 17, 18; Daniel 6:10; Matthew 10:28; Luke 12:4,5)
Art related to Moses
THE FAITH OF
From 3 deaths the writer
changes focus to one birth! Moses had been a major character in
Hebrews 3:1-4:13, but was not mentioned in any detail (cp incidental
mentions in He 9:19, He 10:28) until this section of the letter.
In Hebrews 11:23-29 the writer
summarizes the faith of Moses the friend (Jas 2:23-note)
and servant (Dt 34:5, 1Chr 6:49, 2Chr 24:9, Da 9:11, Rev 15:3-note)
of God, by beginning with the faith of his parents (cp 2Ti 1:5-note).
In so doing the writer illustrates to his Hebrew readers (who would
have been familiar with the story in Exodus) how faith confronts
opposition, hostility and threats of men! May the faith of these godly
OT couple encourage all parents that they can still train up their
children to be friends and servants of God even in the darkest of days
(even as we see America, "one nation under God", in effect
becoming "one nation" that is no longer under God but under
the rule of rebellious, God-rejecting men!)
This verse summarizes a dangerous time for
Israel because Pharaoh had commanded the Hebrew midwives to murder all the
males immediately upon birth (Ex 1:22, see Ex 1:15-22). Satan has
forever been trying to destroy the line of the Messiah (cp Ge 3:15,
Esther 3:8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, Mt 2:16, 17, 18) so that He
could not come and redeem fallen men from their bondage to sin and its
Faith prompted the hiding of
baby Moses, illustrating that genuine faith inspires noble
conduct. One act of faith by God-fearing, God-trusting parents! While
they may have had an "inkling" that their son was destined for some
divine duty ("he was beautiful" Ex 2:2, Acts 7:20), they could not
have fully comprehended the bountiful fruit the sowing of their seeds
of faith would one day bring forth for the entire nation of Israel and
ultimately for the world! Oh, how we all need to be reminded of the
importance of remaining faithful in our daily lives. Only time will
reveal what to us at the moment may have seemed like such a small act
of faithful obedience and yet what God used to bring forth a bountiful
harvest of righteousness. (cp Mt 25:21, 23, 38, 39). God give us all
the grace to persevere in faithful obedience moment by moment, day by
day, until our last breath opens the way into your glorious Presence.
Phillip Hughes has a great
description of faith writing that...
The faith of which our
author is speaking is not blind faith, vacuous and unintelligent
credulity, but faith that is in the highest sense enlightened
and substantial, because the divine word to which it is the response
is a word not only of power but also of light (Ps 119:105-note).
In the biblical purview faith and revelation belong
together, and revelation inevitably involves, on the part of
the recipient, the activity of the intellective faculty: by faith
we understand. The origination of all things by the creative word of
God (Heb 11:3-note)
is a truth that can be known to us only through revelation, and
accordingly its disclosure demands the response of faith. It is
an article of faith that recurs throughout the range of
Scripture. (A Commentary On The Epistle To The Hebrews)
By faith - Here is the story
from Exodus to remind you of this courageous act of faith
in which Moses' parents risked their own lives to preserve the
life of the child (genuine faith is not passive but active, dynamic,
Ex 2:1 Now a man from the house of
went and married a daughter of Levi (Jochebed
= Ex 6:20). 2 The woman conceived and bore a son (in one sense
this was an
act of faith
to chose to have children in the
face of the Pharaoh's edict regarding male sons!); and when she saw
that he was beautiful (literally "a handsome child to God" NIV offers
a somewhat interpretative rendering = "he was no ordinary child"), she
hid him for three months (Note that He 11:23 says "his parents" which
follows the Septuagint translation of the Hebrew text and commends the
faith of both parents = Ex 2:2 "they hid him three
months" = this was an
act of faith).
3 But when she could hide him no longer, she got him a wicker
(papyrus) basket ("box-like container" ~ Noah's ark Ge 6:14) and
covered it over with tar and pitch. Then she put the child into it and
set it among the reeds by the bank of the Nile (This
was an act of faith). (Note:
Moses and Christ both faced the threat of death as infants, and both
were saved to bring about a great redemption and to establish a blood
covenant with God's people, Moses the
Old Covenant and Jesus the
New Covenant) (Wiersbe "Jochebed
obeyed the letter of the law when she put Moses in the waters of the
Nile, but certainly she was defying Pharaoh's orders in the way she
did it." cp similar principle in Acts 5:29) 4 His sister (Miriam
Nu 26:59) stood at a distance to
find out what would happen to him.
Ex 2:5 Then (in the providential
outworking of the
God) the daughter of
Pharaoh came down to bathe at the
Nile, with her maidens walking alongside the
Nile; and she saw the basket
among the reeds and sent her maid, and she brought it to her. 6 When
she opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the boy was crying (Wiersbe
"The phrase "as weak as a baby" doesn't apply in the kingdom of
God; for when the Lord wants to accomplish a mighty work, He often
starts by sending a baby. This was true when He sent Isaac, Joseph,
Samuel, John the Baptist, and especially Jesus. God can use the
weakest things to defeat the mightiest enemies [1Co 1:25, 26, 27,
28, 29]. A baby's tears were God's first weapons in His war against
Egypt). And she had pity on him and said, "This is one of the
Hebrew's children." 7 Then his
sister said to Pharaoh's daughter, "Shall I go and call a nurse for
you from the Hebrew women that she may nurse the child for you?" 8
Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Go ahead." So the girl went and
called the child's mother. 9 Then Pharaoh's daughter said to her,
"Take this child away and nurse him for me and I will give you your
wages." So the woman took the child and nursed him. (This
is the fruit of faith!)
10 The child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh's daughter and he
became her son. And she named him
Moses, and said, "Because I drew
him out of the water." (Moses In the Egyptian language, Moses
means "born" or "son" and sounds like a Hebrew word that means "drawn
out [of the water].") (cp Acts 7:20, 21)
And so we see the heroic faith of Moses parents
Jochebed. Moses' faith will be
described below, but is it any wonder that parents of faith begat a
child of faith? (cp this principle in Timothy's life - 2Ti 1:5-note).
Notice also the sovereign watch care of the omniscient, omnipotent
Almighty God over His servant Moses even from his birth. Our God is
not an "in and out" of our life God, but is with us forever and a day,
and every moment of every day. Oh, how we need to recall this to our
minds, not only when we feel alone but likewise when we feel the pull
of temptation to sin. He is there from our birth until our death and
then throughout eternity. What a comforting truth that He will never
leave us nor forsake us in this life or that to come (He 13:5, 6-note).
Praise His Name
Immanuel! (Is 7:14, Mt 1:23)
Beautiful - It is
interesting to note that Jewish writers embellished Moses’ beauty,
even with such non-Biblical descriptions that the glory of this baby
filled the entire room at birth! Even in his humble birth, our Lord's
glory and majesty were veiled that He might be fully Man while, in the
mystery of mysteries, remaining fully God (Luke 2:16, 17). While our
Lord at His birth did not fill the room with glory (as far as
Scripture records - there was glory around His angelic announcers Lk
2:9), His birth caused both angels (Lk 2:14) and men (Lk 2:20) to give
glory to the Most High God. What a humble Lord we are privileged to
worship and serve and spend eternity with!
Were not afraid - This is
clearly evidence of their faith! While surely they were aware of the
terrible pronouncement by the Pharaoh and it may have caused them
momentary fears and doubts, they did not allow any fear that may have
been presence to control them, but instead choose to act in faith,
trusting wholly in a Holy Trustworthy God. The antonym of and antidote
for fear is faith (see related study on
Fear, How to Handle It)
Phobeo and its cognates are used in Hebrews 2:15 (phobos
- word study);
He 4:1; 10:27, 31; 11:23, 27; 12:21; 13:6. The Greek word for "not"
is "ouk" signifying they were absolutely not afraid! Why not?
They were parents of faith. They feared God which is the greatest
weapon against the fear of man, for he who fears God, fears nothing
else! Or as Spurgeon phrased it fear of God "is a blessed fear
which drives us to trust (for)...unregenerate fear drives from God
(and), gracious fear drives to Him." And in light of his God fearing
parent's faith, we are not surprised that the "apple" did not fall far
from the tree (so to speak) as we see Moses exercise a similar faith
in Hebrews 11:27-note.
How can we apply the lessons from this
godly example of faith? (1)
Do not fear the Pharaoh’s in your life (cp Pr 29:25, Mt 10:28,
Ps 25:15-note). (2)
children into God’s watch care! And for all of you who were born into
"Moses-like" godly homes where both parents were believers (I was not
so blessed), let your praise and thanksgiving for such a wonderful
gift continually resound to the Giver of all good gifts! (Jas
As Warren Wiersbe says...
Though godly parents cannot pass on
their faith as they do family traits, they can certainly create an
atmosphere of faith at home and be examples to their children. A home
should be the first school of faith for a child.
Pastor Cole's exposition below
Moses, when he
refused to be
Amplified: [Aroused] by faith Moses, when he had grown to
maturity and become great, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s
Bible - Lockman)
faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son
of Pharaoh's daughter;
NLT: It was by faith that Moses, when he grew up, refused to be
treated as the son of Pharaoh's daughter. (NLT
- Tyndale House)
Phillips: It was also by faith that Moses himself when grown up
refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter. (Phillips:
Wuest: By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to
be called a son of Pharaoh's daughter, (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: by faith Moses, having become great, did
refuse to be called a son of the daughter of Pharaoh,
BY FAITH MOSES, WHEN HE HAD GROWN UP, REFUSED TO BE CALLED THE SON OF
PHARAOH'S DAUGHTER: Pistei Mouses megas genomenos (AMPMSN) ernesato
(3SAMI) legesthai huios thugatros Pharao: (Exodus 2:10; Acts
7:21, 22, 23, 24)
British pastor Charles Simeon (1759-1836) (himself an most
incredible example of suffering for Christ - see John Piper's bio of
Brothers, We Must Not Mind a Little
his sermon on Hebrews 11:24, 25, 26 ("Moses' Choice") with these
IT is a great advantage to us to be
conversant with the Holy Scriptures, not only because from them we
learn the principles of religion, which can be derived from no other
source, but because we see in them examples which have upon them the
stamp and impress of God’s approbation, and which therefore we cannot
presume to disapprove. Had any individual of the present day acted as
Moses did in the instance before us, we should, I doubt not, have all
agreed in condemning him as inconsiderate, enthusiastic, and unwise.
Not knowing his motives, or not giving him credit for them, we could
not have formed a correct judgment of his actions: but we are sure
that the choice which Moses made, however absurd it might appear to
those more immediately connected with him, was truly commendable.
(Simeon, C. Horae Homileticae Vol. 19: page 407. London)
is synonymous with trust or belief and is the conviction of the truth
of anything, but in Scripture usually speaks of belief respecting
man's relationship to God and divine things, generally with the
included idea of trust and holy fervor born of faith and joined with
It is notable that only the book of
Romans surpasses the book of Hebrews (click
to study the uses of pistis in Hebrews)
in the number of uses of
(Romans = 35, Hebrews = 31, out of 243 NT
for links to all 243 uses of pistis (NAS) which is translated: faith, 238; faithfulness, 3; pledge, 1;
As pistis relates to God, it is the conviction
that God exists and is the Creator and Ruler of all things well as the
Provider and Bestower of eternal salvation through Christ. As faith relates
to Christ it represents a strong and welcome conviction or belief that Jesus
is the Messiah, through Whom we obtain eternal salvation and entrance into
the Kingdom of Heaven. Stated another way, eternal salvation comes only
through belief in Jesus Christ and no other way.
See related studies on the
specific phrases (1) "the
faith" and (2) the "obedience
See also study on
True faith that saves one's soul includes at
least three main elements
(1) firm persuasion
or firm conviction,
a surrender to that
(3) a conduct
emanating from that surrender. In sum, faith shows itself genuine by a
changed life. (Click
W E Vine's similar definition of faith)
Respected theologian Louis Berkhof
defines genuine faith in essentially the same way noting that it includes an
intellectual element (notitia), which is
a positive recognition of the
truth”; an emotional element (assensus), which includes “a deep
conviction of the truth”; and a volitional element (fiducia), which
involves “a personal trust in Christ as Savior and Lord, including a
surrender … to Christ.” (Louis
Berkhof, Systematic Theology. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1939)
Faith is relying on what God has done rather than on one’s own efforts.
In the Old Testament, faith is rarely mentioned. The word trust is
used frequently, and verbs like believe and rely are used to
express the right attitude to God. The classic example is Abraham, whose
faith was reckoned as righteousness (Ge 15:6). At the heart of the
Christian message is the story of the cross: Christ’s dying to bring
salvation. Faith is an attitude of trust in which a believer receives
God’s good gift of salvation (Acts 16:30,31) and lives in that awareness
thereafter (Gal 2:20-note; cf. Heb 11:1-note).
J. B. Lightfoot discusses the concept of faith in his commentary on
Galatians. He notes that in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, the definition of the
word for faith
"hovers between two meanings:
trustfulness, the frame of mind which relies on another; and
trustworthiness, the frame of mind which can be relied upon...the senses
will at times be so blended together that they can only be separated by some
arbitrary distinction. The loss in grammatical precision is often more than
compensated by the gain in theological depth...They who have faith in God
are steadfast and immovable in the path of duty."
Faith, like grace, is not static. Saving faith is more than just
understanding the facts and mentally acquiescing. It is inseparable from
repentance, surrender, and a supernatural longing to obey. None of those
responses can be classified exclusively as a human work, any more than
believing itself is solely a human effort.
Faith is manifest by not believing in spite of evidence but obeying in
spite of consequence. John uses the related verb pisteuo to demonstrate the
relationship between genuine faith and obedience writing...
"He who believes (present
tense = continuous) in
the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see
life, but the wrath of God abides on him." (John 3:36)
Charles Swindoll commenting on faith and obedience in John 3:36
In John 3:36 the one who “believes in the Son
has eternal life” as a present possession. But the one who “does not obey
the Son shall not see life.” To disbelieve Christ is to disobey
Him. And logically, to believe in Christ is to obey Him. As I
have noted elsewhere, “This verse clearly indicates that belief is
not a matter of passive opinion, but decisive and obedient action.”
(quoting J. Carl Laney)...Tragically many people are convinced that it
doesn’t really matter what you believe, so long as you are sincere. This
reminds me of a Peanuts cartoon in which Charlie Brown is returning from a
disastrous baseball game. The caption read, “174 to nothing! How could we
lose when we were so sincere?” The reality is, Charlie Brown, that it takes
more than sincerity to win the game of life. Many people are sincere about
their beliefs, but they are sincerely wrong!" (Swindoll,
C. R., & Zuck, R. B. Understanding Christian Theology.: Thomas Nelson
Publishers) (This book is
recommended if you are looking for a very readable, non-compromising work on
"systematic theology". Wayne Grudem's work noted above is comparable.)
Subjectively faith is firm
persuasion, conviction, belief in the truth, veracity, reality or
faithfulness (though rare). Objectively faith is that which is
believed (usually designated as "the faith"), doctrine, the received
articles of faith.
separate study of "the
True faith is not based on empirical evidence but on divine assurance.
Spurgeon wrote that...
Faith is the foot of the soul by which it
can march along the road of the commandments.
was translating the
Scripture for the South Sea islanders, he was unable to find a word in their
vocabulary for the concept of believing, trusting, or having faith. He had
no idea how he would convey that to them. One day while he was in his hut
translating, a native came running up the stairs into Paton's study and
flopped in a chair, exhausted. He said to Paton,
“It’s so good to rest my whole weight in
Paton had his word: Faith is resting your whole weight on God. That
word went into the translation of their New Testament and helped bring that
civilization of natives to Christ. Believing is putting your whole weight on
God. If God said it, then it’s true, and we’re to believe it.
Nothing before, nothing behind,
The steps of faith
Fall on the seeming void, and find
The rock beneath -- Whittier
Without “confidence” in God - in
his fidelity, his truth, his wisdom, his promises. The essence of
faith consists in believing and receiving what God has revealed, and
may be defined as that trust in the God of the Scriptures and in Jesus
Christ whom He has sent, which receives Him as Lord and Savior and
impels to loving obedience and good works (Jn 1:12; Ja 2:14, 15, 16,
17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26-see
Clearly faith is a key word in Hebrews. Study the 31 uses of
in context (click the Scripture links to go to the notes on each verse)...
- For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but
the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith
in those who heard.
- Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press
on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works
and of faith toward God,
-so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith
and patience inherit the promises.
- let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having
our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed
with pure water.
- BUT MY RIGHTEOUS ONE SHALL LIVE BY FAITH; AND IF HE SHRINKS BACK, MY SOUL
HAS NO PLEASURE IN
- But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those
who have faith to the preserving of the soul.
- Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things
- By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of
God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.
- By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which
he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his
gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks.
- By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; AND HE WAS NOT
FOUND BECAUSE GOD TOOK HIM UP; for he obtained the witness that before his
being taken up he was pleasing to God.
- And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God
must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
- By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence
prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned
the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to
- By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which
he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he
- By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign
land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same
- By faith even Sarah herself received ability to conceive, even beyond the
proper time of life, since she considered Him faithful who had promised.
- All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen
them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that
they were strangers and exiles on the earth.
- By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had
received the promises was offering up his only begotten son;
- By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau, even regarding things to come.
- By faith Jacob, as he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and
worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff.
- By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the exodus of the sons
of Israel, and gave orders concerning his bones.
- 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 king's edict.
- By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of
- By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured,
as seeing Him who is unseen.
- By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of the blood, so that
he who destroyed the firstborn would not touch them.
-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.
- By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for
- By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish along with those who were
disobedient, after she had welcomed the spies in peace.
-who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained
promises, shut the mouths of lions,
- And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive
what was promised,
- fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the
joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down
at the right hand of the throne of God.
- Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and
considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith.
from "a" = negation +
rheo = say) literally means "to say no", to say one does
not know about or is in any way related to some person or some
thing. Webster says that to deny implies a firm refusal to
accept as true, to grant or concede or to acknowledge the existence or
Arneomai is used 33 uses in
the NT - note especially the first use of arneomai. (Matt.
10:33; 26:70, 72; Mk. 14:68, 70; Lk. 8:45; 9:23; 12:9; 22:57; Jn.
1:20; 13:38; 18:25, 27; Acts 3:13, 14; 4:16; 7:35; 1Ti 5:8; 2Ti 2:12f;
3:5; Titus 1:16; 2:12; Heb. 11:24; 2Pe 2:1; 1Jn. 2:22f; Jude 1:4; Rev.
2:13; 3:8) and is translated: denied(9), denies(4), deny(13),
denying(3), disowned(3), refused(1). It is used once in the
Sarah denied it however,
saying, "I did not laugh"; for she was afraid. And He said, "No, but
you did laugh."
Arneomai means to refuse to consent to something or reject
something offered, as perfectly exemplified by Moses acting in faith.
Moses learned that it is not the possession of things, but the
refusing and forsaking of them that brings rest, resting ultimately by
faith in the promises of God (He 3:18, 19-note,
cp Mt 11:28, 29, 30). The decisions we make today (including those
things we "deny") will determine the rewards of tomorrow. Our
instructor grace (see Titus 2:11-note,
Note it is "grace" that is instructing us = Titus 2:12-note)
will empower us to deny the temporal for the eternal. It was not
Moses' great resolve that caused him to refuse great temporal reward,
but it was God's amazing grace, even present in the Old Testament
(contrary to what some believe).
Arneomai means to state that something is not true. E.g., the
Jewish council seeking to punish Peter and John, said
"What shall we do with these men?
For the fact that a noteworthy miracle has taken place through them is
apparent to all who live in Jerusalem and we cannot deny it."
Arneomai means to disclaim association with a person or event
(repudiate, disown, verbally or non-verbally). E.g., John asks the
"Who is the liar but the one who
denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who
denies (present tense = continual, habitual denial, not just a
momentary lapse) the Father and the Son." (1Jn 2:22)
to say "no" to oneself in order to live wholly for Christ. Luke
records Jesus' declaration that
"If anyone wishes to come after Me,
let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow
Me." (Lk 9:23)
to deny carries the idea of
a conscious, purposeful action of the will. It means to say "no".
It is to confess and consciously turn away from that which is sinful
and destructive and to move toward that which is good and godly. It
includes the commitment a believer makes when he first acknowledges
his sin and receives Christ as Savior and Lord as well as the
countless other decisions he makes to deny and forsake the ungodliness
and worldly desires that continue to find their way back into his
Titus: Moody Press)
Moses the servant of God (1Chr
6:49, 2Chr 24:9, Da 9:11) was a man of faith who used his
eyes of faith (2Cor 5:7) to “see the
invisible, to choose the imperishable (cp 1Pe 1:4-note), and do the impossible
(cp Php 4:13-note
Lk 1:37).” What was
true for Moses centuries ago can be true for all of God’s
children (cp He 11:6-note) today, but
men and women of faith like Moses seem to be in short supply. Whatever our
churches may be known for today, they’re not especially known for
glorifying God by great exploits of faith. Someone is recorded as
jesting that “The church used to be
known for its good deeds, but today it’s better known
for its bad mortgages.” (bad joke)
Moses worked out his salvation (Php 2:12-note
which is only possible because of Php 2:13-note)
by rejecting his right to inherit earthly fame and fortune. Why? Because he knew
the temporal "treasure" would rot and was of no comparison to what the world would call foolishness...the
reproach of Christ.
Moses denied the old self (his fallen
- remove the "h" and spell it backwards!) (cp Mk 8:34, 35, 36, 37, 38)
Why? Because he was looking to the reward.
Moses decided to leave the court
and visit his downtrodden brethren; he knew that his recognition of
them meant the renunciation of his position and the prospects involved
in his adoption by Pharaoh’s daughter. The step he took that day, as
recorded in Exodus 2:11, was the refusal mentioned, as is shown by the
statement in both passages, “when he was grown up.” That decision was
an act of faith, with the assurance that God would fulfill His
Cyril Barber writes...
In He 11:24, 25, 26 the writer
gives us a very clear picture of temptation. Temptation can only come
to a believer through three channels. These channels are (1) the lust
of the flesh—what I want to do, (2) the lust of the eyes—what I want
to have, and (3) the pride of life—what I want to be.15
When Moses chose to endure ill-treatment with the people of God, he
faced and overcame the “lusts of the flesh”—what he wanted to do. He
did this with the clear realization that he was choosing the eternal
rather than the temporal and committing himself to the path of duty
rather than to all the pleasures which may have been his in the palace
of the king.
Secondly, when Moses reckoned the reproach of the Messiah a greater
wealth than the treasures of Egypt, he overcame “the lust of the
eyes”—what he wanted to have. Archaeologists have given us some idea
of the wealth and treasure of Egypt. Moses was perfectly conscious of
what he was doing. He was turning his back on the “Fort Knox” of his
day, and spurning all the influence and power which money could have
obtained for him.
Lastly, his faith and foresight helped him to set his mind upon future
rewards and rise above any personal desires which he may have had for
his own temporal advancement. In so doing he overcame the pride of
life”—what he wanted to be.
What reason is given for these actions? The inspired writer attributes
it solely to faith. By faith, Moses could see that the temporal things
were going to pass away and that only that which was eternal would
last. He overcame the temptation of selfish ambition, worldly pleasure
and carnal possession because he did everything in life with a view to
receiving God’s approval. (Moses
A Study of Hebrews 1123–29a -- By Cyril J. Barber)
Perhaps you are convicted by the faith in action of this great servant
of God (I am so don't feel alone!). If your faith is on low ebb,
consider Paul's words in Romans 10:17 (note)
and compare (Luke 17:5). Dr John Piper in one of his "Taste
and See" articles (Recommended
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comments (Aug 21, 2001) on Luke 17:5 explaining how Jesus helped His
Disciples Increase Their Faith (see Lk 17:5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10):
In Lk 17:5 the apostles ask Jesus
to increase their faith. How does Jesus help them? In two ways, both
of which are by telling them truth. So even in the way he responds he
shows us that faith comes by hearing. Knowing certain things should
increase our faith.
1. First, He strengthens our
faith by telling us in Lk 17:6 that the crucial issue in accomplishing
great things to advance the kingdom of God is not the quantity of our
faith, but the power of God.
He says, "If you had faith like a
mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and be
planted in the sea'; and it would obey you." By referring to the tiny
mustard seed after being asked about increased faith, He deflects
attention away from the quantity of faith to the object of faith. God
moves mulberry trees. And it does not depend decisively on the
quantity of our faith, but on His power and wisdom and love. In
knowing this we are helped not to worry about our faith and are
inspired to trust God's free initiative and power.
2. Second, he helps their faith
grow by telling them in Lk 17:7, 8, 9, 10 that when they have done all
they are commanded to do, they are still radically dependent on grace.
Jesus gives an illustration. You
might want to read it again in Lk 17:7, 8, 9, 10. The gist of it is
that the owner of a slave does not become a debtor to the slave no
matter how much work the slave does. The meaning is that God is never
our debtor. V10 sums it up: "So you too, when you do all the things
which are commanded you, say, 'We are unworthy slaves; we have done
only that which we ought to have done.'" We are always his debtor. And
we will never be able to pay this debt, nor are we ever meant to. We
will always be dependent on grace. We will never work our way up out
of debt to a place where God is in our debt. "Who has ever given a
gift to him that he should be repaid?" (Ro 11:35-note).
When it says in Lk 17:9 that the owner does not "thank" the slave, the
idiom for "thank" is provocative. I think the idea is that "thanks" is
a response to grace. The reason the owner does not thank the slave is
that the servant is not giving the owner more than what the owner
deserves. He is not treating the owner with grace. Grace is being
treated better than you deserve. So it is with us in relation to God.
We never treat God with grace. We never give him more than he
deserves. Which means that he never owes us thanks. God never says
"Thank you" to us. Instead he is always giving us more than what we
deserve and we are always owing him thanks. So the lesson for us is
that when we have done all we should do - when we have solved all our
pastoral care problems and fixed the attitudes of all our people and
mobilized the most missions and loved the poor and saved marriages and
reared godly children and boldly proclaimed Christ - God owes us no
thanks. Instead we will at that moment relate to him as debtors to
grace just as we do now. This is a great encouragement to faith. Why?
Because it means that God is just as free to bless us before we get
our act together as he is after. Since we are "unworthy" slaves before
we have done what we should, and "unworthy" slaves afterwards as well,
it is only grace that would prompt God to help us. Therefore he is
free to help us before and after. This is a great incentive to trust
him for help when we feel like our act is not together.
So two things increase our
1) that God Himself and not the
quantity of our faith is the decisive factor in flinging mulberry
trees out of the way; and
2) free grace is decisive in how
God treats us before and after we have done all we ought to do. We
never move beyond the need for grace. Therefore let us trust God for
great things in our little faith, and let us not be paralyzed by what
is left to be done in our lives and in our church. (How
Jesus Helped His Disciples Increase Their Faith)
What Are The Odds? - The
problem of compulsive gambling may seem foreign to most of us. Yet
experts believe that millions of Americans are psychologically
addicted to gambling. It gives them the excitement of hope and risk,
but it usually ends in defeat. It is indeed a temporary pleasure. For
those who engage in it, losing is the name of the game; winning means
not losing everything.
Some Christians have a similar problem--spiritual gambling. It's a way
of living that involves taking chances by seeing how far we can
stretch God's patience. Although we know there is no such thing as
"luck," too often we gamble away our time or dabble in sinful
pleasures. We live as if it were possible to ignore the will of God
and still come out ahead. We seem to be addicted to the excitement of
There's not one chance in five that God won't keep His word. There's
not even one chance in a thousand. We can be absolutely sure that what
He's promised will come true. That's why it makes so much sense to be
like Moses and believe God. He was willing to trust in the reliable
word of the Lord rather than take his chances with the temporary
excitement of sin (Heb. 11:24, 25, 26). He believed that God was
100-percent trustworthy. Do you? — Mart De Haan
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
Just one little sin, what harm can
But give it free rein and soon there are two,
And then sinful deeds and habits ensue;
So guard well your acts, or they'll enslave you. --DJD
God always performs what He promises.
The Cost - The letters stop
me cold every time. Each month we receive another poignant prayer
letter from missionary friends who serve in an African country where
disease, especially AIDS, is killing people by the thousands. When
these friends tell us about the ongoing tragedy, they are talking
about people they know and love.
Our friends don't complain about the danger they are in or their
struggle to raise a family amid hardship. Instead, they remind us of
the souls of these people, some of whom literally die in their arms.
Their letters make me consider Christ's suffering and our need to be
willing to sacrifice for Him. How often we worry about the wrong
things! How extravagantly many of us live! How difficult it is for us
to deny ourselves for the sake of others!
The writer of Hebrews pointed to Moses as an example of self-denial.
Moses chose to identify with God and His chosen people, though he
could have enjoyed the "passing pleasures of sin" and "the treasures
in Egypt" (He 11:25, 26).
Our lives should be taken up with serving the Lord—no matter what the
cost. We may have to make a costly sacrifice if people are to meet
Jesus. What are we willing to give up for those who need to know Him?
— Dave Branon
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
So send I you to labor unrewarded,
To serve unpaid, unloved, unsought, unknown,
To bear rebuke, to suffer scorn and scoffing--
So send I you to toil for Me alone. —Clarkson
© 1966 Singspiration, Inc.
Love never asks, "How much will this cost me?"
TO ENDURE ILL-TREATMENT
WITH THE PEOPLE OF GOD: mallon elomenos (AMPMSN: haireomai) sugkakoucheisthai (PMN)
to lao tou theou: (He 10:32; Job 36:21; Psalms 84:10; Matthew
5:10, 11, 12; 13:21; Acts 7:24,25; 20:23,24; Romans 5:3; 8:17,18,35,
36, 37, 38, 39; 2Corinthians 5:17; Colossians 1:24; 2Thessalonians
1:3, 4, 5, 6; 2Timothy 1:8; 2Timothy 2:3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10; 3:11,12;
James 1:20; 1Peter 1:6,7; 4:12, 13, 14, 15, 16) (He 4:9; Psalms 47:9;
from haireo = to
take a particular position for oneself) means to make a choice of one
or more possible alternatives and so to choose, select or prefer. The
middle voice could be read more literally "having chosen for himself". English
''heresy'' (an opinion, doctrine, or practice contrary to the
truth or to generally accepted beliefs or standards). Moses' "heresy" was a
good choice! Note also that the use of the
here marks it as a single and definite act.
the active voice means to take (Secular use "and whose fruit you pick
[haireo]), in the middle voice (which is the only way it is used in
the NT) to choose (Josephus uses in describing Elisha the prophets who
sent one of his disciples to anoint Jehu and tell him "that God had
chosen him to be their king")
that haireomai's "special significance is to select rather by
the act of taking, than by showing preference or favor...(Moses)viewed
both prospects, the voluptuous life of an Egyptian prince, and what
his public recognition of his Hebrew descent involved, and he made his
used 3 times in the NT...
Philippians 1:22 But if I am to
live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do
not know which to choose.
2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we should
always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord,
because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation
through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.
Hebrews 11:25 choosing
rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God, than to enjoy
the passing pleasures of sin
Haireomai is used 8 times in the Deut. 26:17f; Jos. 24:15; 1
Sam. 19:1; 2 Sam. 15:15; Job 34:4; Isa. 38:17; Jer. 8:3. For
Deuteronomy 26:18 "And the LORD has
today declared (Lxx = haireomai = chosen) you to be His people,
a treasured possession, as He promised you, and that you should keep
all His commandments;
Joshua 24:15 "And if it is
disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD,
(Hebrew = bachar = to choose; Lxx = haireomai - a command in both
Hebrew and Greek) for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether
the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the
gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and
my house, we will serve the LORD."
Endure ill treatment with (4778)
= with, speaks of an intimate association + kakoucheo = to
maltreat, torment, cause to suffer, this root verb used in He 11:37,
He 13:3 > NB: being faithful to God does not exempt believers
from suffering!) means suffer with another or to be mistreated with
someone else. Share hardship with another. Note the
which indicates this was not a passing fad with Moses but was the way
he lived, his continual practice. Once again we see how genuine faith
affects one's attitudes and actions.
The people of God - In context refers specifically to the chosen
people (Israel), not just any group. Compare Peter's encouraging words
in the face of suffering and persecution for the faith...
(command to stand against the devil - note that before we "stand", we
must bow! Bow to Jesus so you can stand against forces of evil) him
(the devil 1Pe 5:8), firm in your faith, knowing that the same
experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren
who are in the world (So like Heb 11:25 when we suffer for Christ, we
do not suffer alone. cp Acts 9:1, 2, 3, 4,5, 6 - esp Acts 9:5 - Who
was Paul literally persecuting? When believers are persecuted for
Christ, He identifies with us, for He is in an immutable new covenant
bond of oneness with every believer). And after you have suffered for
a little while (if you are suffering for your faith, read that phrase
again - that is God's word), the God of all grace (What a great name
for God! Why do we worry so often that our grace account will go
bankrupt! Perhaps because we aren't leaning on His everlasting arms
but our own machinations!), who called you to His eternal glory in
Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.
(1Pe 5:9, 10)
THAN TO ENJOY THE PASSING PLEASURES: proskairon echein (PAF)
hamartias apolausin: (Job 20:5; 21:11, 12, 13; Psalms 73:18,
19, 20; Isaiah 21:4; 47:8,9; Luke 12:19,20; Luke 16:25; James 5:5;
What a person
really believes is shown by what he or she does or how he or she acts.
Here we see evidence of Moses belief in and appreciation for the
promises of God, specifically the future and eternal reward of
Jehovah to all faithful men and women. This motivated and energized
him to choose for God rather than the temporary material wealth
offered to him. And don't read over this too quickly, because it was
not as if Moses turned down some a few grocery coupons, but quite
likely an unspeakable amount of earthly wealth. Assuming that to be
the case, it is obvious that not only did Moses hold a strong belief
(faith) but even more significant that strong belief held him. Moses
had "2Co 4:18 Vision"!
Warren Wiersbe observes...
As with Abraham and Moses of old,
the decisions we make today will determine the rewards tomorrow. More
than this, our decisions should be motivated by the expectation of
receiving rewards (Ed: which is clearly what motivated Moses'
decision to defer)...The emphasis in the Epistle to the Hebrews is:
‘Don’t live for what the world will promise you today! Live for what
God has promised you in the future!”
Jesus present two powerful
examples of any who would seek to enjoy the passing pleasures of what
this world has to offer...
Luke 12:19 (Parable of a certain
rich man who says) 'And I will say to my soul, "Soul, you have many
goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and
be merry."' 20 "But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your
soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?'
Disciple's Study Bible
comments that "The present is not permanent. People make plans for the
future based on present achievements. Such plans should not be totally
self-centered. We need to remember God controls the future. Our plans
must include Him, His will, and His work on earth. Our largest
building project is His kingdom. Ryrie succinctly puts it "Man
proposes; God disposes."
Luke 16:25 (Context Lk 16:19, 20,
21, 22, 23, 24) "But Abraham said (to the rich man), 'Child, remember
that during your life you received your good things, and likewise
Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in
agony. (Context: Lk 16:26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31)
James speaks strongly to the
rich who have made it their pastime (pun intended for it will indeed
one day be "past"!) to seek the passing pleasures of this world...
Jas 5:5 (Read the context Jas 5:1,
2, 3, 4, 6) You have lived luxuriously on the earth and led a life of
wanton pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter.
from the verb apolauo = to take of or to enjoy) (only here and in 1Ti 6:17)
means to have enjoyment of something, to have the benefit of something
and so enjoying it.
Zodhiates says apolausis "denotes the cleaving or adherence of
the mind or affection to an object." (Zodhiates
- The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament)
In 1Ti 6:17 Paul uses apolausis to describe the act of enjoying
and here in Hebrews the meaning is more the source of enjoyment.
In secular Greek we find the phrase "eis apolausis" meaning
In the Didache we read "You,
almighty Master, created all things for your name’s sake, and gave
food and drink to men to enjoy."
Papias uses apolausis to
describe "the enjoyment of foods in the (endtime)
Josephus uses apolausis in this
sentence "but that she might have the enjoyment of her
husband's company without any danger" (Ant 2.52)
Clement (2Clement) uses
apolausis in this sentence "This is the reason why a man is unable
to find peace: they instill human apprehensions, preferring the
pleasure of the present to the promise of the future."
Paul writes Timothy,
commanding him to...
Instruct those who are rich in this
present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the
uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all
things to enjoy. (1 Ti 6:17)
from pros = for, toward +
= an opportune time) means literally for a season and just like a
season comes and goes, so proskairos conveys that sense
(passing). The idea is that something lasts for only for a short or
limited time (= temporary, transient). Proskairos is
essentially the diametric opposite of eternal or everlasting.
In a secular religious writing we
read "behold, all the property of my father P. is transitory and
evanescent (tending to vanish like vapor - proskairos), but
the bounties of your inheritance, Lord, are incorruptible and
eternal’" In the letter of Diogenes proskairos is used to
described the fire of persecution as proskairos or only for a
short time. In another secular use proskairos was used to describe a
person as one who "lasts only a little while (proskairos)". This
latter meaning is especially poignant to those who have been redeemed
and now have a divine purpose for their life (cp Eph 2:10-note),
the brevity of our life serving to spur us on to make every effort to
redeem every moment (cp Ep 5:16-note).
non-Biblical use we read "the present world (kosmos - created things)
is transitory (proskairos) but the coming is everlasting
Proskairos is used 4 times
in the NT (no uses in the non-apocryphal Septuagint)...
Matthew 13:21 yet he has no firm
root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or
persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away.
Mark 4:17 and they have no firm root in themselves, but are only
temporary; then, when affliction or persecution arises because of
the word, immediately they fall away.
2 Corinthians 4:18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but
at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are
temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
Hebrews 11:25 choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people
of God, than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin;
(hamartia) in simple terms is missing the mark, specifically
missing God's will for us, a will which is good and acceptable and
perfect (Ro 12:2b-note).
Sin is what you do when you obey your
instead of obeying the Holy Spirit (cp Gal 5:16-note,
The apostle John has a good "working" definition of sin writing that
sin is lawlessness (anomia > a = without + nomos = law -
behaving as if one had no supreme, divine law ruling their
cp Jdg 21:25-note)
(1John 3:4). In Romans 5 and 6 Paul explains that
refers to the
inherent propensity to commit specific sins a propensity that
entered the human heart of Adam and as a result constituted or made
him a sinner by nature. Adam then passed the inherent sinful nature
(the "sin virus") he possessed to all of his offspring (which is every
person ever born) (Ro 5:12-note,
Ge 5:3 = "in his own likeness", not God's as in Ge 1:26!). This same
"Adamic" nature which always seeks to satisfy self will (cp
"lovers of self" -2Ti 3:2-note)
rather than God's will is present in every person at the moment
of conception when the "sin virus" is passed to the fertilized ovum
Sin appears to be fair ("you deserve this little treat"!), but
is in fact filthy. It appears pleasant ("it will make you feel so
good"), but belies its pernicious character and finally it promises
much pleasure ("you'll be better for having done this", cp "passing
pleasures" He 11:25), but
performs nothing good, in the end bringing only death (to our
fellowship with God if we are believers, eternal death/separation if
Pleasure Versus Joy - The
world offers "passing pleasures" (Hebrews 11:25), but the Lord Jesus
offers to give us full and lasting joy (John 15:11). Pleasure is
dependent on circumstances, but joy is inward and is not disturbed by
Pleasure is always changing, but joy is constant! Worldly delights are
often followed by depression. True joy is grounded in Jesus Christ,
who is "the same yesterday, today, and forever" (Hebrews 13:8).
To keep experiencing pleasure, we must run from one stimulus to
another, for it refuses to be permanently grasped. Joy is just the
opposite. It is a gift we receive from God.
Pleasure is built on self-seeking, but joy is based on self-sacrifice.
The more we pursue self-gratification, the more empty we feel. If a
pint of pleasure gives momentary happiness today, a gallon of
excitement and thrills is necessary for the same effect tomorrow. Joy,
however, is based on the sacrificial giving of ourselves. As we learn
what it means to focus on the needs of others, we find greater
fulfillment in God Himself, who meets our every need.
Only when you seek the things of Christ can you find abiding joy. —
Henry G. Bosch
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
There is joy beyond all measure
In abiding in the Lord;
It is promised most abundant
And enduring in His Word. —McQuat
For joy that will last, always put Christ first.
An ark of safety in the flood of
vanities? (Henry Law, "The Burning Bush")
"It was by faith that Moses, when he grew up, refused to be treated as
the son of Pharaoh's daughter. He chose to share the oppression of
God's people instead of enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin. He
thought it was better to suffer for the sake of the Messiah than to
own the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking ahead to the great
reward that God would give him." Hebrews 11:24-26
Worldly pomp is very dazzling!
Worldly luxury is very entrancing!
Worldly pleasures are very ensnaring!
But there is an ark of safety in the flood of vanities, as in the
flood of waters.
Moses is neither dazzled, nor entranced, nor ensnared. He looks above,
and sees a splendor far more bright. He deliberately chooses scorn and
affliction and loss and poverty, with the people of God. And he finds
. . .
such scorn to be the truest honor;
such affliction to be the purest
such loss to be the richest gain;
such poverty to be the most
Reader! it is an important
principle, that none can tread the world beneath their feet until they
see a fairer world above their heads!
When the Lord is set before you, your eyes are dim to lower objects.
The beauty of the all beauteous One, makes other loveliness unlovely!
Moses proves the mighty energy of soul elevating, soul purifying
faith. This stirring principle turns his whole course from ease and
affluence and self, into one stream of daring activities for God.
Octavius Winslow - Daily Walking
"Choosing rather to suffer
affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin
for a season." Hebrews 11:25.
THE believer should never fail to remember that the present is, by the
appointment of God, the afflicted state to him. It is God's ordained,
revealed will, that His covenant children here should be in an
afflicted condition. When called by grace, they should never take into
their account any other state. They become the disciples of the
religion of the cross—they become the followers of a crucified
Lord—they put on a yoke, and assume a burden: they must, then, expect
the cross inward and the cross outward. To escape it is impossible. To
pass to glory without it, is to go by another way than God's ordering,
and in the end to fail of arriving there. The gate is strait, and the
way is narrow, which leads unto life; and a man must become nothing,
if he would enter and be saved. He must deny himself—he must become a
fool that he may be wise—he must receive the sentence of death in
himself, that he should not trust in himself. The wise man must cease
to glory in his wisdom, the mighty man must cease to glory in his
might, the rich man must cease to glory in his riches, and their only
ground of glory in themselves must be their insufficiency, infirmity,
poverty, and weakness; and their only ground of glory out of
themselves must be, that "God so loved the world, that He gave His
only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but
have everlasting life."
The believer in Jesus, then, must not forget that if the path he
treads is rough and thorny, if the sky is wintry, if the storm is
severe, and the cross He bears is heavy, that yet this is the road to
heaven. He is but in the wilderness, why should He expect more than
belongs to the wilderness state? He is on a journey, why should he
look for more than a traveler's fare? He is far from home, why should
He murmur and repine that he has not all the rest, the comfort, and
the luxuries of his Father's house? If your covenant God and Father
has allotted to you poverty, be satisfied that it should be your
state, yes, rejoice in it. If bitter adversity, if deep affliction, if
the daily and the heavy cross, be your portion, yet, breathe not one
murmur, but rather rejoice that you are led into the path that Jesus
Himself walked in, to "go forth by the footsteps of the flock," and
that you are counted worthy thus to be one in circumstance with Christ
and his people.
riches than the
Egypt; for he
looking to the
Amplified: He considered the contempt and abuse and shame
[borne for] the Christ (the Messiah Who was to come) to be greater
wealth than all the treasures of Egypt, for he looked forward and away
to the reward (recompense).
Bible - Lockman)
the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for
he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.
NLT: He thought it was better to suffer for the sake of the
Messiah than to own the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking ahead
to the great reward that God would give him. (NLT
- Tyndale House)
Phillips: He considered the "reproach of Christ" more precious
than all the wealth of Egypt, for he looked steadily at the ultimate,
not the immediate, reward. By faith he led the exodus from Egypt; he
defied the king's anger with the strength that came from obedience to
the invisible king. (Phillips:
Wuest: he considered the reproach of the Messiah greater
wealth than Egypt's treasures, for he looked away to the recompense. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: having chosen rather to be afflicted
with the people of God, than to have sin's pleasure for a season,
26 greater wealth having reckoned the reproach of the Christ than the
treasures in Egypt, for he did look to the recompense of reward;
THE REPROACH OF CHRIST GREATER RICHES THAN THE TREASURES OF EGYPT:
hegesamenos (AMPMSN) ... ton oneidismon tou Christou meizona
plouton hegesamenos (AMPMSN) tôn Aiguptou thêsaurôn: (He 10:33;
13:13; Psalms 69:7,20; 89:50,51; Isaiah 51:7; Acts 5:41; 2Corinthians
12:10; 2Corinthians 12:10; 1Peter 1:11; 4:14) (Psalms 37:16; Jeremiah
9:23,24; 2Corinthians 6:10; Ephesians 1:18; 3:8; Revelation 2:9; 3:18)
Considering (2233) (hegeomai
from ago = to lead, carry, bring) has two basic meanings in the
NT. One is to lead as one would do in a supervisory capacity as when
describing men in any leading position - ruler, leader, governor (Ac
7:10) and stands opposite of a diakonos or servant in (Lk 22:26). In
the apocryphal writings hegeomai was used of military commanders. It
was also used to describe leaders of religious bodies, both pagan and
Christian (latter in Heb 13:7, 17, 24, "leading men" in Acts 15:22,
"chief speaker" in Acts 14:12). In secular Greek hegeomai was
used to describe the pagan god
as "the leader of the word"
The second meaning means to engage
in an intellectual process (2Co 9:5, Php 2:25, Php 3:8, 2Pe 1:13. In
this latter sense, hegeomai conveys the picture of leading out (note
the root verb of origin = ago = to lead) before the mind, and thus to
regard, esteem, count, reckon. This latter meaning is found in the
present verse. In this sense, hegeomai pictures one giving careful thought
to something and not making a quick decision. In the present verse it
pictures Moses carefully thinking through his decision, weighing out
the pros and cons. He weighed what Egypt had to offer in time against
what God offered in both time and eternity. In secular Greek
hegeomai was a mathematical term which meant "Think about it and
come to a conclusion."
Hegeomai is in the
which speaks of a single and resolute act as the result of a decisive
esteeming or reckoning (by Moses).
Thayer says that hegeomai
a belief resting not on one's inner
feeling or sentiment, but on the due consideration of external
grounds, the weighing and comparing of facts . . . deliberate and
Wuest writes that
speaks of a belief or appraisal
that does not rest upon one’s emotions, but upon the due consideration
of external grounds, upon the weighing and comparing of facts. It
refers to a deliberate and careful judgment.
K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans
The NAS renders hegeomai
as chief(1), consider(3), considered(2), considering(1), count(4),
counted(1), esteem(1),governor(1), leader(1), leaders(3), leading(1),
led(1), regard(5), regarded(1), Ruler(1), thought(2).
Hegeomai is used 28 times in
Matthew 2:6 'And you, Bethlehem,
land of Judah, Are by no means least among the leaders of Judah; For
out of you shall come forth a Ruler, Who will shepherd My people
Luke 22:26 "But not so with you, but let him who is the greatest among
you become as the youngest, and the leader as the servant.
Acts 7:10 and rescued him from all his afflictions, and granted him
favor and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh, king of Egypt; and he made
him governor over Egypt and all his household.
Acts 14:12 And they began calling Barnabas, Zeus, and Paul, Hermes,
because he was the chief speaker.
Acts 15:22 Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with
the whole church, to choose men from among them to send to Antioch
with Paul and Barnabas-- Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas, leading
men among the brethren,
Acts 26:2 "In regard to all the things of which I am accused by the
Jews, I consider myself fortunate, King Agrippa, that I am about to
make my defense before you today;
2Corinthians 9:5 So I thought it necessary to urge the brethren that
they would go on ahead to you and arrange beforehand your previously
promised bountiful gift, that the same might be ready as a bountiful
gift, and not affected by covetousness.
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of
mind let each of you regard one another as more important than
who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality
with God a thing to be grasped,
Philippians 2:25-note But
I thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother and
fellow worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger and
minister to my need;
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 in order
that I may gain Christ,
and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work.
Live in peace with one another.
2 Thessalonians 3:15 And yet do not regard him as an enemy, but
admonish him as a brother.
1 Timothy 1:12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me,
because He considered me faithful, putting me into service;
1 Timothy 6:1 Let all who are under the yoke as slaves regard their
own masters as worthy of all honor so that the name of God and our
doctrine may not be spoken against.
Hebrews 10:29-note How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve
who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as
unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has
insulted the Spirit of grace?
By faith even Sarah herself received ability to conceive, even beyond
the proper time of life, since she considered Him faithful who had
considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures
of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward.
Hebrews 13:7-note Remember
those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering
the result of their conduct, imitate their faith.
Hebrews 13:17-note Obey
your leaders, and submit to them; for they keep watch over your souls,
as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not
with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.
Greet all of your leaders and all the saints. Those from Italy greet
James 1:2-note Consider
it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,
2 Peter 1:13-note
And I consider it right, as long as I am in this earthly dwelling, to
stir you up by way of reminder,
2 Peter 2:13-note
suffering wrong as the wages of doing wrong. They count it a pleasure
to revel in the daytime. They are stains and blemishes, reveling in
their deceptions, as they carouse with you,
2 Peter 3:9-note
The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is
patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come
2 Peter 3:15-note
and regard the patience of our Lord to be salvation; just as also our
beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you,
Hegeomai is used 101 times
- Ge 49:10, 26; Exod.
13:21; 23:23, 27; Deut. 1:13, 15; 5:23; Jos. 13:21; 1 Sam. 15:17;
22:2; 25:30; 2 Sam. 2:5; 3:38; 4:2; 5:2; 6:21; 7:8; 1 Ki. 1:35; 4:21;
9:5; 12:24; 14:27; 15:13; 16:2, 16; 2 Ki. 1:9, 13; 20:5; 1 Chr. 5:2;
7:40; 9:11, 20; 11:2; 12:21, 27; 13:1; 16:5; 17:7; 26:24; 27:8, 16; 2
Chr. 5:2; 6:5; 7:18; 9:26; 11:11, 22; 17:2, 7, 15; 18:16; 19:11;
20:27; 28:7; 31:13; Est. 1:16; 5:11; Job 13:24; 19:11; 30:1, 19;
33:10; 35:2; 41:27f, 31; 42:6; Ps. 104:17; Prov. 5:19; 16:18; 29:26;
30:31; Jer. 4:22; 20:1; 51:28; Ezek. 17:13; 19:11; 20:46; 23:6, 12;
43:7, 9; 44:3; 45:7; Dan. 2:48; 3:2f, 30; 4:8; 6:2; 9:25f; 11:22; Mic.
2:9, 13; 3:9, 11; 7:5; Nah. 3:4; Hab. 1:14; Mal. 1:8;
Moses' act of faith teaches us not
to sacrifice the future
rewards in glory on the altar of present passions and pleasures.
= to defame, find fault in a way
that demeans another [Mt 5:11] <> from oneidos = disgrace, insult, Lk
1:25) is a noun which means reproach, which is an expression of rebuke
or disapproval. It means to insult, abuse, disgrace. The idea in some
context (Ro 15:3, He 10:33, 11:26, 13:13) is that the insult or
reviling represents unjustifiable verbal abuse inflicted on someone.
In other contexts it describes justifiable disgrace or reproach (1Ti
BDAG says oneidismos
is an "act of disparagement that results in disgrace, reproach,
reviling, disgrace, insult".
Oneidismos - 5x in NT -
For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, "The
reproaches of those who reproached Thee fell upon Me."
1Timothy 3:7 And he must have a
good reputation with those outside the church, so that he may not fall
into reproach and the snare of the devil.
partly, by being made a public spectacle through reproaches and
tribulations, and partly by becoming sharers with those who were so
considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the
treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward.
Hence, let us go out to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach.
Vine commenting on the
reproach of Christ writes...
The “reproach of Christ” (not
“reproach for Christ”) means Christ’s reproach. That scoffing and
mockery which Christ endured, and which His faithful followers still
endure, was anticipated by the godly long before Christ became
manifested, though they may have dimly foreseen Him. Cp. 1Cor 10:4,
“the Rock was Christ.” The Lord said of Moses, “He wrote of Me.” Such
reproach was wealth to Moses, far greater than anything Egypt and its
royalty could supply. What a lesson for believers today!
W. Collected writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson
FOR HE WAS LOOKING
TO THE REWARD: apeblepen gar eis tên misthapodosian: RAI:
(Regarding rewards study the following passages
with the 5W'S & H
- He 11:6-note,
Boaz speaking to Ruth the Moabitess = Ruth 2:12-note,
Pr 11:18, Mt 5:11, 12-note Mt 5:46-note
Mt 10:41, 42 Mk 9:41,
Lk 6:22, 23, 35, Luke 14:13, 14, 2Jn 1:8,1Cor 3:11, 12, 13, 14, 15,
2Cor 5:9, 10, 1Co 4:5, Mt 25:35,40; Heb 6:10-note
Looking to the reward - He
could not yet see the reward, but he believed God was true to His
Word. And so Moses looked with eyes of faith at the faithfulness of
God and His immutable promises and he acted accordingly for as
Lawrence Richards says...
Faith transforms our values and
shapes our choices.
This "faith chapter" in Moses' life
reminds one of Jesus' words for how to live faithfully in this life as
we await the life to come...
Do not lay up
for yourselves (present
+ a negative = Command to stop
doing this or do not start doing this!) treasures upon earth, where
moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But
= Command to make this your
lifestyle, not just at the end of the tax year!!!) for yourselves
treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where
thieves do not break in or steal; 21 for where your treasure is, there
will your heart be also. (Mt 6:19, 20, 21-note)
Paul had this "future focus"
mindset as evidenced by his reminder to the Corinthian saints...
Therefore also we have as our
ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. For we
must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may
be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has
done, whether good or bad. (2Co 5:9-note;
(apoblepo from apo = an intensive or as a marker
indicating any separation of one thing from another + blepo =
see, look) means to look off or to look away from everything else and
thus by "default" to fix one's
eyes earnestly or attentively upon one single object (very similar to
aphorao [word study]), in this case the
eternal divine prize! This verb conveys the nuances of to carefully
think about, to concentrate on, to pay attention to, to pay regard to.
Apoblepo presents us with an excellent
(motivating) picture of one who has his eyes fixed on
eternity (2Co 4:18) and not this passing world (1Jn 2:17).
This godly example is one that every
saint should seek diligently to imitate and emulate (Heb 6:11,
In the secular world, apoblepo was used to describe one
keeping their attention fixed upon something, as an artist fixes his
attention on the object or model that he is reproducing in painting or
The writer uses the
which pictures Moses as having "looked away and kept on looking
away." Moses had determined at some point in time to keep his
eyes on, attention to the prize and was still doing so. This
tense thus speaks of a permanence regarding Moses' spiritual vision,
which again is a powerful example to the saints of all ages regarding
how we can be empowered to live as aliens and strangers in this
present evil age (Gal 1:4).
This is the only NT use of
apoblepo but there are 5 uses in the
- Ps 10:8; 11:4; Song
6:1; Hos 3:1; Mal 3:9. In Malachi Jehovah says to Israel "You are
cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, the whole nation of
you!" The Septuagint renders the first clause using apoblepo with the
English translation "ye do surely look off from (you surely
turn away your attention, you surely disregard or you surely do look
In Psalm 11 the use of apoblepo
is somewhat more understandable...
The LORD is in His holy temple; the
LORD'S throne is in heaven; His eyes behold (Lxx = apoblepo in
= continually!), His eyelids test the sons of men. (Ps 11:4)
Spurgeon comments: The
eternal Watcher never slumbers; his eyes never know a sleep. His
eyelids try the children of men: he narrowly inspects their actions,
words, and thoughts. As men, when intently and narrowly inspecting
some very minute object, almost close their eyelids to exclude every
other object, so will the Lord look all men through and through. God
sees each man as much and as perfectly as if there were no other
creature in the universe. He sees us always; he never removes his eye
from us; he sees us entirely, reading the recesses of the soul as
readily as the glancings of the eye. Is not this a sufficient ground
of confidence, and an abundant answer to the solicitations of
despondency? My danger is not hid from him; he knows my extremity, and
I may rest assured that he will not suffer me to perish while I rely
alone on him. Wherefore, then, should I take wings of a timid bird,
and flee from the dangers which beset me?
NET Bible note: The
anthropomorphic language draws attention to God's awareness of and
interest in the situation on earth. Though the enemies are hidden by
the darkness (Ps 11:2), the Lord sees all....imperfect verbal forms in
this verse describe the LORD's characteristic activity.
Lauersdorf writes that...
Faith’s eye sees not only the
present but especially the future. Faith’s wisdom calculates not only
the beginning but especially the ending. By faith Moses looked for the
same heavenly city as Abraham (11:10) and the other patriarchs
(11:16). Their example reminds us of Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians
4:18, “ (Lauersdorf, R. E.. Hebrews. The People's Bible. Milwaukee,
Wis.: Northwestern Pub. House)
Wiersbe says that...
To be “spiritually minded” simply
means to look at earth from heaven’s point of view. “Give your heart
to the heavenly things, not to the passing things of earth” (Col. 3:2,
Phillips). “Practice occupying your minds with the things above, not
with the things on earth” (Col. 3:2, Williams). D. L. Moody used to
scold Christians for being “so heavenly minded they were no earthly
good,” and that exhortation still needs to be heeded. Christians have
a dual citizenship—on earth and in heaven—and our citizenship in
heaven ought to make us better people here on earth. The spiritually
minded believer is not attracted by the “things” of this world. He
makes his decisions on the basis of eternal values and not the passing
fads of society. Lot chose the well-watered plain of Jordan because
his values were worldly, and ultimately he lost everything. Moses
refused the pleasures and treasures of Egypt because he had something
infinitely more wonderful to live for (Heb. 11:24–26). “What shall it
profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own
soul?” (Mark 8:36) “For our citizenship is in heaven” (Phil. 3:20,
nasb). The Greek word translated “conversation” or “citizenship” is
the word from which we get the English word “politics.” It has to do
with one’s behavior as a citizen of a nation. Paul is encouraging us
to have the spiritual mind, and he does this by pointing out the
characteristics of the Christian whose citizenship is in heaven. Just
as Philippi was a colony of Rome on foreign soil, so the church is a
“colony of heaven” on earth.
The reward (3405) (misthapodosia from
[word study] = wages, reward + apodidomi = to give out, to fulfill an
obligation, divine or human retribution, recompense or repayment)
(also in He 2:2-note,
literally refers to the paying of wages and thus conveys the sense of a recompense, whether in the form of a
reward (Heb10:35;11:26) or a punishment (Heb 2:2-note)
Here are the 3 uses in Scripture...
For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every
transgression and disobedience received a just recompense,
Hebrews 10:35 Therefore, do not
throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.
Hebrews 11:26 considering the
reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he
was looking to the reward.
Moses was looking toward something,
fixing his eyes earnestly, attentively on the unseen, the eternal.
The question for all of us dear
reader, is what are we looking at today? what are we looking for? what
are we expecting? what are we focused upon? are we looking at temporal
things with eternal vision? are we remembering that only two things we
see now are eternal - people (their souls) and God's Word? We all need
to "hit the reset button" on our heart from time to time so that we do
the things we did when we first fell in love with Christ (Who even
gave us the desire and power to love Him passionately and purely, 1Jn
4:19). (cp Re 2:4, 5). Be careful that you don't begin to slowly,
subtly drift away from your first love.
Wiersbe makes a good point
God always rewards true faith—if
not immediately, at least ultimately. Over against “the treasures in
Egypt” Moses saw the “recompense of the reward.” As Dr. Vance Havner
said, “Moses chose the imperishable, saw the invisible, and did the
W: Bible Exposition Commentary. 1989. Victor
John MacArthur tells story
'There once was an old church in
England. A sign on the front of the building read ''We preach Christ
crucified.'' After a time, ivy grew up and obscured the last
word...''We preach Christ.'' The ivy grew some more, and motto read,
"We preach.'' Finally, ivy covered the entire sign, and the church
died. Such is the fate of any church that fails to carry out its
mission in the world.'' The church continued and was later the scene
of a major church council, but after the 5th century both the church
and the city declined. The immediate area has been uninhabited since
the 14th century.
O Lord, return to me Your power
That once by grace I knew;
Forgive the sin that grieved Your heart,
And help me to be true. --Anon.
Here is Steven Cole's excellent
Hebrews 11:23-26 Faith's Choice
We all have to make choices in
life, and often those choices result in significant consequences. In
1920, the management of the Boston Red Sox made the bad choice to sell
Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees. After joining the Yankees, in 10
out of the next 12 seasons Ruth hit more home runs than the entire Red
Sox team! Boston had not won a World Series since 1918, when Ruth was
on the team, until this week!
In 1938, Joe Schuster and Jerry Siegel sold all their rights for a
comic book character that they had invented for $130. The character’s
name? Superman! In 1955, Sam Phillips sold to RCA Victor Records his
exclusive contract with a young singer named Elvis Presley, thus
forfeiting royalties on more than a billion records (Reader's Digest
[7/85], p. 173). Bad choices!
Our text tells us about two good choices that greatly affected world
history. The first choice was relatively routine at the time. Two
slaves in ancient Egypt chose to defy the king’s edict to kill all
male Hebrew babies by hiding their son. That son turned out to be
Moses, the great deliverer of his people. The second choice was that
of Moses himself, and it was more difficult. He chose to give up his
position of influence and wealth in the Egyptian court in order to
side with the enslaved people of God. Both choices were motivated by
faith and their lessons have eternal consequences for us. Both choices
choice to obey God by faith will result in short-term suffering,
but also in eternal blessings.
1. The choice of
Moses’ parents to obey God by faith resulted in short-term suffering,
but also in eternal blessing (Heb 11:23).
Moses’ parents are not named in Hebrews or in the original story in
Exodus 2. Exodus 6:20 names Amram as the father and Jochebed as the
mother of Moses and Aaron, his older brother by three years. But since
the Jews often called ancestors from many generations back, “father”
or “mother,” we can’t be certain that these were the immediate parents
(Walter Kaiser, Expositor's Bible Commentary, ed. by Frank Gaebelein
[Zondervan], 2:308). The oldest child in the family was a sister,
The Jews had gone from the privileged position they enjoyed in Egypt
under Joseph to the despised position as hard labor slaves. Because of
his fear that the Jews were multiplying too rapidly, Pharaoh had
issued the command to throw all newborn Jewish boys into the Nile
In such dire circumstances, this Jewish couple had a “beautiful” son
(Heb. 11:23 is based on Ex 2:2,
Septuagint - LXX).
Since most parents would think that every child they have is
“beautiful,” there must have been something exceptional about Moses.
Stephen (Acts 7:20) calls him “beautiful to God” (literal
translation). John Calvin points out that since Scripture forbids us
from making judgments based on external appearance, Moses’ parents
must have seen something in this baby boy to make them hope that he
would be the promised deliverer of his people (Calvin's Commentaries
[Baker], on Heb. 11:23, p. 292). Because they thought that God had
destined him for such a great role, they defied the king’s edict and
hid him for three months. That choice, based on faith, entailed
short-term suffering, but eternal blessings.
A. The choice of Moses’ parents to obey God by faith resulted in
Heb 11:23 says, “they were not afraid of the king’s edict.” So why did
they hide their son if they were not afraid? Why not just take him out
in public view, if they were trusting in God? Faith is not opposed to
using prudence. Trusting God does not mean taking reckless chances.
While they did not fear the king’s edict in the sense that they defied
it, they no doubt did fear not only for the life of their baby boy,
but for all their lives. If Pharaoh’s guards had caught them, they
would have executed the entire family for insubordination to the king.
So their “by faith” choice to hide their son exposed the entire family
to the risk of death.
Imagine how carefully they had to live! If the baby cried at any time
of the day or night, they had to muffle him while they tried to calm
him down. They couldn’t risk having their children play with other
children in the neighborhood, for fear that they would let something
slip about their baby brother. If Pharaoh’s police roamed the
neighborhood looking for newborn baby boys, the family sat in silent
The choice to obey God by faith always involves a certain amount of
up-front risk. Remember, this couple did not know the end of the story
when they made their decision! They all could have been slaughtered
because of what they did. Although it would have been agonizing to
throw their baby boy into the river, they could have rationalized it
by saying, “What else could we have done? We probably would have been
caught and our whole family would have died. He would have lived a
miserable life as a slave, like the rest of us. We just have to submit
to the government authorities!”
But instead, they chose to obey God and risk the consequences. They
feared the unseen God, who is the author of life, more than they
feared the king’s edict of death. If someday our government mandates,
as the Chinese government does, that we must abort all babies beyond
one per family, as God’s people, we would have to risk obeying God by
defying the government. It could result in imprisonment, loss of
income, or other hardships, as many Chinese Christians can testify.
The choice to obey God by faith often results in short-term suffering.
B. The choice of Moses’
parents to obey God by faith resulted in eternal blessings.
Their son grew up to be the greatest leader in Jewish history. He
delivered the Jews from slavery. Under divine inspiration, he wrote
the first five books of the Bible. The seemingly small choice to save
this one little life had huge consequences for world history! We may
never know what eternal blessings will flow from our choice to obey
God by faith. But His blessings flow through such choices.
C. The choice of Moses’
parents was to obey God by faith.
The author states that faith was at the heart of this important
decision. God often works through the faith of unknown parents or
grandparents to raise up an unusually gifted leader to accomplish
great things for God. Except for their well-known son, this couple
would have lived in obscurity as lowly slaves. But God used their
courageous faith in a mighty way. Zacharias and his wife, Elizabeth,
were childless, elderly, but faithful people. God used them to bear
John the Baptist and to rear him to be bold in faith. Mary was an
obscure Jewish girl who was willing to believe God’s word, even though
it meant ridicule for her to conceive a son without a husband. God
used her to bring forth the Savior.
Years ago, I was reading the autobiography of the great British
preacher, Charles Spurgeon. As I was jogging in the woods one day, I
prayed a “go-for-broke” prayer: I asked God to bless my ministry as He
had blessed Spurgeon’s ministry. Spurgeon was the most phenomenal of
the 19th century. Thousands packed his church each week. They measured
attendance by how many were turned away! Thousands came to faith in
Christ under his preaching. Hundreds of pastors were trained at his
pastor’s college. Orphans were cared for at his orphanages. He has
more books in print by volume than any other author in history, and
God still uses them greatly. So my prayer was no small prayer!
But right after I prayed, the question popped into my mind, “What
about John Spurgeon?” He was Charles’ father. He was a faithful in a
small English town. If he had not been the father of a famous son,
John Spurgeon would be unknown in history. There have been thousands
of godly, faithful pastors like him, but only a few like his son. The
Lord was saying, “Be as faithful as John Spurgeon in shepherding My
flock and in leading your family. I’ll determine whether to use you as
I used Charles Spurgeon.”
As parents, we should live by faith and ask God to make our children
“beautiful for Him.” At first, like Moses’ parents, we have to protect
them from this evil world. We teach them His ways and pray for their
salvation. Eventually, we have to launch them, trusting God to take
care of them. Even after Pharaoh’s daughter rescued Moses from the
river, his parents must have prayed for many years, “Lord, keep him
from the many spiritual dangers in Pharaoh’s court and teach him to
follow You!” Obey God by faith and entrust your children to His care.
He may use them mightily for His kingdom!
2. Moses’ choice
to obey God by faith resulted in short-term suffering, but also in
eternal blessing (Heb 11:24, 25, 26).
There’s a lot of history packed into these three verses! I can only
touch on some of the lessons.
A. Moses’ choice to obey
God by faith resulted in short-term suffering.
When Moses refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter and
chose to be identified with God’s people, he chose to suffer in at
least four ways.
(1) Moses chose to suffer
the pain of alienation and misunderstanding from his adoptive family.
Pharaoh’s daughter had rescued Moses from death, adopted him as her
own son, and raised him in the splendor of the palace. If he had even
survived in his natural family, he would have been doomed to a
difficult life as a slave. Instead, he grew up enjoying the most
luxurious living conditions imaginable. Acts 7:22 says that he “was
educated in all the learning of the Egyptians, and he was a man of
power in words and deeds.”
Imagine the hurt feelings and misunderstanding that must have swept
over Pharaoh’s daughter when Moses chose to walk away from everything
that she had provided and identify himself with these slave laborers!
Pharaoh must have been outraged when he heard about it: “The
ungrateful wretch! After all that we’ve done for him!” When you choose
to follow Jesus Christ, which may involve walking away from the
education and comfortable lifestyle that your family has provided for
you, you will suffer the pain of alienation and being misunderstood.
(2) Moses chose to suffer
the loss of the world’s honors, pleasures, and wealth.
As the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, Moses enjoyed a position of honor
higher than almost anyone else in Egypt. When he identified himself
with the Jewish slaves, he became the object of con-tempt and scorn.
As a family member in Pharaoh’s court, Moses enjoyed whatever
pleasures anyone could seek. He lived in luxury (picture the splendor
of King Tut’s tomb!). He ate the best food available. He wore the
nicest, newest clothes. If he had wanted, he could have enjoyed the
pleasures of the most beautiful women in Egypt. He had wealth to buy
anything he wanted or to live without working for the rest of his
life. But when Moses chose to obey God by faith, he instantly lost it
It’s not necessarily sin to enjoy a position of honor and the
comfortable life that wealth provides. Joseph enjoyed both while
following God. But when God called Moses to give it up and lead Israel
out of bondage, at that point it would have been sin for him to
continue living as he was. Also, the Bible does not deny that sin
brings passing pleasure. If it didn’t, we would not be tempted by it!
But finally, it brings eternal misery. Don’t be deceived!
(3) Moses chose to suffer
being identified with a despised bunch of slaves.
As the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, Moses ran in the top circles of
Egyptian society. He knew everybody who was anybody. He frequently ate
at the king’s table. People sought out Moses as an influential man.
But he chose to give up all that status and live among these wretched
(4) Moses chose to suffer
the world’s reproach.
Imagine the gossip in Egyptian high society! “He did what?
Unbelievable! What an idiot!” Ridicule is a powerful thing. People go
to great lengths to cover up embarrassing mistakes that would cause
them shame (e.g. Watergate, or Bill Clinton’s lies about his private
life). But Moses chose a course that he knew would bring him the
Why would a man knowingly choose such suffering? Was he a masochist?
Was he insane? No, actually he was quite shrewd. Like the man who sold
everything he had to buy the pearl of great price (Matt. 13:45-46),
Moses gained something better:
B. Moses’ choice to obey
God by faith resulted in eternal blessing.
Note briefly three blessings
that Moses’ choice gained:
(1) Moses’ choice gained
the blessing of the company of God’s people.
He chose “to endure ill-treatment with the people of God.” They
weren’t much to look at-a sweaty bunch of raggedly dressed slaves.
They would later give him a lot of trouble, grumbling about
the conditions that he led them into. Some would challenge his
leadership. Eventually their grumbling frustrated Moses so much that
he sinned by striking the rock in anger, so that the Lord kept him
from entering the promised land. But in spite of all the problems he
experienced with them, they were the people of God. It was a far
greater blessing to endure ill-treatment with them than to live in the
worldly, superficial society of Pharaoh’s court. Even though the
church has some difficult people in it, it’s far better to journey
to-ward heaven with God’s people than to live among the self-seeking
people of the world!
(2) Moses’ choice gained
the blessing of the greater riches of Christ.
He considered “the reproach of Christ greater riches than the
treasures of Egypt.” The reproach of Christ is a startling phrase! It
probably means, “reproach similar to what Christ endured when He was
despised and rejected by the world.” How much Moses knew about the
promised Anointed One, we cannot know for sure. But Abraham rejoiced
to see Jesus’ day (John 8:56). Moses knew that God promised to raise
up a prophet like him, who would speak His word (Deut. 18:15). He knew
of God’s promise to Eve, that one from her seed would bruise the
serpent’s head (Gen. 3:15). He also no doubt knew that the sacrificial
system pointed ahead to a Redeemer. And so Moses considered that any
reproach that he endured for identifying himself with God’s Messiah
was far more valuable than the worldly treasures he could amass in
The major way to combat the temptations of “the lust of the flesh, the
lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life” (1 John 2:16) is to
see the infinite value of possessing Jesus Christ. When you see what a
treasure Christ is, everything else fades away.
(3) Moses’ choice gained
the blessing of the eternal re-ward in heaven.
Moses “was looking to the reward” (Heb 11:26). If this refers to some
earthly reward, Moses was badly mistaken. His earthly “re-ward” after
he gave up the treasures of Egypt was to wander in the barren
wilderness for 40 years with a bunch of complaining people. The reward
that he looked for was, “the better country, that is, a heavenly one”
(Heb 11:16). When Moses appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration with
Elijah and Jesus, it was his first time to set foot in the promised
land. But I have a hunch that he was thinking, “Okay, nice place. Now,
can we get back to heaven?” The rewards of being with Jesus in heaven
are far greater than any earthly re-wards. What enabled Moses to let
go of all the glitter of Egypt and to endure ill-treatment with the
people of God was that he was looking to the reward of heaven. Are
How did Moses do what he did? What is the essential thing?
C. Moses’ choice was to obey
God by faith.
Faith was the only thing that enabled Moses to choose God and heaven
above the treasures of Egypt. He believed God and His promises to
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. But, we would be mistaken if we thought
that he just closed his eyes, shut off his brain, and took a giant
leap of faith.
(1) Moses’ choice of
faith was carefully considered.
He made this choice after “he had grown up” (Heb 11:24; Ex 2:11).
Stephen tells us that he was 40 (Acts 7:23). Perhaps he had lived in
Pharaoh’s court long enough to become thoroughly nauseated with the
superficiality that he saw every day. The word considering (Heb 11:26)
refers to “belief resting on external proof,” especially, “careful
judgment” (G. Abbott-Smith, A Manual Greek Lexicon of the New
Testament [Charles Scribners’ Sons], p. 119). Moses carefully weighed
in the balance what the world had to offer on one side and what God
had to offer on the other side. The world’s side was momentarily
attractive, but lightweight. God’s side was momentarily difficult, but
satisfying in the long haul. Moses chose to believe God and reject the
world. So must everyone who wants to go to heaven (1John 2:15).
(2) Moses’ choice of
faith was a critical choice with far-reaching consequences.
The crisis that pushed Moses over the line to renounce Egypt and
choose ill-treatment with God’s people was when he saw the Egyptian
beating one of the Hebrew slaves (Ex 2:11). Moses’ response was not an
impulsive reaction that he later regretted. He had been considering,
weighing, the greater riches of Christ against the lightweight
treasures of Egypt. So when the moment came, he acted decisively by
killing the Egyptian and taking his stand with God and His people.
That critical choice affected not only Moses, but many generations of
Jews after him.
In Common Sense Christian Living ([Thomas Nelson], p. 161), Edith
Schaeffer tells how her husband, Fran, came from an unbelieving home.
His parents did not want him to go to college or to become a pastor.
But at age 19, he tearfully chose what he believed God was leading him
to do, in opposition to his parents. Years later, his parents became
Christians. Fran felt that they never would have believed if his
choice had been the opposite one. And, his choice led to his children
becoming Christians, not to mention the thousands of people that have
benefited from his many books. Your choice to trust Jesus Christ
affects your eternal destiny, but it also has far-reaching
consequences for your children and their children, as well as for many
with whom you will have contact.
(3) Moses’ choice of
faith required weighing the short-term against the long-term.
“He was looking to the reward.” Faith banks on eternity. In the
short-term, Moses had to endure ill-treatment with a bunch of refugee
slaves in the wilderness. But in light of eternity, as Paul put it (Ro
“the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared
with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” He also wrote (2Co
4:17), “For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal
weight of glory far beyond all comparison.” If you want to believe the
gospel, you must weigh the passing, momentary pleasures of sin against
eternal punishment in hell. Weigh momentary affliction against eternal
joy in heaven. Then choose!
In an excellent sermon on this
text (“Faith’s Choice,” in Home Truths [Triangle Press], 2:169-192),
19th century Anglican J. C. Ryle lamented that there were so many
worldly and ungodly per-sons in the church. They go through the
rituals and they say that they believe, but in practice, they daily
prefer the world to God. He asks why they live as they do. His answer
(p. 189, his italics) is, ´They do not believe«. They have no faith. µ
He explains further (ibid.),
In short they do not put implicit confidence in the words that God has
written and spoken, and so do not act upon them. They do not
thoroughly believe in hell, and so do not flee from it; nor heaven,
and so do not seek it; nor the guilt of sin, and so do not turn from
it; nor the holiness of God, and so do not fear Him; nor their need of
Christ, and so do not trust in Him, nor love Him. They do not feel
confidence in God, and so venture nothing for Him.
What about you? Have you made faith’s choice? Do you believe what God
has said about sin and about the Savior? Have you weighed in the
balance the treasures of Egypt against the greater riches of Christ,
and chosen to renounce the world and trust Christ?
How would you answer someone who
said, “I want to enjoy the things of this world for a while; then I’ll
trust in Christ”?
How can we keep the greater
riches of Christ in view when the world’s treasures parade by us
When is it right to defy
governmental or parental authority?
Could Moses have had more
influence by remaining in Pharaoh’s court?
When is it time to separate from
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