BY FAITH HE LEFT EGYPT
NOT FEARING THE WRATH OF THE KING: Pistei katelipen (3SAAI) Aigupton mê phobêtheis (APPMSN) ton thumon
tou basileos: (Exodus 10:28,29; 11:8; 12:11,37, 38, 39, 40, 41,
42; 13:17, 18, 19, 20, 21) (Exodus 2:14,15; 4:19; 14:10, 11, 12, 13)
By faith - What took
faith? In context clearly it was the fear that might rise up in
his mind when face with the wrath of the king (Ex 10:28,29).
Faith is always the antidote for fear. (see related study on
Fear, How to Handle It)
See also the more detailed discussion of the role of faith in
the example of Moses' parents who did not fear the king's edict
note). Some translations
like Phillip's paraphrase suggest this act of faith is solely related
to the exodus ("By faith he led the exodus from Egypt" - Phillips),
but the exodus was simply the reflection of a series of faith building
encounters with the Pharaoh in the 10 plagues which culminated in the
Passover (which is mentioned in Heb 11:28)
For more discussion on the meaning of faith
see commentary on
is believing that God will keep His promises, despite
circumstances that seem to be to the contrary!
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 for
W E Vine's definition of faith).
for Dr Grudem's online outline of Conversion and/or
Listen to the Mp3 of Conversion which addresses the question "What is
saving faith?" in an easy to understand manner.
Spurgeon - Moses was an
Israelite indeed, and he would not conceal his nationality nor
renounce it by becoming a naturalized Egyptian. Though it should
tear the heartstrings of his foster mother, and be even as a
sentence of death to himself, yet he would take his stand. Moses
thus proved his faith to be stronger than that of many who are
mastered by family ties, and held captive by the bonds of earthly
love. Faith can do what unbelief must not attempt to do. And when
unbelief tries to follow in the footsteps of faith, it becomes its
own destroyer. You must have real faith in God, or you cannot go
where faith would take you; but with faith you may go through the
cloud or through the sea, and find yourself safe on the other side.
McGee - Moses had faith to act—faith will
lead to action. Many folk today are saying, “I believe, I believe,”
but do nothing. May I say, faith reveals itself in action. God saves
us without our works, but the faith that saves produces works.
Therefore Moses “forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for
he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.”
MacDonald - He feared Pharaoh so little because
he feared God so much. He kept his eyes on “the blessed and only
Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has
immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or
can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen” (1Ti 6:15, 16).
W & Farstad, A. Believer's Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson)
He left Egypt - Recall that
Moses left Egypt twice with 40 years separating these two departures
(cp Acts 7:30). In Exodus 2 (Ex 2:14 = "Moses was afraid" cp why he
may have been afraid in Ex 2:15) Moses
left Egypt the first time after killing an Egyptian but in my
opinion (not all commentators agree) the author omits this
example of leaving Egypt as it was in fact not Moses' faith but
his fear which motivated his leaving! John Owen, John Wesley, John Calvin,
A W Pink (see below), Adam Clarke, John MacArthur (see below), Steven
et al also favor this interpretation. Jamieson, Fausset and Brown,
Dwight Pentecost, Ray Stedman, R Kent Hughes and Phillip Hughes favor
Moses' first departure from Egypt as the event that is being
referenced in this verse. While we may not be able to completely
resolve these different interpretations in this lifetime, let us not
lose sight of the truths that are clear - that faith counters fear of
those who might seek to persecute or prosecute us for our faith (cp Lk
12:4, 5, Pr 29:25).
Ryrie takes a middle ground
stating that this verse refers to "Either when he fled to Midian at
age 40 (Ex. 2:11, 12, 13, 14, 15) or when he left at the time of the
Exodus (Ex 12:37).
A W Pink - Moses left Egypt on two different
occasions, and there is some diversity of opinion among the
commentators as to which of them is here in view. Personally, we think
there is little or no room for doubt that the Holy Spirit did not have
reference unto the first. (Hebrews 11:26, 27)
John MacArthur - Moses left Egypt for the first time
when he fled for his life after killing the Egyptian slave master (Ex
2:14, 15). That time he did fear Pharaoh’s wrath. On the second
occasion, he turned his back on Egypt and all that it represented.
This leaving was not for fear of Pharaoh, so it is the one in view
J.: The MacArthur Study Bible Nashville: Word)
(Bolding added for emphasis).
The KJV Bible Commentary -Moses left Egypt twice, first for
Midia, and forty years later at the Exodus. His first departure was a
hasty flight because of his fear. Forty years later he had learned to
walk by faith and did not fear the entire Egyptian nation. The second
departure must be understood as the correct one, even though it puts
the next event of faith out of order.
E G, Charles Feinberg, E Hindson, Woodrow Kroll, H L. Wilmington: KJV
Bible Commentary: Nelson)
He Left - The verb kataleipo
(see below) describes not just the idea of leaving but of
abandoning. In this verse kataleipo is in the
active voice indicating this was
Moses' volitional choice to leave. He actively
left Egypt "in the dust". The intensity of Moses' "leaving" is pictured
in the following 3 uses of kataleipo "FOR THIS REASON A MAN
SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER (Mark 10:7)
Think of how completely a man is to
leave (kataleipo) his family to cleave to his wife in order for the marriage to
function as it should (see
Mark also records the anecdotal
story of a young man (probably Mark himself) who was following Jesus when He was arrested and was
himself seized by the authorities "But he pulled free of (leaving - kataleipo) the linen sheet and escaped naked. (Mk 14:52)
A similar picture is found in the
where Moses records Joseph fleeing
from the advances of Potiphar's wife - "She caught him by his garment,
saying, "Lie with me!" And he left (Lxx = kataleipo) his garment in her hand and
fled, and went outside. When she saw that he had left (Lxx =
garment in her hand and had fled outside (Ge 39:12, 13)
These three uses of kataleipo
present a striking picture of the way in which Moses left Egypt.
By way of application these
3 passages also give us a sense of how we as believers should "leave" the world
(to be sure we are to be "in the world" but we not
to be of the world). We are to "leave our
garments" so to speak every time the world seeks to arrest our
attention! We are to get out, not looking back as did Lot's wife,
who became a pillar of salt! (Lk 17:32, 33, Ge 19:28, cp 1Co 6:18-note ,
Jude 1:23). We are to make it our lifestyle like Joseph to continually
flee youthful lusts (2Ti 2:22-note -
where "flee" is
When temptation attacks our mind (as when
Potiphar's wife tempted Joseph) we are to have the attitude of the
popular Nike commercial
which says ''Just do it!" "Leave Egypt!"
Jon Courson makes the point
that "Because Moses grew up in the
palace, Pharaoh and his court were actually Moses’ colleagues. The
people with whom we are the most familiar are often the people before
whom it is hardest to take a stand. Not so with Moses. (Jon Courson's
from kata = intensifies
or strengthens the
meaning of leipo + leipo = to leave behind, forsake, to be
wanting or deficient) literally means to leave behind or leave
remaining (of a person or place - Mt 4:13, 16:4, 21:17, He 11:27).
is often used to indicate abandoning a heritage, giving up riches, and
leaving one's native land.
Figuratively kataleipo was used to mean "neglect" (Acts 6:2).
conveys a strong sense of to abandon or forsake (as forsaking true
Christianity 2Pe 2:15).
To cause something to be left over and so to remain in existence (Ro
= a promise remains).
To leave without help (Lk 10:40). In the passive to remain behind
To leave alone in the sense of disregard as describing those who sail
past a place without stopping (Acts 21:3)
Kataleipo can mean to cease an activity (eg, give up a vice) but there
are no uses with this sense in Scripture.
In Ps 49:10 ("leave their
wealth") kataleipo conveys the sense of to leave behind or bequeath.
Kataleipo - 24x in 24v - NAS
= forsaking(1), kept(1), leave(4), leaves behind(1), leaving(3),
leaving behind(1), left(8), left behind(1), left...behind(1),
neglect(1), pulled free(1), remains(1). Note that the Textus Receptus
has one additional use in Titus 1:5 (note)
Matthew 4:13 and leaving Nazareth,
He came and settled in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the region
of Zebulun and Naphtali.
Matthew 16:4 "An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign;
and a sign will not be given it, except the sign of Jonah." And He
left them and went away.
Comment: Constable quoting
Plummer "He turned His back on these religious leaders because they
were hopeless and incorrigible."
Matthew 19:5 and said, 'FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER
AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE
Matthew 21:17 And He left them and went out of the city to Bethany,
and spent the night there.
Mark 10:7 "FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER,
Comment: The Greek word
leipo means “to leave.” But the word used here is an intensified
form, kataleipo, and means “to abandon completely.” Married
couples run into a big problem if they don’t leave their
mothers and fathers completely when they step into the marriage
relationship. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t talk to their parents
anymore; it means they need to have a conscious understanding of the
new relationship that has been formed. (MacArthur, J. . The fulfilled
family. Chicago: Moody Press)
There’s a vital severing of the
parent-child relationship that must occur when a couple gets married.
Marriage doesn’t utterly terminate the relationship with parents, of
course. Nor does it eliminate the child’s responsibility to honor the
father and mother. But it does take the child out from under the
parents’ direct chain of command, and it establishes a whole new home
with a whole new headship. The new husband becomes head of the wife.
The married couple are no longer children under their parents’ direct
oversight, and the parents are no longer directly responsible for
them. Leaving father and mother is an essential part of every
marriage. When young couples try to “cleave” but have forgotten to
“leave,” it creates havoc in the young marriage. (MacArthur, J.
(1998). Successful Christian parenting: Word Pub)
Mark 12:19 "Teacher, Moses wrote for us that IF A MAN'S BROTHER DIES
and leaves behind a wife AND LEAVES NO CHILD, HIS BROTHER SHOULD MARRY
THE WIFE AND RAISE UP CHILDREN TO HIS BROTHER.
Mark 12:21 "The second one married her, and died leaving
behind no children; and the third likewise
Mark 14:52 But he pulled free of the linen sheet and escaped naked.
Luke 5:28 And he left everything behind (Refers to Levi
= Matthew, the tax collector when Jesus commanded him "Follow
= speaks of one's lifestyle, not just a one time decision!] Me" Lk
5:27), and got up and began to
follow Him. (Discipleship is associated with a radical call to leave
all! See the same idea in Luke 5:11. Hesitation to His call is
disobedience - see Lk 9:59, 60, 61, 62. The rich young ruler went away
from Jesus rather than leave everything for Jesus - Mt 19:22, 23, 24,
25, 26, 27)
Luke 10:40 But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and
she came up to Him and said, "Lord, do You not care that my sister has
left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me."
Luke 15:4 "What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost
one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go
after the one which is lost until he finds it?
Luke 20:31 and the third married her; and in the same way all seven
died, leaving no children.
John 8:9 When they heard it, they began to go out one by one,
beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman,
where she was, in the center of the court.
Acts 6:2 So the twelve summoned the congregation of the disciples and
said, "It is not desirable for us to neglect the word of God in order
to serve tables.
Acts 18:19 They came to Ephesus, and he left them there. Now he
himself entered the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews.
Acts 21:3 When we came in sight of Cyprus, leaving it on the left, we
kept sailing to Syria and landed at Tyre; for there the ship was to
unload its cargo.
Acts 24:27 But after two years had passed, Felix was succeeded by
Porcius Festus, and wishing to do the Jews a favor, Felix left Paul
Acts 25:14 While they were spending many days there, Festus laid
Paul's case before the king, saying, "There is a man who was left as a
prisoner by Felix;
But what is the divine response to him? "I HAVE KEPT for Myself
SEVEN THOUSAND MEN WHO HAVE NOT BOWED THE KNEE TO BAAL."
FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND
SHALL BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH.
1 Thessalonians 3:1-note
Therefore when we could endure it no longer, we thought it best to be
left behind at Athens alone,
Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering
His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it.
By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for
he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen.
emphasizes habitual action = as shown by their "lifestyle") the right way, they have gone astray, having
followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved the wages of
Kataleipo - 276
uses in the non-apocryphal
- Gen 2:24; 7:23; 14:10; 33:15;
39:12f, 15, 18; 42:38; 44:22; Ex 2:20; 8:31; 10:5; 12:10; 14:28;
16:19f, 23f; 29:34; 39:1; Lev 2:10; 5:13; 6:16; 7:15, 17; 8:32; 10:6,
12, 16; 14:17f, 29; 19:6, 10; 25:52; 26:36, 39; Num 9:12; 11:26;
21:35; 26:65; 32:15; 33:55; Deut 2:34; 3:3, 11; 4:27; 7:20; 28:51,
54f, 62; 29:25; 31:17; Josh 8:17, 22; 10:28, 30, 33, 39f; 11:8, 11,
14, 22; 13:2, 12; 17:6; 18:2; 21:5, 20, 40; 23:4, 7; 24:16; Judg 2:21;
4:16; 6:4; 8:10; 9:5; Ruth 1:3, 5, 16; 2:11, 14, 18; 1 Sam 2:11;
30:13; 31:7; 2 Sam 13:30; 14:7; 16:21; 17:13; 1 Kgs 11:33; 19:18, 20;
2 Kgs 2:2; 3:25; 4:43f; 7:13; 8:6; 10:11, 14, 17, 21; 25:11, 22; 1 Chr
4:43; 10:7; 16:37; 28:9; 2 Chr 1:14; 8:7f; 10:8; 21:17; 28:6; 30:6;
31:10; 34:21; Ezra 1:4; 9:8, 15; Neh 1:2f; 3:8; 6:1; Job 6:18; Ps
49:10; Pr 12:11; 14:26; 20:7; Isa 3:26; 4:2f; 6:11f; 7:3, 16, 22;
10:3, 14, 19, 20, 21; 11:11, 16; 13:12, 14; 16:14; 17:2, 6, 10; 18:6; 21:10;
23:15; 24:6, 12, 14; 27:10; 28:5f; 30:17f; 37:4, 31f; 38:10, 12; 39:6;
49:21; 54:6f; 62:4; 65:15; 66:19; Jer 2:17, 19; 8:3; 9:2; 17:13; 21:7;
27:11; 34:7; 37:10; 38:4, 22; 40:6; 41:10; 42:2; 43:6; 44:7; 48:28;
49:9; 52:16; Lam 2:22; 5:20; Ezek 36:4, 36; 39:14; Da 2:35; 10:8, 13,
17; 11:30; Zech 11:17; 14:16.
One of the interesting uses of
kataleipo in the Lxx which is not found in the NT is to describe
of Israel (eg, see Ezra
9:8, 15, Neh 1:3, Isa 4:2, 3, 10:19, 20, 21, 11:11, 16, 16:14, 28:5,
37:4, 37:31, 32)
The wrath of the king - We
read about this in Exodus 10 - "Then Pharaoh said to him, “Get away
from me! Beware, do not see my face again, for in the day you see my
face you shall die!” Moses said, “You are right; I shall never see
your face again!” (Exodus 10:28, 29)
As discussed in the beginning of
this note, the Pharaoh's rage could have generated fear in Moses had
he had taken "up the shield of faith" and was able to fend off the
fiery missiles of the evil one's (Satan's) representative (cp Eph
MacArthur reminds us that "Fear is one of Satan’s most
effective, and therefore most used, weapons. We are afraid of being
thought different, or of losing our job, reputation, or popularity. We
are afraid of criticism, often from people that we do not even
John: Hebrews. Moody Press)
from thúo = move
impetuously, particularly as the air or wind, a violent motion or
passion of the mind; move violently, rush along) describes passion
(as if breathing hard) and so speaks of an agitated or "heated" anger
that rushes along (impulse toward a thing). Thumos describes a
tumultuous welling up of the whole spirit; a mighty emotion which
seizes and moves the whole inner man. John Eadie says thumos
is an "explosion of rage that proceeds from a vindictive heart and an
Thumos (especially when accompanied by breathing violently or
hard) pictures a "panting rage". We've all seen individuals in whom
there was a sudden outburst of this type of passionate anger. You can
even see their nasal passages widening to take in more air in the heat
of their passion. After experiencing nine plagues, one can just
imagine the rage on the face and in the voice of Pharaoh! Moses' faith
however was unflappable!
FOR HE ENDURED AS SEEING HIM WHO IS UNSEEN: ton
gar aoraton os oron (PAPMSN) ekarteresen (3SAAI): (Heb 6:15;
10:32; 12:3; Mt 10:22; 24:13; Mk 4:17; 13:13; 1Co
13:7; Jas 5:11) (He 11:1,13; 12:2; Ps 16:8; Acts 2:25;
2Cor 4:18; 1Ti 1:17; 6:16; 1Pe 1:8)
He endured, as seeing Him Who is
invisible: FAITH defined in a phrase! (Newell)
Spurgeon - This is what you
and I must do: feel that it is but common sense, sanctified common
sense, to be looking out for that which will endure forever, and to
let these temporary things go, if it be needful that they go, that
we may win the crown that does not fade away.
For (gar) (see
terms of explanation) - This
explains why Moses did not fear the wrath of the earthly king for he
had seen the heavenly King! And it would be in the same way that the
Hebrew readers who were being tempted to return to Judaism might
be strengthened to continue holding fast to their belief in Jesus
without wavering. And
beloved, it is as we see
Him Who is unseen
(How? In His Word!) that we too will be strengthened in our inner man
to continue to fight the good fight of faith without growing weary and
The NLT paraphrases it
this way "Moses kept right on going because
he kept his eyes on the one who is invisible."
Richard Phillips records - A great Christian example comes
from the Scottish Reformer John Knox. When asked how he could so
boldly confront the Roman Catholic queen, Knox replied, "One does not
fear the Queen of Scotland when he has been on his knees before the
King of Kings." It is said that Napoleon would
sometimes call his generals in one by one before a great battle to
gaze on them without speaking and let them look upon his face. In a
similar way, the man or woman of frequent communion with God in prayer
and in his Word will see His face in the midst of the fight, thereby
finding courage and a strong incentive to faith. (Reformed Expository
Commentary – Hebrews)
He endured (2594)
which some sources state originates from
= and others
say karteros = strength) means to be strong, to be steadfast,
to continue in a state without wavering.
TDNT says kartereo - This word has the two senses a. “to
be strong” and b. “to endure steadfastly.”
BDAG - Accordingly Heb 11:27 giving the
reason for Moses’ fearlessness: he kept the one who is invisible
continually before his eyes (i.e., in faith), as it were.
Moses continued holding out even in
the face of impending doom when Pharaoh's army thundered down on the
Israelites (Ex 14:4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12). In face of sure doom
under normal circumstances Moses continued to walk by faith not the
sight of the billowing dust signaling the Egyptian Chariots of doom.
But Moses said to the people, "Do
not fear! Stand by ("stand firm") and see the salvation of the LORD
which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you
have seen today, you will never see them again forever.
will fight for you while you keep silent. (Ex 14:13, 14)
in the "salvation of Jehovah" gives one the ability to endure when
others feel like giving up.
The only other 2 uses of kartereo
in Scripture are from the non-apocryphal
Job 2:9 Then his wife said to him,
"Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die!"
Isaiah 42:14 "I have kept silent
for a long time, I have kept still and restrained Myself. Now like a
woman in labor I will groan (Lxx translated "I have endured
like a travailing woman"), I will both gasp and pant.
Wiersbe makes a good point
that "The endurance of Moses was not a
natural gift, for by nature Moses was hesitant and retiring. This
endurance and courage came as the reward of his faith.
W: Bible Exposition Commentary. 1989. Victor)
Seeing Him Who is unseen -
Moses did not fear the visible king because he saw the Invisible One.
This verse also provides a nice segue to the writer's exhortation in
the next chapter to fix our eyes on Jesus (Who we have not seen with
physical eyes but with spiritual eyes as we read of Him in the Word -
see Heb 12:2-note)
(See Ro 1:20-note
for an interesting aspect of seeing the invisible - men saw the
attributes of God in creation but refused to "accept" them, instead
rejecting and even exchanging truth for a lie Ro 1:25-note) - Moses saw Him Who is unseen and unknowable apart from His gracious
revelation (believers today have His full written revelation - cp Jn
1:18, 14:9, 17:26, 1Jn 5:20) because Moses was obedient to His call...he was pure in
heart and thus he saw God.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for
they shall see God. (Mt 5:8-note)
The writer of Hebrews later exhorts
all his readers to "Pursue
- make this the habit of your life, enabled by His Spirit and His
grace) peace with all men, and the
sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. (Heb
Indeed God gives us a prophetic
promise that we shall all see God...
For the LORD is righteous; He loves
righteousness; The upright will behold His face. (Ps 11:7)
For the righteous LORD loveth
righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright. (Ps 11:7KJV)
Spurgeon comments: His
countenance doth behold the upright. We need never be out of
countenance, for God countenances us. He observes, He approves, He
delights in the upright. He sees His own image in them, an image of
His own fashioning, and therefore with complacency He regards them.
Shall we dare to put forth our hand unto iniquity in order to escape
affliction? Let us have done with byways and short turnings, and let
us keep to that fair path of right along which Jehovah's smile shall
light us. Are we tempted to put our light under a bushel, to conceal
our religion from our neighbours? Is it suggested to us that there are
ways of avoiding the Cross, and shunning the reproach of Christ? Let
us not hearken to the voice of the charmer, but seek an increase of
faith, that we may wrestle with principalities and powers, and follow
the Lord, fully going without the camp, bearing His reproach (He
13:13). Mammon, the flesh, the devil (the
devil), will all
whisper in our ear, "Flee as a bird to your mountain;" but let us come
forth and defy them all. "Resist
= Do this now!
Don't delay! It is vital!) the devil, and he will flee from you." (Jas
There is no room or reason for retreat. Advance! Let the vanguard push
on! To the front! all ye powers and passions of our soul. On! on! in
God's name, on! for "the Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is
our refuge." (Ps 46:7-note,
R Kent Hughes writes that "the author references the second
half of his essential definition of faith in He 11:1: “Faith is
being… certain of what we do not see”—visual certitude.
R. K. Hebrews: An Anchor for the Soul. Volume 1. Crossway Books;
Moses had the experience of
seeing the burning bush in Midian as depicted below...
Ex 3:1,2, 3, 4, 5, 6,
Ex 3:9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15
In Exodus we read "Thus the LORD used to speak to
Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend. When Moses
returned to the camp, his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man,
would not depart from the tent. (Exodus 33:11, cp Nu 12:7,8)
Moses was not permitted to
see the face of God, but he did see His back - "Then I will take My hand away and
you shall see My back, but My face shall not be seen. (Ex 33:23)
Steven Cole notes that...
Moses did not fear the wrath of the king, “for he endured, as seeing
Him who is unseen.” There is intended irony in that phrase. “No one
has seen God at any time” (1John 4:12). Moses had seen a
manifestation of God at the burning bush. He spoke with God “face to
face, just as a man speaks to his friend” (Ex 33:11). He would
later ask to see God, and God allowed him to see His “back” (Ex
33:22, 23). Jesus told the twelve, “He who has seen Me has seen the
Father” (John 14:9).
Thus when we are fearful, we need to draw near to the Lord Jesus by
faith. “Seeing Him who is unseen” takes us back to Hebrews
11:1-note, that faith is “the conviction [or, proof] of things not seen.”
Faith is like a telescope that brings a distant object into visible
focus. If fear is looming larger than your faith, take
time to draw near to God in His Word and prayer. As Paul instructs us
- make this the habit of your life, enabled by His Spirit and His
grace to stop being anxious about everything and instead be anxious) for nothing, but in
everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving
be made known
- make this your lifestyle, consider yourself always to be in need) to
God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will
guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Don’t leave out the thanksgiving!
That’s how you express faith and submission to God in your prayers.
Faith overcomes powerful opposition by seeing the unseen God. (Hebrews
11:27-29 Overcoming Faith)
Paul praises the unseen
God - "Now to the King eternal, immortal,
invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever.
Amen...Who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable
light; Whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal
dominion! Amen. (1Ti 1:17, 6:16, cp Jn 20:29)
Paul says that as believers
exhorts us to "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.
Paul's point in 2Co 4:18-note
is not that we can see the invisible with our physical eye, but that
the eye of faith can see what the physical eye is incapable of seeing.
Kent Hughes adds this
note - I personally believe that seeing “him
who is invisible” is not extraordinary. Rather, it is ordinary,
normal Christianity. In fact, if you do not see the unseen, you are
abnormal and below the divinely ordained norm. Christianity is
supernatural, and it is to be lived supernaturally. Elisha’s prayer
is just as relevant today for the church as it was when he prayed it
over his anxious servant: “And Elisha prayed, ‘O Lord, open his
eyes so he may see.’ Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he
looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all
around Elisha” (2Kings 6:17). (Ibid - Bolding added)
From Hebrews 11:27 Steven Cole
finds three obstacles that faith must overcome (see
more detailed explanation of these obstacles)...
(1) Faith often puts us into
opposition with powerful forces.
(2) Faith enables us to obey
God without fear.
(3) Faith overcomes powerful
opposition by seeing the unseen God.
Spurgeon draws these
applications from the decisions Moses made based on his faith -
We ought all of us to be ready to part with everything for Christ,
and if we are not we are not His disciples: “He that loves son or
daughter more than me is not worthy of me” (Matt 10:37). “Every one
of you who does not renounce all his own possessions cannot be my
disciple” (Luke 14:33). Jesus may not require you actually to leave
anything, but you must be ready to leave everything if required.
We also ought to abhor the very
thought of obtaining honor in this world by concealing our
sentiments or by making compromises. If there is a chance of your
being highly esteemed by holding your tongue, speak at once and do
not run the risk of winning such dishonorable honor. If there is a
hope of people praising you because you are so ready to yield your
convictions, pray God to make you like a flint never to yield again.
What more damning glory could a man have than to be applauded for
disowning his principles to please his fellow men? From this may the
Lord save us!
Third, we ought to take our place
with those who truly follow God and the Scriptures, even if they are
not altogether what we should like them to be. The place for an
Israelite is with the Israelites; the place for a Christian man is
with Christian men. The place for a thoroughgoing disciple of the
Bible and of Christ is with others who are such, and even if they
should happen to be the lowest in the land, and the poorest of the
poor, and the most illiterate and uneducated persons of the period,
what is all this if their God loves them and if they love God?
Weighed in the scales of truth, the least one among them is worth
ten thousand of the greatest ungodly men.
Lastly, we must all look to our
faith. Faith is the main thing. You cannot make a thorough character
without sincere faith. If you are not a believer in Christ, if you
do not believe in the one God, may the Lord convert you, and give
you now that precious gift! To try and raise a character that shall
be good without a foundation of faith is to build upon the sand, and
to pile up wood and hay and stubble. Wood, hay, and stubble are very
good things as wood, hay, and stubble, but they will not bear the
fire—and as every Christian character will have to bear fire, it is
well to build on the rock, and to build with such graces and fruits
as will endure trial. You will have to be tried. And if you have, by
sneaking through life as a coward, avoided all opposition and all
ridicule, ask yourself whether you really are a disciple of that
Master of the house whom they called Beelzebub, whether you are
truly a follower of that crucified Savior who said, “Whoever does
not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple” (Luke
14:27). Suspect the smooth places; be afraid of that perpetual peace
that Christ declares He came to break. He says, “I have not come to
bring peace, but a sword” (Matt 10:34). He came to bring fire upon
the earth; and “what will I,” said He, “if it be already kindled?”