Sermon: Case Studies in Faith: By Faith Moses was Not Afraid (Hebrews 11:23-29)

Case Studies in Faith:

By Faith Moses was Not Afraid

Hebrews 11:23-29 (ESV)

By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.  [24] By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter,  [25] choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.  [26] He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward.  [27] By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible.  [28] By faith he kept the Passover and sprinkled the blood, so that the Destroyer of the firstborn might not touch them.

[29]By faith the people crossed the Red Sea as if on dry land, but the Egyptians, when they attempted to do the same, were drowned.

Most people whether they like to admit it or not worry too much about other people.  We find ourselves thinking, not so much, about what is right but how we will be perceived by others.  The fear of man and of circumstances is a fear that plagues most us a lot. 

God has given us the emotion of fear and it is useful for His glory.  However, especially after the Fall, man has been fearing the wrong things. We’re called to fear God and the Bible teaches that this fear is healthy and will honor God.  Rather than our fear being directed there, we fear lesser things.  When we should be fearing God we waist our time worrying not about what God thinks but about what man thinks.

Matthew 10:28-33 (ESV)

And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.  [29] Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.  [30] But even the hairs of your head are all numbered.  [31] Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.  [32] So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven,  [33] but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.

Faith begins to cause the fallen believer to act in ways that show that God through Jesus Christ is reversing the Fall.  Faith causes us to be bold in the face of situations that would normally cause us to cower in fear.  Faith is the opposite of fear.

If you find yourself afraid of either a situation or a person, ask yourself this question…Why is my faith not what it should be?  Why am I afraid?

Human need- We have the need to live in confident faith rather than in cowering fear.

Truth Taught- Like Moses, we too must see Christ and live by faith.

1. By Faith God’s People Refused to Conform (Hebrews 11:23-25)

By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.  [24] By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter,  [25] choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.

A. Moses’ parents refused the king’s evil order

Exodus 1:22 (ESV)

Then Pharaoh commanded all his people, “Every son that is born to the Hebrews you shall cast into the Nile, but you shall let every daughter live.”

Exodus 2:1-3 (ESV)

Now a man from the house of Levi went and took as his wife a Levite woman.  [2] The woman conceived and bore a son, and when she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him three months.  [3] When she could hide him no longer, she took for him a basket made of bulrushes and daubed it with bitumen and pitch. She put the child in it and placed it among the reeds by the river bank.

Moses’ parents, because of their faith, were not about to let their child be killed.  I’m sure a lot of this boldness came from parental instinct and love for their child. Yet the text claims something more.  Exodus account declares Moses to be a fine child and Hebrews tells us Moses was beautiful.  It’s very clear in the original languages that the text declares Moses to be beautiful to God.  In other words, by faith Moses’ parents knew that this baby would used by God in amazing ways and they were not going to allow the Egyptians to kill him.

By faith in the unseen they trusted God and resisted the evil law set in place by Pharaoh.  The Bible teaches that we are to obey those in authority over us.  Children are to obey their teachers.  Citizens are to obey those officials over them.  However, when those making rules and laws ask us to do something contrary to the Bible, then we are to disobey them.  The Scriptures give us God’s law and that supersedes human laws.

1 Peter 2:13-15 (ESV)

Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme,  [14] or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good.  [15] For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people.

But when obeying them is not doing good, then we are to obey God.

Acts 5:29 (ESV)

But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.

We must seek to obey.  However, when obeying the human law means breaking God’s law we are then forced to do what God says because it’s the human institution that has abandoned its purpose of being a hand of the Lord in creating a orderly and peaceful society.

Not only did Moses’ parents refuse to compromise but Moses himself refused.

B. Moses refused his place of honor (Hebrews 11:24-25)

[24] By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, [25] choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.

What exactly was Moses refusing?  He wasn’t refusing an evil law decreed by an ungodly ruler; Moses was rejecting an ungodly lifestyle.  Moses looked at the riches of Egypt and all that he had and would have…all the gold, silver, diamonds, servants, plush living quarters, and all the fame that went along with being a prince potentially even heir to the throne and like Paul considered them rubbish.

By faith Moses understood that he was no Egyptian.  He was a Hebrew.  His God was the God of the Hebrews not those found in Egypt.

Moses did an analysis of the riches found in Egypt and the riches found with God and a split second later began packing his bags.

Like the man in the field who found the treasure, Moses had found real and lasting riches as he aligned himself with the people of God.

C.  By Faith Moses saw Christ (Hebrews 11:26-27)

[26] He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward. [27] By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible.

No one in their right mind would ever choose reproach over pleasure.  No one would ever choose suffering over comfort.  No one would ever choose danger over safety.  What was it that Moses saw that made him drop everything and follow the people of God into suffering and danger?

Moses was given sight that day.  His call by God caused him to see the things most people never see.  His eyes were opened to see Jesus Christ.  The choice Moses made that day was a choice between momentary material wealth and everlasting heavenly wealth.  He saw Christ and that sight made the shine and sparkle of the gold loose all of its grip on his affections.

Col. 3:1-4 (ESV)

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  [2] Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.  [3] For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  [4] When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

God gave Moses the faith to see the invisible Christ.  One look at Jesus and Moses’ life was forever changed.

Like Abraham who saw Him who is invisible, Moses caught a glimpse and was changed.  This heavenly vision changed everything.

John 8:56 (ESV)

Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.”

Somehow Moses knew about better riches, better resurrection, and a better home.  He saw it and was glad.  Moses endured rejection by man gladly for the sake of Christ.  Moses was no longer afraid of Pharaoh because of Christ.  He loved to be numbered among God’s people because of Christ.  The apostle of Hebrews helps understand by giving us an example of what it means to bear the reproach of Christ…

Hebrews 13:12-13 (ESV)

So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood.  [13] Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured.

The flow of logic goes like this…

Christ suffered outside the walled city of Jerusalem.  It’s better to go out there and be with Jesus than stay inside the walled city.  It’s better to go out because Christ is out there than to stay where it looks safe.

It was much better for Moses to go out into the unknown with God’s people than for him to remain in what seemed to be a very safe and secure palace.

It’s better for us to go outside the camp as well.  Where would Christ have you go?  And if you’re obedient will you experience rejection?  Is it better for you to be numbered with God’s people than to stay where you are?

As we think through this text we must guard against a works mentality.  Moses didn’t obey in order to receive.  Abraham didn’t work his way up the ladder in order to reach God.  None of the patriarch’s achievements earned them the right to be counted among the people of God.

The Lord worked and gave them faith and when their faith was functioning they could see into the future.  They understood that there was more coming.  They understood that Christ was of infinite value and they followed the desire of their hearts.  It wasn’t out of a work’s ethic that they followed.  Christ had become their treasure and out of love and affection for this new found treasure they left everything for Him.

John Piper has compared it to leaving tin for gold.  It’s no sacrifice to follow Christ when our affections are set on Him.

Paul had this same faith.  He knew that to bear reproach was better than the material wealth that the world offers.

2 Cor. 4:17-18 (ESV)

For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,  [18] as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

Christians don’t need a crystal ball to look into the future.  We don’t need to seek a medium to tell us things.  Everything we need to know can be seen through the eyes of faith.  I don’t know the specifics about the future.  I may live to be 100 or die at 45.  I may die of old age or in an accident.  But I do know that Christ is sovereign over my future and whatever He has ordained will be fine because He is there.  When we close our eyes in this world we open them in the next and Christ will be there waiting for His people.  What else is there to really be concerned about.

Last week we looked at three men who live to an old age.  Whether we live long or short it’s only a matter of a few years.  What’s important is seeing Christ by faith and chasing after Him rather than spending our time chasing after wealth.

Moses’ parents did not fear Pharaoh’s law.  Moses didn’t fear reproach and rejection.  Next, Moses didn’t fear the greatest plague that God would send to Egypt.

2.  By Faith Moses Led God’s People (Hebrews 11:28)

[28] By faith he kept the Passover and sprinkled the blood, so that the Destroyer of the firstborn might not touch them.

The connection that the writer is making has to do with Moses seeing Christ by faith and leaving Egypt.  However, he didn’t leave alone.  When God grants us faith to love and adore Christ we are not to keep that treasure to ourselves.

Like Moses we are to lead others out of danger and into safety with Christ.

There would have been no greater fear than the fear of all the firstborn in Egypt perishing.

Exodus 12:1-13 (ESV)

The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt,  [2] “This month shall be for you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year for you.  [3] Tell all the congregation of Israel that on the tenth day of this month every man shall take a lamb according to their fathers’ houses, a lamb for a household.  [4] And if the household is too small for a lamb, then he and his nearest neighbor shall take according to the number of persons; according to what each can eat you shall make your count for the lamb.  [5] Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male a year old. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats,  [6] and you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs at twilight.

[7] “Then they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it.  [8] They shall eat the flesh that night, roasted on the fire; with unleavened bread and bitter herbs they shall eat it.  [9] Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted, its head with its legs and its inner parts.  [10] And you shall let none of it remain until the morning; anything that remains until the morning you shall burn.  [11] In this manner you shall eat it: with your belt fastened, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. And you shall eat it in haste. It is the Lord’s Passover.  [12] For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the Lord.  [13] The blood shall be a sign for you, on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt.

Moses believed all God said.  Moses led the Israelites to obey all God said.  Moses knew that the blood of the lamb would be sufficient to save him and all of God’s people.  Just as Moses believed the blood of a slaughtered lamb would be sufficient to keep death and judgment from devouring God’s people, so too the blood of Jesus Christ the true Lamb of God will save all who are covered under Him.

One last freighting event was still to be overcome.  What was it that overcame this great obstacle?

3.  By Faith God’s People Passed Through (Hebrews 11:29)

Hebrews 11:29 (ESV)

By faith the people crossed the Red Sea as if on dry land, but the Egyptians, when they attempted to do the same, were drowned.

The people were afraid and cried out that it would be better to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.

Then by faith Moses looked at the approaching army and looked at the impassable sea and stepped out in faith and God kept His promise.  Moses declared to the people; Do not be afraid but get ready to see a miracle.

Exodus 14:13-14 (ESV)

And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again.  [14] The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”

Moses’ powerful faith was an example for others.  When he was put between a rock and a hard place with no human way out, he trusted God.  Rather than cowering in fear Moses conquered in faith.

He stepped out into the sea and God made a pathway through it.  God fought for the Israelites and God won the battle.  His glory was made famous for all to see.

Human need- We have the need to live in confident faith rather than in cowering fear.

Truth Taught- Like Moses, we too must see Christ and live by faith.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: