When Faith Seems Inadequate

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FROM THE MIND OF WEBSTER

Refused (Privilege) – to express oneself as unwilling.

Chose (Mistreatment) – to select freely and after consideration.

Valued (Disgrace) – relative worth, utility, or importance.

Persevered (King’s Anger) – to keep trying to do something in spite of difficulties.

Kept (Instructions) – to maintain a course, direction, or progress.

BACKSTORY

Born Into Adversity Now a man of the house of Levi married a Levite woman, and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months. But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. (Exodus 2:1-3)

Raised In PrivilegeWhen the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying, “I drew him out of the water.” (Exodus 2:10)

Lived In ObscurityMoses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian … during that long period, the king of Egypt died … Moses was tending the flock … [on] the far side of the desert and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. (Exodus 2:15, 23, 3:1)

Called To ServeThere the angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush … The LORD said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them … I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.” (Exodus 3:2, 7, 8, 10)

Objected To The CallBut Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go? Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them? What if they do not believe me or listen to me? O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue. O Lord, please send someone else to do it.” (Exodus 3:11, 13, 4:1, 10, 13)

Promised Help“I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. I am sending you. I will be with you. I will make the Egyptians favorably disposed. I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” (Exodus 3:6, 10, 12, 21, 4:11)

The Rest Of The Story – Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face, who did all those miraculous signs and wonders the LORD sent him to do in Egypt—to Pharaoh and to all his officials and to his whole land. For no one has ever shown the mighty power or performed the awesome deeds that Moses did in the sight of all Israel. (Deuteronomy 34:11, 12)

OTHER PEOPLE’S MUSINGS

By faith that Moses was hidden by his parents and his life was thus preserved. Delighted by the gift of a son, they believed God had something better for this lovely baby than death. Not fearing Pharaoh’s edict, they kept him alive, and God rewarded their faith by their son’s illustrious career.

In a classic presentation of the way faith chooses between the attractive but temporary pleasures of sin and the prospect of disgrace for the sake of Christ, the writer of Hebrews portrays Moses as a real hero of faith who favorably regarded (Being sure of what [he] hoped for, certain of what [he] did not see) the promises given to the nation of Israel by God. By this, the readers of Hebrews were encouraged to accept “disgrace” and reject “the pleasures of sin.”

Fast-forwarding to the time of the Exodus, Moses was undeterred by fear of the king’s anger. By keeping the Passover, which included the sprinkling of blood, the nation avoided God’s judgment. In the same way, the readers of Hebrews should not be afraid of human wrath and should maintain their separateness from the ways of the surrounding world. They should persist in the worship experience made possible by the blood of the New Covenant. (1)

At least three great themes relating to faith are seen in the life of Moses.

First, the refusal of faith. As the adopted son of the Egyptian princess, Moses could have led an easy life in the palace. But his faith moved him to refuse that kind of life. He chose to identify with God’s suffering people. True faith causes a believer to hold the right values and make the right decisions. The phrase “pleasures of sin” does not refer only to lust and other gross sins. The phrase describes a way of life that we today would call “successful”—privilege, position, prestige, and power.

Second, the reproach of faith. He left the palace and never went back to the old life. He identified with the Jewish slaves. More often than not, men and women of faith often have to bear reproach and suffering. The Apostles suffered for their faith. Believers in third world, Muslim countries and repressive countries facing persecution and death today know what it is to bear reproach. If reproach is an evidence of true faith, we wonder how much true faith there is in our own country today.

Third, the reward of faith. God always rewards true faith—if not immediately, at least ultimately. Over against “the treasures in Egypt” Moses, through eyes of faith was able to see his future “reward” of a much greater value. Dr. Vance Havner has said, “Moses chose the imperishable, saw the invisible, and did the impossible.” Moses’ faith enabled him to face Pharaoh unafraid, and to trust God to deal with the enemy. 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. (2)

MY MUSINGS

It is highly unlikely that we will be called to a task as great as Moses, but we are called nonetheless. We are to be faithful to whatever that call may be, great or small, because no matter how small it may seem to us, it is great in the eyes of God.

We must be prepared to refuse (or relinquish) the privilege, position, prestige, and power of worldly success and accomplishment. But the rewards of this kind of faith are priceless. What greater privilege than being chosen by God? What greater position than being co-heirs with the Son of God? What greater prestige than being called by His name – Christian? What greater power than being indwelt by the Holy Spirit and upheld with His “righteous right hand?” How could we possibly refuse His call?

I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, ‘You are my servant’; I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:9, 10)

MY ADVICE – Reject “the attractive but temporary pleasures of sin.”  Accept “disgrace for the sake of Christ.”  Hold onto “the right values and make the right decisions.”  Choose “the imperishable,” see “the invisible,” and you may very well could end up doing “the impossible.”  In short, be “sure of what [you] hope for and certain of what [you] do not see.”  And just like the ancients, God will commend you for it.

References

  1. Hodges, Z. C. (1985). Hebrews. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, pp. 808–809). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
  2. Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, pp. 319–320). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

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