Looking to the Reward

Hebrews 11:23-29

By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s command.

24 By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25 choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, 26 esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.

27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them.

29 By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned.

One of the things I love about Hebrews 11 is that it never says that these incredible Old Testament feats of faith were based on the law.  Victories weren’t won because of perfect rule-keeping.  So far, none of the faith victories discussed took place during the time of the law.  Even these events with Moses pre-date the law given at Mount Sinai.  More evidence that God’s Kingdom places high premiums on faith and grace.

Moses’ life was marked by faith from the beginning.  His parents set the faith example by hiding him and keeping him alive at a time when Pharaoh had ordered all Jewish babies to be killed.  Here we see a typecast of Jesus, who was taken to Egypt as a toddler when Herod sought to kill all children under age two in order to preserve his throne.

Moses had a faith heritage.  This is what gave him the strength to leave Pharaoh’s house and all of the wealth, power and influence he had there.  He walked away from a very good life because he knew that his calling was greater.  Courage and calling collided when he chose rather “to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt.”  

Interestingly, we see that Moses chose the reproach of Christ thousands of years before Jesus was manifested in the flesh.  How so?  Moses left riches and comfort to partake in the sufferings of his countrymen.  Jesus left heaven, a place glorious beyond imagination, to become a man on earth and among men, to be rejected and punished as a criminal.  At one point, Moses was rejected by his own people before taking his place as their leader.  How much more will we see Jesus, rejected by His own, reign as a conquering King – Amen!

God did not act through Moses because Moses was a perfect law-keeper.  During the time of the plagues and the exodus from Egypt, there was no law.  God was moving on behalf of His people because of grace.  They hadn’t earned or deserved it.  To this day, no one but Jesus has.

We close with a reminder that our steps with God are by grace through faith.  When we respond to God’s grace with faith, we can expect amazing results.  The Israelites in that day “passed through the Red Sea as by dry land.”  What happens when we attempt such things in the flesh, by our own efforts?  That’s what the Egyptians did.  They attempted to do by works what had only been accomplished by grace and faith.  And they were drowned.

Braving grace isn’t just a statement.  It is a calling.  We all have been called to walk by faith, esteem the reproach of Christ as greater than the riches of the world, and to engage in the Kingdom of God not by our own efforts, but by His grace.  Isn’t that how we got here in the first place?  “For by grace you have been saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8)

Day 25 – Not Apart from Us