Persuasion of Faith: Moses
Persuasion of Faith: Moses
J.C. Thompson |
Persuasion of Faith: Moses
Believing God – Message 8
August 9, 2020
A. Introduction (2 Corinthians 4:17. C/R: Romans 8:18)
- We are continuing our series on Hebrews 11, Believing God.
- Today we are moving onto Hebrews 11:23-28, where we will see the faith of Moses.
- As a follower of Jesus, we are constantly making choices. Some large, some small.
- Living as a follower of Jesus means that we should be making the right decisions no matter the pressure, consequences, or risk.
- In a world that is telling you that you can believe whatever you want and your actions don’t necessarily have to line up with that. It is even more important for our Christian witness to live like God prescribes for us to live.
- But we also know as followers of Christ that our wills are weak. How can we develop the power to choose the right things? How can we understand which right things to choose?
- I think Moses gives us a great picture of the Persuasion of Faith in that our faith, leads us to prioritize the right things and make difficult choices in the midst of difficult circumstances.
- Our faith, the more we grow closer to Christ and understand who we are in light of Christ, the more we are persuaded to obey Christ.
- So, as we peer into the story of Moses as given to us by the author of Hebrews, let’s peer into what the author intends to teach us about our faith
B. Faith persuades us to...
1. Prioritize our identity in Christ. (Hebrews 11:23. C/R: Exodus 1:8-2:2; Acts 7:20)
- It was by faith that Moses’ parents hid him for three months when he was born. They saw that God had given them an unusual child, and they were not afraid to disobey the king’s command. Hebrews 11:23 (NLT)
- Moses was a man born into a difficult time for the Israelites in Egypt.
- The Egyptians had issued an edict commanding all sons of the Israelites to be murdered.
- They issued this command in order to control the population of the Hebrews and keep their growing power in check.
- Eventually, a new king came to power in Egypt who knew nothing about Joseph or what he had done. He said to his people, “Look, the people of Israel now outnumber us and are stronger than we are.” Exodus 1:8-9 (NLT)
- It’s important for us to remember the promise to make Abraham’s descendants great when you see the enemy king recognizing the growing potential of the Israelite people.
- But Amram and Jochebed, Moses’ parents, hid him for 3 months and then put him in a waterproof basket and placed him in the Nile River near where Pharaoh's daughter bathed.
- Moses’ parents would have treasured their identity as children of God and would have persevered to have children in the first place…again based on the covenant made with Abraham and the importance of having children.
- It seems that Moses’ parents also would have had some knowledge of his special role in God’s plan.
- Josephus, a Jewish historian, reports that Moses’ father, Amram was told by God in a dream about the unique role that his son would play.
- While we don’t place Josephus’ works anywhere near the reliability of the Scriptures, I do think that they had some picture of the uniqueness of their son Moses.
- So, their identity as the people of God and that their child belonged to God empowered their trust in God.
- They were willing to risk their own lives in order to protect their child.
- They chose to save their child, despite the consequences.
- It would have taken incredible faith not only to hide him, but to place him in the basket hoping Pharaoh's daughter would retrieve him and it would have taken faith to believe that Moses would have been raised in the way of the Lord instead of the paganistic ways of the Egyptians.
- Not only did God protect Moses, but Jochebed was also able to raise Moses as midwife.
- Eventually Pharaoh's daughter adopted Moses as her own son and actually named him Moses which meant, “I lifted him out of the water.”
- Moses’ parents took great risk to their own lives by trusting God. Their faith in Him persuaded them to take action in spite of the consequences.
- APP: What actions are you neglecting to take because of the possible consequences? How is God leading you to act or not act in obedience to His will and not necessarily what is easiest or considered wise by those around you?
2. Reject the prize of the world. (Hebrews 11:24-26; 1 John 2:15-17. C/R: Hebrews 11:37-38)
- It was by faith that Moses, when he grew up, refused to be called 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 Christ than to own the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking ahead to his great reward. Hebrews 11:25-26 (NLT)
- As Moses grew, he would have grown up as a member of the royal family of Egypt.
- He would have received the best food, education and culture the Egyptians could have bought.
- He was a prince of the wealthiest nation in the world at the time.
- But Moses would have to choose to remain an Egyptian and enjoy all the luxuries associated with them or identify with the people of God.
- His faith persuaded him to refuse to be known as an Egyptian and instead share “the oppression of God’s people.”
- Moses would have recognized his unique call to deliver the people of Israel from the hand of the Egyptians.
- He was in a similar spot as Joseph, yet Moses was called by God to forsake Egypt rather than flourish in it.
- I think it’s important to note that God can call two people in very similar circumstances to very different decisions.
- If we can discuss this and learn from one another while yielding our submission to Christ, then we can truly benefit the kingdom of God through our distinctions.
- Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever. 1 John 2:15-17 (NLT)
- When we think about success, we think about it from an earthly perspective.
- If you have a lot of money, regardless of how you got it, if you are a successful athlete or celebrity, have a number of degrees behind your name, and even today, if you have enough followers on a social media platform, the world views you as successful.
- Moses had most of these things, except the social media followers and gave them up
- It’s one of the tough things about being a pastor. Many people want to share their opinion on something that will make the church “more successful”. Often that means that more people will show up.
- It’s no wonder that our churches look more like the world than the kingdom.
- That is not what we are striving for here at Brookwood.
- Moses believed that it was better to be a slave and identify with the people of God than to be a prince who was opposed to God.
- “Oppression over pleasure” and “Suffering over treasures in Egypt”. Does this characterize you? Does this characterize our church?
- Those things the world offers are temporary. Jesus said no to all those things to give His life for a people that would not always appreciate His accomplishment.
- We model the life of the Savior when we suffer and are oppressed, not when we claw for what we believe our “rights” are.
- APP: What temptation from the world must you avoid in order to experience the supernatural life of God? How can you be reminded of what Christ gave up for you?
3. Accept the provision of God. (Hebrews 11:27-28; 12:2-3. C/R: Exodus 12:13-29)
- It was by faith that Moses left the land of Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger. He kept right on going because he kept his eyes on the one who is invisible. It was by faith that Moses commanded the people of Israel to keep the Passover and to sprinkle blood on the doorposts so that the angel of death would not kill their firstborn sons. Hebrews 11:27-28 (NLT)
- I love this phrase in this verse, “Moses…kept his eyes on the one who is invisible.”
- How can we place our eyes on something invisible?
- The Greek word “horon” means to perceive with the mind or to behold something.
- Moses, having seen an incomplete vision of God in the burning bush, continued to set his eyes upon God. He continued to move his mind to think about God and His ways.
- When things became difficult, Moses exercised faith, by placing God at the forefront of his mind.
- This faith is so real, so concrete, that it empowers obedience in the midst of trials and it gives patience and joy in the midst of suffering. Both of these things Moses experienced in leading the Israelites out of Egypt.
- God will accomplish His will in His timing, in His way and if you’re paying attention at all to Hebrews 11, there is a significant focus on waiting for God.
- Also, the tenth plague sent to the Egyptians was the death of all the firstborn children. (Exodus 11:5)
- Moses and the Israelites, by sprinkling the blood on the doorposts believe that God would spare the Israelites from judgement.
- It is interesting that this particular plague echoes the step the Egyptians had taken towards the Israelites by murdering their children.
- How can a loving God enact such a plague?
- First, we must understand that God’s wrath is a result of His love not in opposition to His love.
- God was not only concerned about the Israelites and the Egyptians coming to know Him as the true Lord, but also enacting justice on the Egyptians that had enslaved and been murdering children for over 400 years!
- A non-loving God would allow those things to pass.
- This was also the last of 10 plagues. 9 chances for the Egyptians to free the Israelites.
- We must be understanding that wrath or discipline and love are forever connected perfectly in God. He wants you to know Him and justice will be served by Him.
- Jesus Christ offers us the same. He satisfies the divine wrath of God brought on by our own sin.
- He also spares us from eternal death by providing eternal life to us through the righteousness of Christ.
- APP: How is your faith persuading you to persevere in the midst of a difficult situation? How can you set your eyes upon Christ during your day?