6th December 2022
Read (Hebrews 11v23-28)
Message (Scott Woodburn)
Four hundred years after Abraham came another great figure in the history of redemption called Moses. In Hebrews 11 we are told that Moses' parents were individuals of faith. The Apostle doesn't tell us their names but from the testimony of Exodus we know them to be Amram and Jochebed (Exodus 6v20). They believed in God's covenant promises and as a result they hid their baby boy Moses for three months.
Why was this necessary? The Israelites were in captivity in Egypt and growing in number each year. In an attempt to keep them under his boot, the Egyptian Pharaoh ordered that all Israelite baby boys were to be killed. Amram and Jochebed knew the promises of God and so feared the Lord more than they feared Pharaoh (v23). The life of Moses was saved and he would providentially become an instrumental figure in God's plan of redemption.
The faith of his parents was passed down to Moses and even though he grew up as a member of the house of Pharaoh he refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter (v24). It would have been so easy for Moses to fit in and become like the Egyptians but instead he chose to be mistreated with the Israelites rather than enjoy the pleasures of sin which cannot last (v25).
Paul describes this as Moses seeing the "reproach of Christ" as greater wealth than all of Egypt's treasures (v26). What does this mean? "Reproach" means criticism and Christ's reproach came when He took on flesh and willingly submitted Himself to the demands of the Law and finally the cross. He was mocked and scorned and beaten and tried - Christ knew reproach in every way. Moses could have avoided it all. He had been raised in Pharaoh's home and it would have been so easy to become part of Pharaoh's family turning his back on the Israelites and the promises of God.
Yet Moses was a man of faith and he desired a heavenly reward over and above earthly treasure (v26). He swapped comfort for reproach. Eventually Moses murdered an Egyptian and had to flee but as he ran he wasn't afraid of Pharaoh for in the wilderness he met with the invisible God (v27).
Moses was keeping the flocks of his father-in-law Jethro when he saw a bush that was burning but not destroyed. From that bush the Lord spoke to Moses and told him "I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey" (Exodus 3)
The Lord would send Moses back to Egypt where he would stand against Pharaoh and eventually Moses and the people would sprinkle the blood of lambs over their doorposts so that the Angel of Death would pass over them and not take the life of their firstborn (v28). This event was called "the Passover" and as time moved on the Passover meal would be replaced by the Lord's Supper which the church of Christ still enjoys today.
The Apostle's treatment of Moses is breathless - in just a few verses the life of this extraordinary man is highlighted and yet so much is left out. There is no mention of the Egyptian plagues, no mention of Moses receiving the law and no mention of Moses striking the rock in the wilderness and water gushing out. Countless books have been written about Moses and endless sermons have been preached. He lived an extraordinary life that is worthy of study and contemplation.
But what stands out in these verses is the simple truth that Moses was a man of faith who came from a family of faith. Amram and Jochebed defied one of the most powerful men in the world because they feared the Lord much more. Moses shunned the riches and comfort of Egypt because he longed for a reward that was permanent rather than fleeting. To Christian parents and grandparents - show your little ones the inestimable value of faith in Christ. Teach them how special the Lord's Day is. Sing your hearts out alongside them in church. Guide them through the Bible and help them listen to the Word read and especially preached.
To Christians everywhere - be thankful for those who have walked the path before us. Consider their lives and imitate their ways and never ever forget that everything this world has to offer is fleeting but Christ and His promises are more valuable than gold.
Q16 Did all mankind fall in Adam’s first transgression? The covenant being made with Adam, not only for himself, but for his posterity; all mankind, descending from him by ordinary generation, sinned in him, and fell with him in his first transgression.