Parents of Faith (Heb 11:23)

Hebrews: Jesus is Better  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  34:05
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There are no perfect parents, only parents of faith who entrust their children to the Perfect Father, training them to seek after Him as the One to be most feared and treasured.

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Transition to sermon

Tim & Jenni’s journey thus far with Sawyer, and their continued dependence on God and need for our prayers, is an appropriate and intentional segue into our Biblical text of study for today.
READ passage. Hebrews 11:23
Hebrews 11:23 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.
PRAY.
Our verse begins by speaking of faith and of Moses (“by faith Moses when he was born”), and that’s because it continues the theme of faith in this segment of Hebrews we’re calling Heroes Who Endured By Faith, but it also introduces a new sub-section in which Moses is the chief player (quite parallel to the section on Abraham).
But it becomes clear that the faith being spoken of in Heb. 11:23 isn’t about the faith of an infant, but the faith of his parents.

Before Moses was “Moses,” his parents were people of FAITH.

The faith of Moses’ parents comes first because it is the catalyst and pattern for what follows in the life and ministry of Moses. That is in fact the reason the author of Hebrews inserts it here at all. Heb. 11:24-27
Hebrews 11:24–27 ESV
By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward. By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible.

We cannot be faithful parents if we aren’t people of faith.

(Faithful parents are faith-filled parents.)
Depending on your phase of life, you may be tempted to nap bc you can see this leaning towards sermon application about parenting. But don’t go to sleep on me… Faith-filled parents are faith-filled people. Are you a people? OK, so work hard with me here to apply the truths of this text to your life no matter what phase you’re in. – Here are a few applications to get you started:
1. Grow in faith.
2. Pray for these parents.
3. Live as spiritual parents. - We all need “parents” in the faith.
BUT the text definitely does press us to talk about parenting and faith (which is certainly appropriate for a great number of us in this church family. - It’s no secret that we have a hoard of children in this church. And we praise the Lord for them! I used to joke that we multiply like rabbits around here, and that was BEFORE Community Bible Church joined into Branson Bible. Now we’re really cookin’. There may in fact be something in the water! (Visitors, you may or may not want to drink from the fountain back by the nursery)
[How many kids and youth do we have?*** – Plus we have at least 4 mothers expecting and another adopting!]
Ask all the kids and youth to stand (and if you’re a mom or grandma or somebody HOLDING a baby) - stay standing
So we’ve got an extraordinary # of kids and young people. But we love it, and you know why we love it? Because we not only see children as a blessing from the Lord, but we see them as literally the whitest harvest for becoming faithful disciples of Jesus… Disciples who, through faith in Christ, will aim to live holy before God and proclaim Jesus boldly as the only gate to have a restored relationship with God.
Now you can be seated. Thx for participating.

The best thing we can do for our children is to have hearts devoted to God—to model a life of faith.

There are many things we may do in discipling our children in the faith, but there is one thing we must do: HAVE faith.
- If I say that God is to be most feared, but then frequently demonstrate a fear of man, what do my kids hear loudly?
- If I say that God is far beyond all earthly treasures, but then behave like I treasure earthly comfort more, like I treasure human companionship more, like I treasure earthly commendation more… what will they believe about my heart?

HOW DID AMRAM AND JOCHEBED DEMONSTRATE THEIR FAITH IN GOD?

FAITH in God prompted protecting their baby.

First hiding him, and then setting him afloat – see, I don’t think we’re meant to forget the remainder of the story here. Ex. 2:3 – among the reeds on the river bank
Exodus 2:3 ESV
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.
Young married couples – At the top of your list of what not to do as a parent: put your baby in a tar basket and float them down the river! - But Jochebed was actually protecting her baby bc she couldn’t hide him longer. And I believe that by faith she wisely place Moses where he was likely to NOT float off and to be found. (Ex. 2:4-5)
Exodus 2:4–5 ESV
And his sister stood at a distance to know what would be done to him. Now the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river, while her young women walked beside the river. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her servant woman, and she took it.

Faith isn’t blind or foolish.

Faith is grounded in unseen truth that we know to be MORE sure than that which our eyes can see. (Heb. 11:1) And by it the people of old received their commendation Heb. 11:2. What will we be commended/approved by God for in this life? FAITH.
Speaking of “seeing”...

FAITH allowed them to see something special in Moses.

The word in the text is literally handsome or beautiful, and Stephen says in his sermon in Acts that “he was beautiful in God’s sight.” (7:20) – Somehow, and we don’t know how, but somehow God opened Amram and Jochebed’s eyes to see something unique about this baby boy and how he was favored in God’s sight.
I also find it interesting to note that Moses’ name, which Pharoah’s daughter gave him when he was brought back to live with her, sounds like Hebrew for draw out. To her the significance of that was merely that she drew him from the water, but to me the significance is that God had providentially chosen this one, Moses, to draw his people out of Egypt. - God was being faithful to his promises.
– While we’re on this topic of Moses’ uniqueness, let’s stay tethered to the gospel and the theme of Hebrews. Jesus is greater, even than Moses. Heb. 3:3-6. As special as he was, and used mightily by God, Moses was not the truly unique One… the one who was to come. God the Son, Jesus the Christ, came in human flesh to live and die and rise again to be the Savior of all who belong to him by FAITH.
Putting the faith of the parents and God allowing them to see together with the lasting impact of how God would use Moses leads me to encourage and challenge us with this application:

Having faith in the God in the most basic of Christian responsibilities can prove to have the most magnificent outcomes.

God often accomplishes astonishing works through the simplest acts of faith. - In this case, consider how little they must have known and yet how God granted them faith so that His story would continue and lead forward through the likes of Joshua, Gideon, Samuel, David & Solomon - and ultimately to the divine baby born in Bethlehem.

FAITH empowered them to trust God rather than fear an earthly ruler.

There would have been plenty of reason to fear. – By hiding the child they were no doubt putting their own lives in jeopardy and at the risk of orphaning their other kids (at least Aaron and Miriam) or even putting their lives at risk.
I don’t believe that saying they were unafraid means that they didn’t have any feelings of fear, but that they were not ruled by those. The ruling factor was faith in God… and it should be for us as well.
The following is a good summary of what we’ve said and allows me to make a few closing points of application:

There are no perfect parents, only parents of faith who entrust their children to the Perfect Father, training them to seek after Him as the One to be most feared and treasured.

Kiddos, it is indeed helpful to admit that your parents are far from perfect. (My kids are like… “yeah, dad, no doubt.” - But besides God’s gift in giving us himself through Jesus, probably the next greatest blessing that you have from God is believing parents.
Having parents of faith is a blessing from God. - Moses himself emphasizes his mother in the retelling of the story in Exodus ch. 2. But Stephen, in his sermon in Acts 7, emphasizes that Moses was brought up in his father’s house for three months. Here, the author of Hebrews emphasizes the faith of both parents.

Parents of faith are a blessing from God.

The best thing that happened to Moses (I mean, aside from God creating him and calling him) was to have parents who had faith to believe God had a special plan for this kid and had faith to place his very life (and largely even his upbringing) into God’s hands.
Parents, (most of us don’t like the sound of either of those things… we often feel like the safest place for my kid in in my arms, we, really well-intentioned parents need to be sure that we aren’t putting faith in our diligent parenting methods (which by the way I will commend ALL DAY) but in the God who is sovereign over their souls.
Whose hands are these beloved ones safer in, ours or His? These kids are indeed ours to love and protect, to instruct and train, to discipline and correct. But

Faith-filled parents believe that our children are safest in God’s care, even while we have them in ours.

God is sovereign and good in determining how long we have our children in our care. We don’t get to keep them.
Now this is my sanctified imagination, but I think that in the short time they had with him, here’s what was likely shepherded into Moses’ little toddler heart: We are God’s people. He alone is the one true God. He is to be feared, worshiped, loved, trusted, and obeyed. (committed to memory through scriptures, through songs, through retelling the stories of God’s faithfulness and promises)
Steven Curtis Chapman and his wife Mary Beth adopted three little girls from China—Shaohannah, Stevey Joy, and Maria… adding three to the three birth children they already had—Emily, Caleb, and Will Franklin.
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Maria, having recently finished pre-school and turned five years old, was tragically killed in an accident in their own yard when their son Will Franklin was pulling his car into a turn in the drive and Maria ran in front of him in a way that he didn’t see her. ...Maria was gone too soon. - Some of you know that indescribably pain, and others of us can only imagine. In such times we cling desperately to the knowledge that God is good and that our children are safest in his sovereign care. We even believe that by faith God doesn’t waste our pain, but that as we focus on him he turns it into glory. ...
The Chapman family keeps getting bigger on this earth, yet without Maria.
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But a reunion is still coming. Only weeks before the accident, Maria had asked her parents if God really had a Big House and stated that she wanted to go live there with Jesus. After Steven talked with her more to be sure she understood, Maria prayed to receive Jesus as her Savior. As painful as it must have been for them to go on, they have hope. Because of our faith in God and our confidence in the truth of his word, we are convinced that Maria is waiting to be reunited with them in the presence of God.
Amram and Jochebed too had to release Moses too early from their loving care. - How do we appreciate the moments and maintain that same posture before God (“they are yours God”) even while he graciously allows us to have a child in our home and in our care for a little longer? - I believe that we must see ourselves as God’s servants on behalf of our children. He gives us the privilege and responsibility of shepherding their hearts from the truth of his word, and that’s no ministry to take lightly. We must pray, sweat, cry, and laugh our way through our own missteps and the unique challenges that our children bring before us. We must battle fiercely against sin (ours and theirs) and keep our focus and dependence fully on Jesus!
I think that means we really need to take advantage of the opportunities to rub shoulders with each other to be encouraged and challenged to keep the faith and to learn greater faithfulness in the ministries God has given us—not the least of which is in our home.
We have the amazing ministry privilege and responsibility of discipling our children. We have the great blessing and service of loving one another and sharing Christ’s love as a church family. - Let’s not squander these opportunities to be used of God for Him to magnify his glory through the simple acts of our obedient and enduring faith.
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