Text: Hebrews 11:24-28
Theme: Moses walked with God, but the victory of faith does not come without a fight.
Moses walked with God.
But it wasn’t always so.
Of the Prophet Moses, D.L. Moody, the great evangelist of the 19th century, said, “He spent 40 years in Egypt thinking he was a somebody.
He spent 40 years in the wilderness finding out that he was a nobody.
And he spent another 40 years finding out what God could do with a somebody who found out that, without God, he is a nobody.”
Moses is one of the great men of faith in the Old Testament.
We all know that.
A postscript at the end of the book of Deuteronomy says of him: “And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face,” (Deuteronomy 34:10, KJV).
But when we look at the life of Moses, we discover that he is something of an irony.
On one hand he was a man who walked with God.
He was obedient and faithful and courageous.
On the other hand, he was often rash and impetuous and initially tried to weasel his way out of God’s calling.
His life teaches us many lessons.
Most of us know the essential story of Moses’ life; his miraculous deliverance as a baby from Pharaoh’s edict to kill all the Hebrew male children; his spiritual preparation for becoming the deliverer of his people; his call to service, and his sundry excuses for not heeding God’s call.
And we know that the God Moses served was bigger than any of the false gods the Egyptians served.
This morning, I’d like for us to consider the faith of Moses and how it affected his life.
In the Book of Hebrews, chapter 11, we find a roll-call of the faithful from the Old Testament era.
24-30 Moses has a prominent place in that roll-call.
We read repeatedly the phrase, By faith Moses ... .
Moses belongs in this pantheon of the faithful, because his faith was the victory.
The one common experience he shares with the others mentioned in this chapter is that their victory did not come the easy way, but in every case involved hardship, difficulty, and sacrifice.
The life of Moses is a good example of the requirements for victorious living.
I. GOD CALLS A PERSON TO MAKE A BREAK WITH THEIR PAST AND TO MAKE A NEW BEGINNING WITH HIM
"By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25 choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin." (Hebrews 11:24-25, ESV)
1. the title son of Pharaoh’s daughter was prestigious in Egypt and entailed power and privileges
a. to break his tie with the daughter of Pharaoh and to choose to be identified with the Hebrew slaves called for faith and courage
b. for Moses, breaking this tie, meant leaving the security of ...
1) his adopted homeland
2) his adopted his family
3) his adopted friends
4) his adopted legacy
I’m sure many of his Egyptian family, friends, and acquaintances were stunned by his decision
I can just imagine the wagging tongues ... “Did you hear about Moses?
I thought he was one of us.”
2. in spite of his ties to Pharaoh’s family, Moses put his faith in Israel’s God and severed his ties with Pharaoh’s daughter — his adoptive mother
a. he refused to be recognized as an Egyptian prince, because he knew himself to be a descendant of Abraham, and a son of the covenant that God had made with the patriarch
3. Moses could have taken a compromise position
a. as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, he might have concluded that his influence would be invaluable in setting the Israelites free
1) after all, father Joseph, 400 years before, had wielded his power and authority in the interests of his kinsman
2) Moses could have concluded that it was God who had providentially placed him where he was
3) why, then, would he forsake such an advantageous position?
b. why not retain his position of power and use his great influence with Pharaoh on behalf of the oppressed Hebrews?
1) in retrospect Moses could have been the William Wilberforce of the ancient world
4. what was it, then, which prompted Moses to make this noble sacrifice?
a. was it a patriotic impulse?
b. was it a fanatical love for his brethren?
c. was it guilt over his pleasure verses their plight?
d. the Bible gives us a simple answer – he was guided neither by reason nor sentiment nor guilt but by faith
"By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter," (Hebrews 11:24, ESV)
A. GENUINE FAITH ALWAYS INVOLVES ‘LEAVING’ BEFORE ‘CLEAVING’
"choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin." (Hebrews 11:25, ESV)
1. by faith Moses makes several important renunciations
a. First, he refused Egypt’s fame
1) he was the adopted son of Pharaoh’s daughter and therefore assured of a place in the social elite, perhaps even in line as Pharaoh’s successor
Second, he repudiated the pleasures of Egypt
1) humble association with the suffering people of God meant more to him than the transient gratification of his appetites
Third, he recoiled at the treasures of Egypt
1) Egypt was the dominant superpower of the day
2) wealth and tribute poured in to the nation from around the Mediterranean world
3) as a prince of Egypt, Moses would have worn rings on his fingers; necklaces of gold, ivory and precious stones hung around his neck: his body was perfumed with costly oils and clothed in the finest linen
4) faith enabled Moses to see that the fabulous treasure houses of Egypt were worthless in the light of eternity
Fourth, he renounced Egypt’s monarchy
1) because of faith Moses did not fear the wrath of the king
e. Fifth, he rejected Egypt’s religion
1) in worshiping the one true God of his fathers — Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob — Moses flung down the gauntlet in defiance of the religious establishment
2. Moses left all of these things behind, and he turned in faith to the true God
a. Moses had to make a clean break with his past before he could walk with God by faith
Moses had to ‘leave’ before he could ‘cleave’
B. THE LESSON
1. Hebrews 11:24-25 describe the primary characteristics of saving faith
a. the faith of Moses shows us that saving faith does something more than merely “believe” or “accept Christ as personal Savior”
1) Moses reveals that faith is a definite decision of the mind, it is an act of the will, to follow God, and love Him with all your heart
2) it reveals the fundamental fact that saving faith includes, yea, begins with, a deliberate renunciation or turning away from all that is opposed to God
3) the Bible calls it repentance and it is a vital part of the Gospel message
"From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17, ESV)
"For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death."
(2 Corinthians 7:10, ESV)
b. saving faith is a determination that denies self and elects to submit to what ever trials may be part and parcel to a life of faith and piety
1) listen to the apostle Paul’s testimony to the Christians at Philippi
"But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.
8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.
For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death," (Philippians 3:7-10, ESV)
2. the denying of self is essential in walking with God, and where it does not exist, grace is absent
a. faith in Christ that is not willing to give up everything — including one’s right to self — is not true faith
The ever-growing worldview of our era is that of absolute personal autonomy.
The sinful nature craves independence, and in a culture that encourages radical independence, the spirit of this age — radical autonomy — is witnessed in the sexual revolution, the absorption in one’s own 4-6 electronic view screen, and the pro choice movement that asserts, “My Body, My Choice.”
It is a worldview that says, “I, and only I, have the right to determine the course of my life.
No one — and I mean no one — has any right of authority over me.”
b. this worldview is the antithesis of Jesus’ instructions to his disciples
"And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.