The following study is based on Hebrews 11:24-26, “24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, 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 pleasures of sin for a season; 26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.”
Moses has probably one of the longest passages there in Hebrews 11.
- In verse 23 it talked about the faith of Moses’ parents.
- This would form the foundation for what Moses would choose to do when he had to leave his home and to go the Egyptian court.
An interesting side note:
- Moses actually was not the name that his mother gave to him.
- It was the daughter of Pharoah that actually gave the name Moses.
- We read that in Exodus 2:10, “And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses: and she said, Because I drew him out of the water.”
Anyways, when we read Hebrews 11:24, when the Bible says in verse 24, “By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;”
- When Moses was brought to the Egyptian palace, he knew where his loyalties lay.
- We don’t know much of his years in the Egyptian palace but we know that he never acknowledged Pharaoh’s daughter as his mother. He was always loyal to what he had learnt growing up on his mother’s knee.
- How important is the role of the Christian mother?
- There is no other work that can equal this. To a great extent, the mother holds in her hands the destiny of her children. The impressions that are made when they are young will remain with them all through their life.
Of course, Moses didn’t learn to kill from a young age from his mother, he learnt that from his Egyptian education.
- Acts 7:22
And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds.
But although trained up in Egypt, he would never forget God.
- He wouldn’t bow down to the idols in Egypt.
- He always remembered that God had called him for a special purpose.
- He would eventually choose to suffer affliction with the people of God than enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.
We forget that sin is pleasurable. It appeals to our carnal senses. It makes us feel good!
- Luke 8:14
And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.
- There is a group in the church, those that hear the word of God preached, who fall short of eternal life because they love the pleasures of this life!
- 2 Timothy 3:1-4
1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
- In the last days, lovers of pleasures are one of the factors that make those days dangerous, perilous!
- People just in pursuit of pleasure, pleasure, pleasure! And as a result of that, we come short of bringing any fruit to perfection
- What do we really need?
- Psalms 16:11
Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
- Psalms 16:11
- Looking at the pleasures of this world and telling yourself that it is not good for you, will never be convincing enough. Just repeating it to yourself over and over again will never change you. Hearing a sermon about it every week also will not change you!
- What we need is an experience with Jesus. To come into His presence! That’s where the fulness of joy is found. That is where the true pleasures are!
- Unless we have an encounter with Jesus, we will never hate the world. That’s why so many of these Bible texts BAFFLE US!
- Luke 14:26
If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
- How to hate your own life?
- 1 John 2:15
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
- How can we hate the world? How can we NOT LOVE the world?
- We love it because the love of God is not in our hearts!
Yet here is Moses, he chooses to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.
- We must understand the sort of pleasures that were at his disposal!
- You got to remember, he was the son of Pharaoh’s daughter!
- He was adopted grand-son to the greatest monarch ruling the then known world. Egypt was a rich nation. And Moses had everything at his disposal. The temptations that surrounded him!
- And yet he was able to stay true to God and not bow down to the Egyptian gods and idols.
- His decision wasn’t that easy – that’s what you go to understand. Choosing to suffer affliction rather than enjoying the pleasures that were at his disposal. But he wasn’t where God wanted him to be yet.
So in Exodus 2:10 he is brought to the Egyptian palace. We don’t know much of his childhood.
- Exodus 2:11-12
11 And it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens: and he spied an Egyptian smiting an Hebrew, one of his brethren. 12 And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand.
- Now he is a grown man. Somehow he still regarded the Israelites as his brethren. He never forgot what he had learnt from his mother for the first 12 years of his life.
- But Moses had his own plan. He thought that God was going to help him lead the Israelites out of Egypt as an army – conquering their enemies, conquering the Egyptians. That’s what Egypt taught him. Moses was a military genius!
- But God had different plans. You know, God’s ways are not our ways. God needed Moses to unlearn these unChristlike attributes in his character.
Moses had the goal, the vision, of leading the Israelites out of Egypt and into Canaan to inherit the promise that God had given to Abraham. Moses had not forgotten. He knew about the prophecies that Joseph had given and the promise that God gave to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Joseph told the children of Israel to carry up his bones when they left Egypt.
- Exodus 13:19
And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him: for he had straitly sworn the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you; and ye shall carry up my bones away hence with you.
- Moses remembered it and honoured it.
- But in Exodus 2, killing the Egyptian was not part of God’s plan. That wasn’t God’s way. God didn’t need Moses to be a man of war, He would take care of that Himself. He needed a leader to be capable to lead the children of Israel.
- God knew what type of people would come out of Egypt with Moses. They were complainers, murmurers, liars, idolaters. Did I say complainers already?
- Ready to go back to Egypt at a moments notice, at any sign of trouble ready to turn and retreat. Always ready to complain and murmur and point blame at Moses when there wasn’t any water and no food, or not the food that they liked.
- God had to strengthen the faith of the children of Israel and Moses couldn’t lead them out of Egypt when he was 40 years old. Could you imagine, Moses a man of war, leading the children of Israel out? At any sign of complaining, he might have killed them himself! Any sign of grumbling or taking up of stones to stone him or Aaron, he would have drawn the sword himself and killed all the rebellious complainers.
- God knew what type of man and temperament was needed to lead a nation like that. It certainly wasn’t a man of war.
- But do you think Moses knew that? Of course not! It’s just that we don’t foresee what is to come.
- Sometimes to look at the glory of being a leader and being put into a leadership position, the respect that it will garner, we desire those things.
- Climbing the church ladder – if there is such things.
- People fighting to be elder, deacon, have a position in church.
- I’ll never forget the first advice given to me as a pastor.
- 1 church member – 1 problem.
- 100 church members – 100 problems.
- The type of leadership that is needed is meekness, humility. That is something I’ll admit that I am still learning as each day passes. I’m too much a man of war!
So Moses, he is faithful to God – choosing to suffer affliction with the people of God. But at this point in Exodus 2 he’s not ready yet. Simply shown by him killing that Egyptian. So what happens?
- Exodus 2:15
Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slay Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian: and he sat down by a well.
- He has to run. Pharaoh is hot on his heels. And he runs to Midian, to the middle of nowhere.
- And we know the story.
- Acts 7:30
And when forty years were expired, there appeared to him in the wilderness of mount Sina an angel of the Lord in a flame of fire in a bush.
- Acts 7:30
- Moses is there in the wilderness for 40 years. He was tending sheep for 40 years! Can you believe that?
- All God needed to do was for him to unlearn everything he had learnt in Egypt. It took him 40 years to unlearn it all and learn just one thing.
- Numbers 12:3
(Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)
- What does meekness mean?
- To be humble, lowly, depressed in mind, weak.
- Having a low estimation of yourself.
- Not being self-reliant.
- This is what God needed to teach Moses in the wilderness. Maybe some of us need to experience that today. A wilderness experience. Getting away and just learning to be a nobody, learning in the school of Christ.
But I want to end by going back to Hebrews 11.
- Hebrews 11:26
Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.
- The word esteeming means counting, supposing. This was Moses’ conclusion. He considered the reproach of Christ to be far more in value than what anything Egypt could offer.
- Because he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. He understood the value of the reward that would be rewarded to him one day.
- You know the Greek word of the word “reward” is only used in the book of Hebrews 3 times and that’s it! No where else in the NT do we see it
- Here is the relevant passage:
- Hebrews 10:34-35
34 For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance. 35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.
- What was the reward that Moses saw? He saw the reward in heaven!
- Hebrews 10:34-35
- But look, eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor even entered into the mind of man what God has prepared for us in heaven right? But yet somehow, here is Moses, adopted grandson of Pharaoh, seeing pleasures and gold and silver all around him. Yet he could see into heaven and desire that more.
- His faith took a hold of something that is NOT SEEN! The word that his mother taught him. That kept his eye single to the glory of God. Yes God still had to work on his character. But his heart was in the right place!
- He desired heaven more than anything that this earth could give even though he had everything at his disposal. He could have asked for anything and it would have been retrieved for him as a prince of Egypt. But he chose heaven. He saw the eternal reality.
- How? BY FAITH.
- The word of God became real to him!
- Hebrews 11:1
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
- Hebrews 11:1
Friends, has the glitter of this world just taken you away? Made you to forget heaven?
- Have you been focusing so much on the world, its treasures, the pride of life, things, phones, cars, clothes, perfume, how your hair looks, shoes, more money to invest so you can retire early, more and more things?
- Maybe to some of you it’s not something that is tangible you can touch, but it’s games, or movies, or music, something to excite your senses just for a little while, get your mind off the stress of life.
- Have you forgotten about heaven? Does heaven seem so unappealing to you? Seems too good to be true? Seems like a place that isn’t even desirable to you anymore?
Maybe you’ve lost your faith
- Hebrews 11:13-16
13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. 15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. 16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.
You gotta come back to the basics today. Build your faith again. Ask God to open your eyes to see the eternal realities, the heavenly country. Jesus says He’s coming back soon to take us to heaven where He’s prepared mansions for us! We need to re-prioritize again.
- God first, His word first, His love first! Jesus, lover of my soul. He must be the apple of our eye. The first and the last and the best.
- Everything else – second. EVERYTHING! Your work, your studies, your sleep, your money, your time, your life!
May God help us to reprioritise again today.