Of Unity & Faith
The Call, The Miracles: Moses's Faithfulness
Updated: Oct 5, 2020
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.
27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.
Today we will focus on Moses’s adult life. Remember from the previous post that Moses had the privilege to be raised by his own mother, Jochebed, while he was under the care of Pharaoh’s daughter. It is highly probable that Jochebed taught her son the scriptures as he was growing up. In Acts 7:23 we read: “And when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel.” How would he know that the children of Israel were his brethren? Even though he was a part of Pharaoh’s household, he knew his roots thanks to his mother, which was another reason why he refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.
Moses ventured out to do as Acts 7:23 says, to visit his brethren. He saw that they were under great oppression and tried to defend a Hebrew. Moses knew that the act he performed would be frowned upon by Pharaoh, especially since there were witnesses present. Therefore, Moses fled to the land of Midian, where he met Jethro and eventually married into his household.
While tending his father-in-law’s flocks in the land of Midian, Moses went to Horeb, the mountain of God. What came next is a moment that gave Moses more insight into his purpose. “And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed” (Exodus 3:2). This story has always been special to me. I became very familiar with it while I attended a Catholic school when I was little because our school’s symbol was the burning bush. Can you picture yourself as a spectator while the angel speaks to Moses from the bush? “Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground…I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows; And I am come down to deliver them out of the land of the Egyptians…Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt” (Exodus 3:5,7-8,10).
I recently learned more about the significance of why Moses was asked to remove his shoes before proceeding forward towards the angel of the Lord speaking from the bush. As Moses traveled through the desert while tending the flocks, his shoes had become very dusty. The desert is a symbol for the world. The dirt is the sins of the world. When Moses was asked to remove his shoes so that he would be able to stand on holy ground, it reminds us that in order to stand in God’s presence, we must be clean. Moses had to be clean before he was to receive the special charge from the Lord to deliver the children of Israel from bondage.
Moses is humbled by the call and asks, “Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11). Have you ever felt that way when asked to do a difficult thing? Why am I being asked to complete such and such task? I am not that special. I don’t have amazing talents. Why wasn’t so and so asked instead? When a call is given to you, you must embrace it. God knew Moses’s past and his destiny. He knew that Moses was the one to perform the difficult task. He knew all of Moses’s strengths and weaknesses. And so, Moses accepts the charge and continues to receive instruction as to how the children of Israel would know he had been sent from God.
As he proceeded to meet with Pharaoh, Moses was challenged several times. Pharaoh did not believe he needed to obey the command from the Lord to let Israel go because he did not know the Lord. Therefore, Pharaoh felt that he had nothing to fear. Despite all of the miracles that Moses performed, Pharaoh is not phased. The Egyptians suffered due to the consequences of Pharaoh’s choice of not heeding the voice of the Lord. How in the world was Moses able to perform such great miracles? It was through his faith. Moses had the authority to command the elements, for example to cause the waters to turn into blood or to call all the locusts in the surrounding areas into Egypt. We have heard the phrase that faith can move mountains. Certainly great faith could give room to the miracles Moses performed.
It was not until after Pharaoh’s firstborn had died that Pharaoh finally allowed the children of Israel to leave Egypt. However, his sudden change of heart was short-lived. Pharaoh and his people decided to follow after Israel. Revenge? Regret? Both? Nonetheless, Moses performs the miraculous act of parting the Red Sea which allowed the children of Israel to walk upon dry ground and condemned the Egyptians to a watery grave. All for the purpose that “the people feared the Lord, and believed the Lord, and his servant Moses” (Exodus 14:31).
Now, let’s consider the applications of this story in its entirety. Have you discovered your purpose in this life? Do you understand that God sees in you great potential to do His work? How can you develop into the person He wants you to become? Do we wait for some mighty miracle to fear or believe in the Lord or His servants? Do we exercise a particle of our faith in our everyday challenges? How can we each develop trust in the Lord in order to become more obedient and grow our faith?
Throughout both parts of Hebrews 11, we have explored several examples of individuals who demonstrated enough faith to become instruments in the Lord’s great plan. I pray that you were able to relate to at least one individual and that you learned how to increase your faith. As we each continue to improve and grow in faith, I pray that we can become united in the faith.
This post concludes the series. Don't forget your copy of the Hebrews 11 Part 2 study guide.
Read all of the Hebrews 11 Part 2 posts:
Trusting the Promised Blessings
How Faithful Women Played a Role in the Life of Young Moses