Jump Start # 1965
Hebrews 11:23 “By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.
Our verse today sets the tone and the example for what would happen later in Moses’ life. Moses would grow up and refuse to be an Egyptian. He would refuse to be the grandson of Pharaoh. He refused the passing pleasures of sin. He refused the treasures of Egypt. He stood up against Pharaoh and demanded the release of the Hebrews. His parents were not afraid of the king’s edict.
Back in the first pages of Exodus, where this story is found, the Hebrews were multiplying rapidly. The Egyptians feared that they would be outnumbered and overtaken by the Hebrews. The order was given to kill all male Hebrew babies that were born. The midwives ignored that. The edict or law came that all Hebrew males that were born were to be thrown into the river. Moses’ parents were not afraid. They ignored and disobeyed the law. We love the conviction, faith and determination of this couple.
From this we see several lessons:
First, there has always been oppressive laws against the people of faith. This wasn’t about taxation. This wasn’t about freedom of speech. This had to do with murdering innocent children. This had to do with limiting the size of the Hebrew nation. Throughout history, governments have set forth to limit or even destroy the people of God. This is something that God’s people face. The darkness hates the light.
Second, following your faith and your convictions often puts one at odds with others, especially those in charge. Many would like to remove all reminders of God. They would like to outlaw prayers, close church buildings and become secular. They hide behind the word “offended,” even though what they do offends people of faith. We are faced with going along with what we are told, or doing what our faith tells us to do. When Peter was told to no longer preach the name of Jesus in Jerusalem, he replied that he could not keep silent.
Third, refusing to go along with the King’s edict comes with consequences. A person of faith has to understand that. You may be ridiculed. You may not be included, invited or accepted. You may be bullied. You may be pressured. You may lose your job. Things may become harder because you took a stand with God. Peter faced prison. Paul was hunted down.
Fourth, there is a great comfort knowing that you stand with the Lord. Hebrews 11 ends with the horrific stories of mockings, scourgings, imprisonment, killed by the sword, sawn in two, destitute, afflicted and poorly treated. Those words paint a picture of defeat. It seems the enemy won. But it didn’t. Do not fear the one who can kill the body and do no more, is what the Lord taught. These heroes reign victoriously with the Lord. Their faith conquered what the sword could not. They lie in sweet rest with the Lord. They gave their lives for what they believed in, just as the Lord had given His life.
Fifth, Moses’ parents remind us that the easy way, the way of compromise, the way of selling out, is not the path to take. There are things more important than comfort, joy and life that is free from trouble. If happiness is our main goal, then we will have little room and little patience for adversity. We will find our selves going along with darkness, blending in with darkness and tolerating darkness, just to make things better for us. There comes a time to draw a line in the sand and stand with the Lord. Later, as Moses was making his choices, he understood that he could not be with the people of God and remain in Egypt. It was an Egyptian palace or living in a tent in the desert. It was riches, or having to be fed by God every day. It was power of man or power of God. Too many want to be right with God without leaving Egypt. They want to stay in Egypt, live in the palace and find a way to please the Lord. Moses shows us that cannot be done. We must leave Egypt if we want to be with the people of God.
Maybe this is why James warns about friendship with the world and John tells us not to love the world. A person cannot please God while living like Pharaoh in Egypt. There comes a time when you must make a decision who you are with. There comes a time when you must show your true colors.
As we near the holiday season, these reminders are important as we gather with family and friends. No one is won to Christ by watering down the message, blending in with the world, and making Christ no different than anyone else. Now a person can stand for Jesus and be obnoxious, draw attention to himself and live with a martyr complex. This is not the road that Moses followed. This is not what the Lord tells us to do. It’s not about us. It’s not about drawing attention to us. It’s having a faith that stands for the Lord. It’s making your ambition, pleasing the Lord.
Moses’ parents were not afraid. They ignored the kings’ edict. They did what was right. May we have the same courage, faith and conviction in our times today. To God, be the glory.