Before Moses was born, Pharaoh had issued a decree that all Jewish male babies were to be thrown into the Nile River. So according to Egyptian law, Moses never should have survived But by faith Moses’ parents risked the fury of Pharaoh and their own lives by ignoring the king’s command and keeping Moses hidden to save his life. If Pharaoh’s guards had discovered their disobedience, the whole family would have been executed. It was through the faith of his parents and the grace of God that Moses lived and was eventually adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter. In Exodus 2, we also see the kindness of God in allowing Moses’ mother to keep him and nurse him until he was old enough to go and live in the palace as a royal prince. In those very early years of his life, Moses’ parents must have taught him about God, His promises, and the importance of faith because Hebrews 11:24-25 tells us that Moses had faith too. By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; -- choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin.
From the time he was weaned, Moses had grown up in the luxury of Pharaoh’s palace. He had the best of everything Egypt had to offer. But when he reached adulthood, he made the choice to identify with the Hebrew people rather than enjoy the position, possessions, and pleasures of Pharaoh’s palace. The lesson we learned from Moses’ parents (Hebrews 11:23) was that faith overcomes fear. Faith believes in God and obeys God’s laws above the laws of men. In those few short years Moses was with his parents, faith must have been implanted in his heart. For when he grew to be a man, Moses boldly made godly choices.
Moses refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter (Hebrews 11:24). He chose to give up his position as one of the most honored and respected men in Egypt. He turned his back on the power, prestige, and wealth of the royal family. He gave up influential relationships, meals at the king’s table, and friendship with the wealthy powerful young men he had grown up alongside. He turned his back on the worldly values of Egypt and its people, choosing rather to identify with the lowly, despised slave laborers who were the people of God. Moses’ decision teaches us that he was a man a faith. He was willing to stand for what he believed in and make godly choices even when it was difficult and did not conform to worldly expectations, and even when he did not know what the consequences would be.
Hebrews 11:25 says Moses chose rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God, than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin. The world of Pharaoh’s court was no doubt lavish, attractive, and indulgent of worldly pleasures while the people of God lived under an iron fist of oppression. But Moses made his choice by faith and not by sight. He closed his eyes to the sparkling world of royalty and trusted God and His promises regardless of the consequences. Hebrews 11:25 has been one of my favorite Scripture passages ever since I first read the Book of Hebrews. Many times in my life the words have helped me make godly decisions when it would have been easier and certainly seemed more enjoyable to go along with the crowd. Hebrews 11:25 tells us that Moses chose the less desirable way (in worldly terms) rather than enjoy the passing pleasures of sin. It is important to remember that the pleasures of sin are always just "passing". We indulge for momentary, fleeting gratification, and then the pleasure fades and is gone, leaving us longing for more or for something a little better. The world’s pleasures are ephemeral. The promises of God are everlasting. Although we may find them difficult to cling to and live by in this life, we will find them to be eternal and always trustworthy. The promises of God are the best and far above any good we might enjoy of the pleasures of the world.
If you read the full story of Moses life in Exodus and learn how God used him to deliver his people from slavery in Egypt, you see of the goodness and faithfulness of God. Moses did not have an easy life, but he lived in reliance on God, and God always came through! He always does, and His way is always best. Besides that, God is always victorious. When we choose to trust God and follow Him by faith, we don’t just get through life “somehow”, we live life triumphantly.
I hope Moses’ faith will inspire you in the daily choices you make. May the example of Moses give you strength and courage to make godly decisions to stand for your convictions. The decisions you make every day ultimately determine the direction and destiny of your life, and not just yours, but the lives of others too.
With love and prayers,
Exodus Chapter 1 tells of the suffering of the Hebrew people in Egypt under a Pharaoh who ruthlessly oppressed them. The Hebrew people had moved to Egypt nearly four hundred years earlier, and during that time they had increased in number until the land was filled with them (Exodus 1:7). Because of their growing numbers, Pharaoh saw them as a threat, so he subjected them to slave labor and commanded every male baby to be thrown into the River Nile.
So when Moses was born, his parents had a decision to make -- would they obey Pharaoh’s order and throw their baby into the Nile to die or risk their own lives to save their little son? They surely had a fear of Pharaoh and his power over them and their family. But they also feared and reverenced God and they believed His promises. Ultimately, they had faith in God that overcame their fear of Pharaoh, and the writer of Hebrews declares: 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 (11:23).
Because of their faith, Moses’ parents chose to disregard the danger to their own lives in order to save their baby. The Hebrews passage says it is because they saw he was a beautiful child. The Greek word for "beautiful" in Hebrews is “asteios”, the same term used in Acts 7:20, “At this time Moses was born; and he was beautiful in God's sight.” Both apparently refer back to Exodus 2:2 where the equivalent Hebrew term is used. Moses’ mother conceived and bore a son; and when she saw that he was beautiful, she hid him for three months.
According to these passages, God saw Moses as a beautiful baby, and his parents, having faith in God, were of the same mind. Aren't all babies beautiful in the sight of God and in the eyes of their parents? All babies are the miraculously precious creation of our loving and gracious God. They are all created in His image (Genesis 1:27), and meant to be beautiful in the eyes of their parents. God is intimately familiar with each child of His creation even before birth. David wrote, in Psalm 139, For you formed my inward parts; you wove me in my mother’s womb.
I give thanks to you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. (13-14).
And God told Jeramiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you;” (Jeremiah 1:5).
Furthermore, God’s Word reveals that all children are a blessing, Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward (Psalm 127:3).
Legally, Moses’ parents were required to throw Him in the Nile River when he was born, but morally they were committed to honor God and obey His commandment, “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13). By faith they honored and obeyed God! As a result, the Nile River did not become the place of baby Moses’ death but the means of his salvation (read what happened in Exodus 2:3-10), and ultimately God used Moses to bring about the deliverance of His people.
Because of the faith of his parents, Moses lived to fulfill God’s calling and lead his people out of slavery in Egypt and deliver them to the freedom of the Promised Land. Ephesians 2:8 tells us that faith is a gift of God. Are you exercising the faith God has given you? What fears have you overcome by faith? How is God using the fruits of your faith to bless the lives of others?
I have been involved in Disciplers since 1987, as a discussion leader, teacher, writer, and now as director. I am profoundly committed to the stewardship of this ministry which God has entrusted to me for a time. God’s word is the chief joy of my life. I cherish my personal time in the word, and I am filled with gratitude to be able to share His word with you, my fellow disciples in Christ.