Four hundred years had passed since the Hebrew people had moved to Egypt to seek relief from famine and reunite with Joseph. At the time, they were welcomed by the Pharaoh and honored as the family of Joseph, who had been appointed to the most powerful position in Egypt (Genesis 41:33). But four hundred years later Joseph was dead and the new Pharaoh did not remember Joseph at all. In fact, the new Pharaoh had come to fear that the rapidly growing Hebrew population would soon outnumber the Egyptians. He had relegated the Hebrews to heavy labor and in their misery they called out to God for relief. God heard their cries and raised up Moses to lead the Hebrew people to freedom. But it would not be an easy task for Moses. His faith and endurance were tested over and over again, but Moses obeyed God and took his stand before Pharaoh. He did not allow himself to be overcome by the power of Pharaoh or circumstances surrounding him, but rather looked to God and trusted Him to keep His promises (see Genesis 46:1-4).
Have you ever taken a stand for something you knew was right and then met opposition on every side? If you have, then you have had a taste of how Moses must have felt when he followed God's command to confront Pharaoh and demand he let the Hebrew people go. Repeatedly, in spite of God sending nine plagues upon Egypt, Pharaoh continued to harden his heart; he mocked God and refused Moses’ requests to let the people leave. Not only that, Pharaoh retaliated by placing an increasingly heavy burden upon the Hebrew people - so they turned against Moses too (Exodus 5).
A few months ago, I wrote a letter to my state senators urging them to support a certain upcoming bill. I knew that Biblically I was right in my position, and I felt compelled in my heart to write. A few weeks later I received a form letter from one of the senators. I received no response at all from the other senator, and it was obvious from the form letter that my letter had never been read. When I shared this with a couple of friends, I discovered that their views radically conflicted with mine. To me, this did not make a difference in our friendship, but it did to them. I no longer hear from them. It made me understand in a small way how Moses must have felt, and that encouraged me to continue to stand up for my moral, godly convictions even when it is unpopular and uncomfortable.
When Moses faced opposition, he didn't buckle under pressure from power or people. By faith, he kept right on doing what God had called him to do. He kept right on pressing on for what he knew was God's will. He endured. He never gave up, even when it was hard and lonely. Moses obeyed God rather than give in to Pharaoh and the pressure of his own people. Ten times Moses went before Pharaoh to demand that he let the people go, and finally after the tenth time and God's tenth plague upon Egypt, hard-hearted, angry Pharaoh relented and let the people go. Because Moses had faith in God and never gave up, the Hebrew people marched out of Egypt as a free people, no longer slaves but as the seedling nation of Israel. Of course, Pharaoh had a change of heart soon after, and that led to another crisis for Moses, but Moses pressed on.
The lesson for us as Christians is that we need to take the faith of Moses to heart. His boldness, courage, and endurance should be an encouragement and inspiration to us. God's Word calls us to stand for what is good and true and right, and we need to obey His Word by faith - all the time. Like Moses, we need to endure, even in the face of adversity, and never give up. And when Christian leaders stand up for the Word of God, we need to support them. We need to read and study and meditate on God's Word until it becomes a part of us, until it becomes a compulsion within us to obey and stand up for Biblical principles in an increasingly secular world. Will you embrace God's Word with me? Will you read and study the Bible daily so it can sink into your heart and mind and become a part of you? Christians should stand together as God's people for what is good and right and true. Moses did and God was with him. God never let him down. He is with us too, when we are with Him. Like Moses, we need to endure, keeping our eyes, not on the circumstances but on Him who is unseen.