By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible. By faith he kept the Passover and the application of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel. By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned. – Hebrews 11:24-29
Today’s passage is another appeal to the nostalgia and history found in Moses and his faith. Moses was an impressive God-follower to sure, but he was a flawed follower just like me. Yesterday’s post connected the old and the new through the mixing of blood and water for atonement and forgiveness. This passage connects Moses’ faith in an invisible God with the faith that Christ followers require.
Moses’ first demonstration of faith was rejecting the ephemeral earthly pleasures to be found with Pharaoh and his daughter in Egypt. Interestingly, the author makes a direct connect between Moses and Christ “He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward”.
Moses was following God, but he was also following Christ hundreds of years before he was born. This represents a certain “bending of time” that must have been confusing for these earthly followers. How could Moses look forward to a reward in the distant future? My conclusion, after chewing on this for a bit, is that the “reward” did not change. The reward for faithful following was, is, and always will be to be with God for eternity. The same arm that lit up a bush on Mount Sinai was nailed to a cross for us. God believes in us and wants us to have the faith to trust and believe in Him.
Moses succeeded in his faith journey despite missteps and mistakes, “he persevered because he saw him who is invisible”. In many ways this is the essence of faith – to “see” the invisible and act on what we see. Faithful following is more than believing in metaphysical miracles. It is boldly stepping into the unknown confident that God has our backs.
The examples of Moses’ faith provided are the keeping of the Passover, which will take on new meaning through Christ’s blood shed on the cross ; and the parting of the Red Sea described in Exodus 14: 15-31. Moses leading the people across a seemingly uncrossable body of water is an interesting parallel to the mysterious man in Ezekiel 47:1-6 that allows us to cross “a river no one can cross.“.
This brings us back to concept the author is trying to communicate – how do we find a place with an “invisible God”? Hard concept simple answer – faith. The faith that Moses had and that we can choose to have, a faith that requires actions similar to those described in Acts.
Prayer: God help us to have faith in things unseen so we can find our way to You.