Hebrews 11:27-29 (NKJV) 27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them. 29 By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned.
In our study of people who were mentioned in Hebrews 11, God’s Hall of Fame of Faith, we have come to Moses. In our last post we saw that Moses faith began long before he was able to do anything for the Lord. His parents refused to be dominated by the fear of the king’s decree that all male Israelites must be put to death. Hebrews 11:23 tells us that Moses parents hid him by faith. They did not fear the king but believed that God was greater.
Today I want to continue looking at what made Moses’ faith worthy of the Hall of Fame. Our heritage of faith is important to our development. However, we all must walk in our own personal faith in God. We do not know how Moses discovered his heritage. It is possible he knew all along who his real people were since his own mother nursed him. In those days a baby was weaned much later in its development than today. He would have had at least some understanding of whatever his mother said to him. At any rate, when he made the decision to accept his heritage, Hebrews 11 said he did it by faith.
Moses made a choice by faith to identify with the people of Israel. That choice changed the course of his life. I think that as we read the story of Moses in Exodus, his attempt to aid the Israelite by killing the Egyptian is evidence that he still believed he could accomplish God’s will by the means he had learned growing up in Pharaoh’s house. Killing the Egyptian was, I think, a mistake. However, sometimes it takes extreme events to get us to where we need to be. When we act by faith, God can even cause mistakes to work for us.
Hebrews 11 says that Moses did not leave Egypt because he feared the king. The New Living Translation says it this way.
Hebrews 11:27 (NLT2) 27 It was by faith that Moses left the land of Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger. He kept right on going because he kept his eyes on the one who is invisible.
When we read the account in Exodus, it looks like Moses left out of fear. Indeed, there may have been some fear involved. After all, the king was planning to kill him. Sometimes we may have fear in our minds or emotions when we choose to act in faith. What is important is what is in our heart. I believe the Old Testament says what the New Testament says it does. Moses was motivated by faith in God even if he did feel some fear.
It says something interesting here. The New Living Translation quoted above, says that Moses left Egypt. That is certainly true. He physically left the land of Egypt. In the New King James Version, it says that Moses forsook Egypt. In the Greek this word means to leave behind. The English word means to abandon or cast aside. It carries the idea of rejecting what we are leaving. This is important. Moses did not just leave Egypt. He abandoned Egypt. He rejected what it had to offer and cast it aside. If you abandon something you must then accept something in its place. Moses left behind all that Egypt had to offer, including his education in Pharaoh’s house, to accept that he was Israelite and, by extension, that whatever he was going to do must be done God’s way not Egypt’s.
I believe this is vital to Hall of Fame faith. We cannot think we can walk in faith and in the ways of the world as well. That does not mean we can never use the things the world has to offer. It does mean that we must recognize that God’s way is the only way that will produce God’s results. I believe that this means we have to go to the Lord and his Word first. Once we have placed our priorities on God’s ways, we may then use some of what the world has to offer by faith. The difference is in where we put our confidence.
For instance, it is not a lack of faith to go to a doctor or use medicine. The question is what do we trust in. If our first response to any sickness, major or minor, is to look to the doctor and medicine as our only solution, that is a problem. There is no condemnation at all in using what the world has to offer. Do not let anyone tell you there is. However, is God still a healing God or is he not? The bible gives no indication that healing from the hand of God has passed away. I have seen God heal people as I have prayed for them. I have been healed as I stood on the promises in God’s word. God still heals!
What should I do? I should start with faith in the healing God. I should look in his Word and find out what he says about healing. As I do that, faith comes, and I will believe that God is my healer. As a pastor for many years, I would talk with people. I would help them find the healing verses in the bible. I would encourage them to trust God. I would also evaluate where their faith level was at that time. Faith is not something that we get once, and it is always the same.
We are saved by grace through faith. The capacity to believe what God says comes with our salvation, but it grows and develops as we grow in God. A baby is born with the capacity to speak, but that capacity takes time to develop. How long we have been saved is not the only factor that determines where our faith is at any given time. Some things I find easy to believe. I am not sure why. Other things are harder for me. Nevertheless, I do believe.
In the case of healing, I start with faith in God. I know God is the true healer. All healing comes from him whether directly or indirectly. Once I establish that, I must ask the Lord how we are going to be healed this time. I know it is possible for God to heal me with no help from the world’s methods. However, I may feel in my heart that I need to let God work through the medicine or the doctor this time. Either way, if I start the process in faith, the result will be that I get healed and that I grow in faith. The next time I may receive my healing without the doctor or medicine.
There is no condemnation in either, but it is a mistake to simply believe that our only help is in the medicine. If we do, we will be limited to what medicine can do. There are many things that the best medicine in the world cannot heal. God made us and our bodies. He can and will heal them. I do not know about you, but I intend to continue to develop my trust in God for healing. I will use medicine when I need it, but I will not trust in it alone. I trust in the God who is not only able to heal but also make a person whole.
Healing is an obvious example; however, we can apply the same thing to everything from finances to our job, our marriage or raising our children. We need to learn to trust God first in everything. Moses started his journey in faith. Hebrews 11 says he did no matter what it looked like. His choice to forsake the world by faith led him to a place where he had to learn a new way to do things. He had to learn God’s way. It took him 40 years but when he went back to Egypt, he was a different man.
If we are going to have Hall of Fame faith, we must learn to forsake the world. We must leave it behind as the only way to do things. We must learn that faith in God is always the solution. God’s way is the best way. If we do use the resources of the world, use them trusting that it is God who will make the difference. Then we will see what God can do, not just what we can do or what the world can do.