While considering heroes of faith, it should not be surprising that the Spirit of God includes Moses in this honored role. He has already been commended for his faithfulness regarding God’s house earlier in this epistle (3:2), and is mentioned nearly eighty times throughout the New Testament. Here in his bio found in chapter 11 we see that with lenses calibrated “by faith,” this CHILD is recognized, CHOICES are made as he matures, and COMMANDS are carefully obeyed.
It’s an added commendation to Moses that the amount of inspired text (vv23-28) highlighting his episodes of faith in this chapter rivals that of Abraham, the father of faith. However, we quickly see that tracing faith in Moses begins first with finding it in much closer relatives: his father and his mother. The kind of faith that would later determine his course of life would initially spare his life itself as his faithful parents feared God more than the king. How blessed Moses was to be born into the home of godly and God-fearing parents, especially during such a time of bondage and terror. With beauty and potential seen in this child, the couple moved by faith, step by step, to protect and preserve their boy.
We see the potential of a home as an atmosphere of faith. A king and his hosts are quietly and so ironically eluded by a slave couple’s faith in God as they employ the very revered resources of Egypt (reeds, the river and a princess) to preserve and culture Moses in all the wisdom of Egypt. The future deliverer, law-giver and writer of the Pentateuch is found just where God wants him, as parents do their part by faith. So within the testimony of Moses’ life, his parents are also inducted into this faithful roll, showing that God delights to honor faithful couples of all generations, even in obscure and adverse environments. Faithfulness to God will never be overlooked by God. But Moses would have his own tests of faith as he matured.
While wearing the same type of spiritual glasses as his parents, verses 24-27 tell us the choices a maturing Moses made by faith. The author clearly identifies key moments of faith in this man while his eyes focused on God, His people, eternal reward and even the promised Messiah. By faith Moses refuses, chooses, esteems, respects and forsakes. And all of these choices for Moses relate to Egypt. He refuses position. He chooses not its pleasures. He values not the profits, and he forsakes the place altogether. We see a connection here with his earlier progenitor, Abraham, which maybe attests to the nearly equal mention: both by faith left a home and place they knew to go out into an unknown future, but a future with God.
Today, at times, faith calls us to make similar choices, though most are not refusing kingdoms. Maybe, though, it is to refuse a position of greater social or temporal significance. Maybe it’s a person that we need to refuse. Some today choose pleasure or ease, while others choose the hardship and burden of responsibility for the people of God. By faith some are able to use earthly resources for heavenly purposes, and others forsake all for the sake of Christ. Every day choices are made. Believers today have the option and, in fact, the charge to live by faith, which equates to making daily choices with the same glasses Moses and his parents wore.
The just shall live by faith (10:38), and without faith it’s impossible to please God (11:6). It is a potential double blessing for the believer when we live and make choices by faith. Living by faith, we move in God’s way and will for us – there is no better place to be found. Second, when making choices based on faith we are pleasing God, which also should bring joy to the believer. What a wondrous prospect to think that each day we can actually bring pleasure to the omniscient and self-sufficient God. It’s actually not just a prospect but what He expects! It’s the life of the faithful and the example left by our blessed Lord, who “committed himself to him that judgeth righteously” (1Pe 2:24). He is the Author and finisher of our faith. So each decision for the believer is not insignificant nor without consequence to his or her spiritual life or eternity. Like Moses, choices can be made by faith with our eyes on the recompense of the reward and on the ever-increasing glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The last verse of this bio (v28) shows that Moses kept his faithful focus as he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood. It was not now so much a choice he needed to make or decide; it was whether he would be faithful with what God committed to him. Would he obey the instructions? Would he clearly relay them to millions who also needed them? What a burden to carry: each and every home must be carefully prepared according to God’s instructions. Moses would need to receive and explicitly disseminate instructions from God to thousands of families for the sake of their firstborn. Tens of thousands of lives were in the balance. Millions of souls would feel the tension of this single night as they would carefully go over and solemnly complete each item of divine instruction faithfully relayed to them through Moses.
Did any question if there really was cause for concern? The nine previous plagues would be evidence enough to answer this. Yet despite this solemn and recent testimony, hard-hearted or careless Egyptians realized the awful and tragic consequences of disdaining or even just neglecting God’s word. Not Moses. Moses received God’s instructions and by faith kept them. He kept them all and he kept them fully. In fact, scholars suggest the perfect tense of “kept” highlights this action above the rest of the acts in this narrative. He kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, and all those with the same type of glasses followed. The firstborn among the Israelites was spared, but the holy record solemnly states that among the Egyptians there was not a house where there was not one dead.
What an example of faith Moses and his parents are to us today! What a testimony to the God who honors those who honor Him. We, too, can follow these footsteps of faith for God’s glory as long as we keep the correct glasses on!