By Faith Moses, Pt. 2

Hebrews 11:27-29 • Jeff Crotts •

“What is the most repeated command in the Bible?”  “Fear not!”

  • There are 365 “fear nots” in the Bible.

ESV  Exodus 14:13 And Moses said to the people, a"Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will work for you today. For bthe Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again.

ESV  Exodus 20:20 aMoses said to the people, "Do not fear, for God has come to btest you, that the fear of him may be before you, that you may not sin."

ESV  Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? aBe strong and courageous. bDo not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."

ESV  Isaiah 41:10 fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with amy righteous right hand.

ESV  Luke 2:10 And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all athe people.

ESV  2 Timothy 1:7 for God gave us aa spirit not of fear but bof power and love and self-control.

ESV  Revelation 1:17 aWhen I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But ahe laid his right hand on me, bsaying, "Fear not, cI am the first and the last

  • The complimenting command is, “Believe!”
    • The Gospel of John uses the word “believe” 90 times.
    • Matthew sites it 11x, Mark 12x, and Luke 9x.
    • In the four Gospels alone “believe” is used almost half as many times as the command to “Fear not!”

Our section in Hebrews 11 clearly ties together “Fearing not” and “Faith!”

  • Exercising faith is the opposite of fearing.

This principle is embedded in all the verses 23-29.

  • Beginning with Moses’ parents (v. 23) who hid Moses for three months while Pharaoh had given orders to kill all Hebrew Babyboy newborns.
    • Parents “saw that the child was beautiful” meaning “favored.”
      • Seeing their son through faith, seeing God’s plan, so “they were not afraid of the king’s edict!” (v. 23).
    • “We are good to watch God’s plan play out! We will float our new baby right into Pharaoh’s palace!”
  • Moses grew up and by faith refused the privilege of rank, the draw of sensual pleasures, and the security of wealth (vv. 24, 25, 26).
    • Instead, embracing suffering and stigma associated with being a Hebrew.
      • God’s chosen people (representing Messiah) equals better treasure.
      • Refusals marked holiness and his bravery.

Moses was not only a holy but brave.

  • Hebrews makes this point through Moses’ testimony.
    • Citing three extraordinary events.
    • Faith is the opposite of fear.
    • Faith makes you brave.

Faith makes you Brave.

Three examples, categories

1. Brave to face an adversary (v. 27)

The fear of man is a significant factor in most people’s lives.

  • Afraid of being criticized.
    • By people we do not respect.
    • Losing a job, reputation, or popularity.

 

“Fear is a great pressure, and all of us are tempted at times to bend when standing for the Lord requires us to say or do something that is unpopular or dangerous.  But true faith does not fold under the world’s pressure.” [MacArthur]

Verse 27 begins, “By faith he left Egypt” (v. 27).

  • “Left” literally means “abandon!”
    • Same word used of the anonymous disciple (probably Mark) who in fear, left his cloak when Romans guards came to take Jesus away at Gethsemane!

ESV  Mark 14:52 but he left the linen cloth and ran away naked.

  • Abrupt language.
  • The KJV says, “By faith he forsook Egypt…” (v. 27).
  • Forsaking all like Peter, James, and John did for Christ.

ESV  Luke 5:11 And when they had brought their boats to land, athey left everything and followed him.

Verse 27 continues, “…not being afraid of the anger of the king” (v. 27).

  • This phrase reminds me of an effective book title by Christian author, Ed Welch: When people are big and god is small.
    • Moses testimony was that “God was big making Pharaoh look small.”
    • What should be the case for all of us!
    • Though very difficult!
    • Must get “Face to face with God before being face to face with man!”
  • Faith makes you brave!
  • True of all of the Bible’s heroes of faith!

ESV  Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? aBe strong and courageous. bDo not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."

  • Daniel and his three friends! (Dan. 1-2)

ESV  Daniel 3:18 But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up."

  • David charging Goliath.

ESV  1 Samuel 17:45 Then David said to the Philistine, "You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with aa javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, twhom you have defied.

Reading this from Exodus, a fair question should be raised, whether Moses was “afraid of Pharaoh” when he left or not?

  • If Hebrews refers to the first time Moses fled Pharaoh, then this appears to contradict the account from Exodus 2:11-15.
  • Otherwise, Hebrews refers to when Moses “left” the second time leading the Exodus from Pharaoh?
    • The second option seems forced.
    • The flow of Hebrews 11:23-29 leads me to believe it is the first time Moses left.
      • Moses did not stay in Pharaoh’s court (vv. 24-26).
      • Moses flees to Midian (v. 27).
      • Moses institutes Passover (v. 28).

Exodus 2:11-15.

  • Something happens in Moses’ heart between Exodus 2:14 and 2:15!
    • Moses is afraid and he needed to do something about what he had done.
    • But, in verse 15, “Moses fled.”
  • “How do we know Moses did not flee in fear but in faith?”
    • Hebrews 11:27 clarifies this for us!
  • Ask this same question for Abraham.
    • “How do we know that Abraham, being asked to sacrifice his son was not a cold, sadistic murderer?”
    • Hebrews 11:19 gives us X-ray vision into Abraham’s heart!

ESV  Hebrews 11:19 aHe considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.

  • Abraham (“By Faith”) knew there would have to be an extenuating circumstance to make this workout!
  • There is another key unlocks this paradox on Moses’ “fear.”
    • Exodus 2:14 indicates “fear” in the moment.
  • Hebrews 11:27 fills out the way in which Moses was not “afraid” (v. 27).
  • The key is that Moses “left Egypt…[and] endured” (v. 27).
    • Moses’ early fear was met with his commitment to endure!
    • Looking more deeply into Moses’ heart, where withdrawing to Midian was not fear-based but faith-based!
      • Courage to persevere! Courage to be patient!
      • Moses had no way of knowing how his circumstances would turn out.
      • Marrying Zipporah, a shepherdess.
      • Tending his father-in-law’s sheep for the next 40 years in Midian.

 

  • His temptation to stay “afraid” met with Brave-Faith! Perseverance!
    • Moses chose “the hard path!”
    • At points Jesus fled his killers (John 8:59).
    • Paul was lowered through a hole, down a wall, in a basket (Acts 9:25).

 

  • The end of verse 27 explains the key to Moses’ perseverance.
    • Moses “endured as seeing him who is invisible” (v. 27).
    • Moses had an especially intimate relationship with the LORD!

ESV  Exodus 33:9-11 When Moses entered the tent, the apillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent, and the LORD1 would speak with Moses. 10 And when all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, all the people would rise up and worship, each at his tent door.11 Thus athe LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. When Moses turned again into the camp, his bassistant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent.

 

ESV  Numbers 12:8 With him I speak amouth to mouth, clearly, and not in briddles, and he beholds cthe form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?"

  • “Is this what Hebrews is talking about?”
    • I do not think this is the intimacy the author of Hebrews speaks.
    • Though, I do not think it is any less
      • Moses saw God, “who is invisible” (v. 27).
      • While in the desert 40 years, enduring, pushing sand up between his toes, Moses “saw him who is invisible!” (v. 27).

Kent Hughes says, “Seeing him who is invisible is not extraordinary.  Rather, it is ordinary, normal Christianity.  In fact, if you do not see the unseen, you are abnormal and below the divinely ordained norm.”

  • Elisha prayed:

ESV  2 Kings 6:17 Then Elisha prayed and said, "O LORD, please aopen his eyes that he may see." So the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of bhorses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

  • Paul prayed:

ESV  Ephesians 1:17-18 that athe God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, bmay give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 ahaving the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is bthe hope to which he has called you, what are cthe riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints

  • Paul warned:

ESV  Ephesians 6:12 For awe do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against bthe rulers, against the authorities, against cthe cosmic powers over dthis present darkness, against ethe spiritual forces of evil fin the heavenly places.

We have to face God before we face man.

It is told that before a great battle Napoleon would stand in his tent alone; he would send for his commanders to come to him, one by one; when they came in , he would say no word but would look them in the eye and shake their hand; and they would go out prepared to die for the general they loved.

Moses’ faith grew and grew over 40 years and he became brave to face his greatest tests that God laid before him.

2. Brave to face certain death (v. 28)

The thought of death or dying for most brings paralyzing fear.

This past weekend I was in a conversation with an orthodox Jewish friend of mine.  He said, “I want to confess that I do not actually believe in the afterlife.”  I am not sure that there is Heaven.  Then he asked, “How is it that preachers speak of heaven with such certainty?”  I told him that I had actually written my doctoral dissertation on the subject and asked if he would read it.  He said he would.  It is Genesis to Revelation on the doctrine of the Illuminating work of the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit flips the switch and the Bible fuels the fire!

  • The unknown. The end of this life.  Uncertainty regarding the timing.
  • For the unbeliever, what is terrifying is that death is inescapable!

“How am I building this point from verse 28?”

  • Do not forget the context of Exodus 1.
    • Hebrew boy infants were to be immediately thrown into the Nile.
    • Population control.

 

  • Conversely, God’s curse on the Egyptians was answering this sin.
    • Sin brings death.
    • The wages of sin is death.
    • Sin comes as this cost.
    • Death should be terrifying to an unbeliever.
    • Death is a judgement and death means eternal separation from God and heaven and other believers and eternal punishment.
    • By contrast, there is the grace.
    • God provides a path to escape death as a penalty as a judgement.
    • This path comes by blood sacrifice.
    • The Passover is a picture of the Gospel of grace!

Verse 28 says, “By faith he kept the Passover.”

  • Understand Moses is establishing Passover (cf. Exodus 12:1-14).
  • Moses “instituted” Passover not only as a one-time event!
  • Moses wrote Passover into the Law as to be memorialized for future generations.

ESV  Exodus 12:14 "This day shall be afor you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to the LORD; throughout your generations, as a bstatute forever, you shall keep it as a feast.

  • Moses, through faith, knew this was going to work.
    • The first-born Hebrew boys would be spared.
    • God’s people would produce generations!
    • Moses did not know details (i.e. 2nd generation entered Promised Land) but he knew God’s people would enter the Promised Land.

 

  • By faith, Moses did not fear death!
    • When this costly, “unblemished sacrifice was given”- when this “blood” was “poured” or “splattered” on the doorposts, he knew death would not win!
      • Though unprecedented.
      • The “Destroyer of the firstborn might not touch them” (v. 28).
      • Untouched, spared, saved.

“Who is the Destroyer?” “How formidable was this Being?”

  • The “Destroyer” would be terrifying without the “blood” of the Lamb!
  • God’s judgment is always terrifying! Hell is terrifying!

“Who is in charge of Hell?”  Satan?  The Devil?

  • Our Lord Jesus is in charge of Hell.

ESV  Hebrews 10:31 aIt is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

  • So what about this “Destroyer?” (Ex. 12:23).
    • Angels are described as “God’s servants” (Ps. 103:20).
    • Angels are explicitly stated as causing death in Scripture (2 Kings 19:35).
    • Four horseman (Rev. 6:8).
    • Jesus encountered the demon-possessed boy where demon tries to kill him (Mark 9:22).
    • In Job 1 and 2 God gives Satan permission to wipe out Job’s family and possessions and Job’s health but God commands Satan not to take his life. Implying Satan could have!

 

  • The point is to understand no matter who the “Destroyer” is; death is under God’s sovereign control.

ESV  Job 14:5 Since his adays are determined, and bthe number of his months is with you, and you have appointed his limits that he cannot pass

ESV  Revelation 20:14 Then aDeath and Hades bwere thrown into the lake of fire. This is cthe second death, the lake of fire.

ESV  1 Corinthians 15:55 a"O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?"

  • Christianity is about knowing you are secure. Death is inevitable but so is victory.

ESV  Philippians 1:21 For to me ato live is Christ, and to die is gain.

 

3. Brave to face an uncertain circumstance (v. 29)

This last point in verse 29 chronicles a second extraordinary event of supernatural deliverance.

The faith being highlighted is actually not first-generation children of Israel, it was Moses’ faith.  The brave-faith was Moses’ faith!

  • The Exodus record proves this.
  • Israelites in Exodus were complaining and it is not until Moses affirms God’s promise that the people begin to believe.

Exodus 14:9-31.

  • When the Israelites first reached the shore of the Red Sea, they “feared greatly” (v. 10).

 

  • Only after hearing Moses pronouncement of God’s protection, they moved out in faith (v. 22).
    • Moses’ brave-faith made the difference for Israel to move into uncertain circumstances!

Recently, during vacation, I paddled out in surf that was overhead high with coral reef underneath me.  I suddenly realized I was out of my depth and in very powerful surf.  The ocean can be extremely dangerous and intimidating, even if you have surfed your entire life.

  • The faith it took for the Israelites to walk between walls of water (vv. 22, 29) should not be underestimated.

By contrast, the Egyptians “attempted to do the same” but not by faith and they were literally “swallowed!” (Heb. 11:29).

Faith in God makes you brave to face “uncertain circumstances.”

Most things in life do not have some kind of certain outcome!

I was listening to and watching a popular “money guru” – scream about how stupid our culture is for not saving their income for the future to at least become a millionaire or even a multi-millionaire.  By age 70!

I understand how our culture throws away money. At the same time, there has to be an acknowledgment that we do not take any of our money with us when we die!

It is wise and necessary to save.  To be prudent and to plan.

At the same time, when people try to stave off their fears with money or by wishing they had more money!

You have to start with faith – save by faith – spend and invest by faith – but live by faith and give by faith.

People do the same thing trying to stave off death with all kinds of medical measures or other things.

ESV  Luke 12:15-21 And he said to them, a"Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." 16 And he told them a parable, saying, a"The land of a rich man produced plentifully,17 and he thought to himself, a'What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?'18 And he said, 'I will do this: I will tear down my abarns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up afor many years; relax, beat, drink, be merry.'20 But God said to him, a'Fool! yThis night dyour soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, bwhose will they be?'21 So is the one awho lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God."

 

“Are you living in the fear of man?”

“Does someone paralyze you with fear?”

“Do you fear for your health”

“Are you afraid to die?”  Physical death or spiritual death?  Someone else dying?

“Are you fearing the unknown?”  What you cannot control?

None of these fears coexist with faith.

Exercise brave-faith!  See the invisible God through the Word.

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