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.
In these few verses, the author of Hebrews reveals something truly incredible: Moses knew about Jesus!
That knowledge accounted for some of the actions that Moses took, and the author cites the fact that Moses made a choice to be numbered among the Hebrews rather than to continue in his place of privilege in the household of Pharaoh. Moses “regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt” and so he left the slave masters and joined with the slaves. Moses placed his priority in line with God’s covenant purpose, not because the New Covenant was in effect, for it was centuries in the future, but because God’s covenant with Abraham was in effect, and it contained a promise that the people would be set free from bondage in Egypt, a promise that was made over 400 years before the time of Moses.
In this, Moses was forward-looking, to his reward, to the exclusion of his current peril on the earth. How might that have inspired the original recipients of the letter? How might that inspire us?
It was by faith that he both left Egypt and incurred the anger of Pharaoh, and later that he applied the blood of the Passover.
By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned.
The people Moses led had their moments of faith too, as when they crossed the Red Sea, but sadly they more often drifted away from their faith, and never received God’s land promise; even Moses rebelled and could only gaze upon the Land. But Joshua and Caleb never lost their faith:
By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the army had marched around them for seven days.
By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.
The story of faith is an amazing one indeed, and it is a story that you and I are part of. What role will we play?