The Letter to the Hebrews: a commentary & meditation 
Moses the man of faith who knew God personally

Scripture: Hebrews 11:23-29
23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid for three months by his parents, because they saw that the child was beautiful; and they were not afraid of the king's edict. 24 By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, 25 choosing rather to share ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He considered abuse suffered for the Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he looked to the reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king; for he endured as seeing him who is invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and sprinkled the blood, so that the Destroyer of the first-born might not touch them. 29 By faith the people crossed the Red Sea as if on dry land; but the Egyptians, when they attempted to do the same, were drowned.
Meditation: The Author to the Hebrews lists five great acts of faith in the life of Moses.  First is the faith of Moses' parents who hid their child, in spite of peril to their own lives by defying Pharoah's orders to have every male Israelite child put to death. When they could no longer hide him they released him to the Nile River in a basket trusting God to preserve this child for his own purposes.  The fact that Pharoah's own daughter took him and raised him as her own child pointed to his future destiny as one spared to lead his own people to their freedom.

The second great act of faith was Moses' loyalty to his own people.  While Moses grew up in Pharoah's own house in great luxury as a royal son, he never lost his identity as a true son of Israel. He worshiped the true God of Israel and he willingly suffered abuse for identifying with his own people.  He exchanged the glory of Pharoah's house for the plight of his oppressed people, just as Jesus exchanged the glory of his Father's house for the sake of humankind enslaved to sin and death.

Moses' third act of faith, after he withdrew from Egypt to Midian because of an intervention on behalf of  people, was to patiently wait on God in exile before returning to Egypt to free his people (Exodus 2:14-22).  Moses could have recklessly thrown his life away by defying Pharoah on his own strength rather than waiting for God to show him when and how he was to bring about his people's freedom from slavery.

When Moses returned to Egypt at the Lord's bidding, he confronted Pharoah with mighty signs from God in the form of ten plagues.  On the eve of their deliverance from bondage in Egypt, God instructed Moses to prepare the Passover feast as a celebration of his great saving deeds. Moses faithfully followed through on all the Lord's instructions. Such was his faith that he even commanded the people to celebrate the Passover annually.  He knew beyond a doubt that God would free his people and see them safely to the Promised Land.  His faith was full of hope because he looked beyond the present circumstances to the future which God promised. Jesus' victory over sin and death on the cross is our true Passover which we celebrate in the Lord's Supper or Eucharist.

The fifth act of faith was the crossing over the Red Sea on foot while the Egyptian armies pursued them with a fleet of 600 swift chariots (Exodus 14).  Moses was willing to do what seemed humanly impossible when God commanded him to lead his people through the sea.  Faith enables us to see beyond our human capacity to the power and grace of God at work in us.  When God commands he gives the grace and strength to carry through successfully.  Like Moses, we will have to face many barriers and obstacles on our journey of faith.  But God will see us through if we keep our eyes on him and trust in his help and power.  Are you ready to suffer for your faith as Moses did and trust God to see you through any difficulty or trial?

"Lord Jesus, your victory on the cross frees us from slavery to sin and the fear of death.  Help us to keep our eyes fixed on you as we journey in faith to our home with the Father in heaven."


| Hebrews 11:30-40 | Letter to the Hebrews  | Daily Readings & Meditations | The Parables of Jesus | Words of Life |
(c) 2001 Don Schwager