Memphis Belle

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Hebrews 1:1-14
Hebrews 2:1-18
Hebrews 3:1-19 Hebrews 4:1-16
Hebrews 5:1-14
Hebrews 6:1-20 Hebrews 7:1-28 Hebrews 8:1-13
Hebrews 9:1-28 Hebrews 10:1-39 Hebrews 11:1-4 Hebrews 11:5-8
Hebrews 11:9-16 Hebrews 11:17-22 Hebrews 11:23-27 Hebrews 11:28-31
Hebrews 11:32-40 Hebrews 12:4-29 Hebrews 13:1-25 What is Faith ?

 

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Hebrews 11:23-27

 

"By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king's commandment.  By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt:  for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.  By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king:  for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible."

 

The Course Of A Nation, The Course Of The World Is Set By Two Obscure Parents Who Jeopardized Their Own Lives To Hide Their Child

 

"Hebrews chapter 11, we have come as far as verse 23, to the parents of Moses, where it says, "By faith Moses, when he was born" now he didn't do anything by faith when he was born, he was born completely without faith, "By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king's commandment." Notice plural, both his mother and his father.  Your translation may say he was a handsome child, Carleton Heston looked good when he was little, I guess.  Your translation may say "he was no ordinary child", and all of us have a bunch of those, any kid we have at home, we look at him, we think "This is no ordinary child.'  "and they were not afraid of the king's commandment."  "By faith, Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king's commandment."  It's interesting that the Holy Spirit takes note of this obscure family in slavery, ah, God's link passing through this mom and dad who we know little of, that are enslaved under Pharaoh [Thutmose I] in Egypt.  His father's name is Amram, which means "the people of the highest."  His mother's name is Jakobed, which means "Jehovah's Glory."  Now it's interesting, because Moses is always marked by the glory of God, "let me see thy glory," it's the glory of God that's always an essential part of the life of Moses.  And one scholar I read said Jokabed, the mother of Moses is the first woman, the first person in the Bible with a compound name with Jehovah in it.  Jacob, Jakob was "heal-catcher," Jehovah's not in there.  Jakobed is Ja, Jehovah, Kobad, for "glory", "the glory of Jehovah" and it's interesting, because God had revealed himself to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as El Shaddai, the Almighty, and will reveal himself to Moses as Jehovah, and yet his mother's name, interestingly is Jakobed, or "the glory of Jehovah."  Now we don't know as Moses wrote the Pentateuch is that the name he gave her, we're not sure.  It seems that's her name, and Moses we're not sure what his name is.  [Mose is Egyptian for "son of", as in Thutmose, "son of Thut."  Since they didn't know who Moses was a son of, he was just called "Mose" in Egyptian, or as recorded in the Bible, Moses.]  Pharaoh's daughter names him Moses [of course, for the reasons I just explained], which means to be drawn out, and it's a Hebrew form of the Egyptian phrase to be drawn out [which may have denoted a son in Egyptian, not sure].  But we don't know what his mother named him.  So we really don't know Moses' name.  We just know what Pharaoh's daughter called him, which was good enough for God's history, and given it to us, Moses.  But we have these parents there.  Great exhortation for parents, it's a time when Pharaoh has given commandment to kill the firstborn sons of the children of Israel, who had grown now, in the area of Goshen, and were multiplying, God was blessing them, and he said that he would do that. This Pharaoh, it says a Pharaoh arose who knew not Joseph, and there's a whole study there with the Hyksos dynasties, and the order of the Pharaohs changing to a different dynasty [changing to the Theban dynasties which overthrew the previous Hyksos dynasties which knew of Joseph and were friendly with the children of Israel].  And the Pharaohs from the lower part of Egypt, which is called Upper Egypt, you're going in the other direction [toward central Africa, up the Nile away from the Med], coming back up to the area of Memphis and so forth, that these new Pharaoh's came in and thought, "If we're invaded by foreign enemies, the Israelites may fight on their side,' so they subjected them to slavery, and they began to give edict to slaughter the firstborn sons. [Comment:  For a good history of this period in time, see, http://www.unityinchrist.com/lamb/exodus1.html]  Now, these Hebrew midwives, Puah and Shiphrah, ah, not wanting to kill, and this is before the law is given, they know that the killing of these babies is wrong, by conscience, by truth.  Not wanting to kill the babies, telling the Pharaoh's servant, "Hey, these Israelite women are not like the Egyptian women, you know the Egyptian women, with the makeup, they lay around, they watch TV, they take hours to deliver.  These Hebrew women, they're out with the straw, the bricks, they're working, they're in shape, they break water and pop "em out like that!  By the time we get there the babies are born, they're hidden,' they give these excuses.  Well Jakobed gives birth to this baby boy, and it says they hide him for three months, and at that point they can no longer hide him, and probably because the baby's becoming noisier, screaming.  So, he already has an older sister, Miriam [Hebrew for Mary] and an older brother named Aaron by the time this edict is given.  And it seems like she's ten and Aaron's about 8-years-old at this point in time.  So, this late-comer, Moshe, comes into the picture.  And they take this little basket of bulrushes and they put tar and pitch on it, and put Moses in there and set him out in to the river to sustain his life.  Just looking at him, knowing that there was something, in fact, an interesting word here, "a proper child" has the idea "marked by God."  There was something about his personality, something about the baby that the parents, every parent should sense that about their kids.  But they put him out to drift in the river [the Nile].  Now Miriam goes and follows this little basket thing that's floating downriver, and of course, coincidence, right?  Pharaoh's daughter's out there [the rabbis have a saying, "that with God there is no such thing as coincidence."], taking a bath, just coincidence.  And she finds this little basket, and opens it up, and it says, "the baby wept, and she had compassion.'  Now, here's the history of the world, the future of the Messiah, all of our history and destiny.  You know, if she had opened it up and that little baby had went "Mine!', she'd probably just sent it right back out into the river again.  [laughter]  But she opened it up, and it says he's crying, weeping with tears, and she has compassion on the baby [female bonding, and this by the way was Princess Hatshetsup, herself about 8 years old, who would become the most powerful female Pharaoh in Egyptian history, see that link for the history].  And as she looks at the baby, Miriam runs up and says "Hey, do you want me to have,' because Pharaoh's daughter says, "This is one of the Hebrew babies,' so Miriam, just so happens along, and says "Do you want me to have one of Israelite, the Hebrew women nurse that baby for you?' and she says "Go, just go find someone.'  Miriam goes and gets her mom, Jakobed, who gets the job and gets paid by Pharaoh's daughter to nurse her own son until he's weaned, somewhere by the age of three and four years old, and here's God intervening.  Satan is the one whose working through Pharaoh.  Satan is trying to destroy the Messianic line, trying to destroy the work of God on the earth that he recognizes so well.  God overriding circumstances with his sovereignty, ends up rather having Pharaoh's household be the one who pays for the support of the baby, pays for his own mother to nurse him, and then she [Jakobed] feeds him, "buys him sneakers, raises him in Egypt, all using Pharaoh's Egyptian money, raised him and took care of him.'  Somewhere between 3 and 4, no doubt by the time Moses is weaned, what in the world took place in those three to four years?  What was sown into the heart of a 3 to 4 year old, so that by the time he becomes of age, becomes a man, there's something burning in his heart about the Living God of Israel?---About Egypt?---About deliverance?  Just think what was sown into his heart when he was a little child.  The Holy Spirit takes note of this here, and records this for us.  The course of a nation, the course of the world is set by two obscure parents who jeopardized their own lives to hide their child from Egypt and the world.  I wonder how many of us go to the same extremes trying to rescue our children from the world?---doing what we can.  And then God turning the tables, so here she has the opportunity, speaking to a 2-year-old, "Abba, Dadda,' you know.  "Jesus, say Jesus,' you know your little kids, just whatever it was, just enough sown into the heart of this little boy, so that by the time Pharaoh's daughter takes him, and he's raised in Egypt, there's something in there that the world can't take away, and that God can nurture, and God can minister to by his Spirit, and bring to fruition.  And again, never underestimate your responsibilities, parents, never underestimate what gets sown into the heart of a child, and never get frustrated, because it doesn't really come to fruition until he's 40 years old, until he's 40 years old.  "By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king's commandment." (verse 23)  So it was their hiding, their caring for this child, it says, was in faith, by faith they did that. 

 

Moses' Calling:  His First Forty Years, Learning That He Was Something

 

Now, we skip over 40 years to verse 24, it says, "By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;" (verses 24-25)  Stephen tells us this, in chapter 7 of the Book of Acts, he says, "In which time Moses was born, and was exceeding fair, and nourished up in his father's house three months:  and when he was cast out, Pharaoh's daughter took him up, and nourished him for her own son.  And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds.  And when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel." (verses 20-23)  Josephus tells us he [Moses] was commander-in-chief of the Egyptian armed forces, that he had a tremendous victory over the Ethiopians, and that this Pharaoh had no son, he [Moses] was in line to be Pharaoh.  [that's not entirely true.  Hatshetsup's husband was Thutmose II, who lived long enough to have a son through a secondary wife, not Hatshetsup, and this son was Thutmose III.  Hatshetsup had responsibility to raise Thutmose III and retain the rule over Egypt until Thutmose III came of age.  But she wanted Moses to have that position, so you can imagine the intense rivalry beginning to take place here.  It's toward the end of her life when Moses kills the two Egyptians, and she must have said, "I can no longer protect you, you'd better flee."  She died three years later from cancer, as discovered and diagnosed from the discovery of her mummified body.  See that article at http://www.unityinchrist.com/lamb/exodus1.html for the entire historic story.]  Everything was at his disposal.  And when we look at Moses, of course his life breaks up interestingly into the first 40 years, the second 40 years [following behind a flock of sheep], and the third 40 years.  From 1 to 40 in Egypt, learning that he was something.  From 40 to 80 in the back side of the desert taking care of sheep, learning he was nothing, and from 80 to 120 learning God could do something with nothing.  So it breaks up nicely.  But these first 40 years are important.  You know, some people kind of blow them off and say "Those are the carnal years, those are the years that he was in Egypt.'  I don't think so, not at all.  Those were the years, it says here in Hebrews, where he made a choice by faith.  He's chosen something.  And that choice had consequences, it looked like something.  God's sovereignty is involved in all of this, and his sovereignty is always involved.  People want to argue about God's sovereignty verses man's responsibility.  If you try to do away with God's sovereignty you're throwing the Bible out the window.  If you try to do away with man's responsibility, you're throwing the Bible out the window, they're both there. 

 

Moses Made A Choice, A Choice To Refuse Something, To Say No

 

It says here, Moses made a choice.  Well wait a minute, God put him in a position, right here it says Moses made a choice.  He chose something.  And what that choosing looked like was he refused something.  "he refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter,' and he made a choice, and the choice was "rather to suffer reproach for Christ, for the Messiah, to suffer affliction with the people of God, rather than enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season, esteeming the riches of Christ greater than the riches of the treasures of Egypt, for he had respect unto the recompense of reward,' he made a choice.  That choice was made because of those 40 years in Egypt.  You know, some people think that when someone is wealthy, they're devoid of character, of morality, of character.  That's wrong, we don't see any of that in the Bible.  Joseph and Daniel and David for many years, at least, and here Moses, great men of character, extremely rich.  But it was in that environment that Moses learned to see, he learned to see what was vanity, he learned to see what was empty.  He learned to see that the very thing that was blessing him, that had established him, was the same thing that had multitudes in bondage.  And often times, and how beautiful to see someone whose wealthy, who realizes what's in their life is a stewardship from God, and to understand that it's not fulfilling [i.e money in and of itself is not fulfilling].  And it's easy for people that are less fortunate to point their finger at somebody rich, and call them hoy-polouy, spoiled, and act like they're devoid of character.  But the truth is, they're coveting after the very thing the wealthy people have learned the true importance of.  And Moses made those choices.  He was in line to be heir of Egypt, the throne was his.  Every luxury in Egypt was his, every pleasure in Egypt was his, all of the power.  We're not talking about a state, we're not talking about a governor, we're talking about the most powerful leader in the world.  And you didn't have to deal with a Congress and a Senate, this was a monarchy, all of the power would have been in his own hands, and he would have been worshipped as god, as a god.  And he could have had anything that he wanted.  And he measured all of that, and he realized it wasn't everything that other people think it is, "because here I am sitting at the top of the pile, and I see the emptiness of it.'  And he learned to do something very important.  He learned to say "No."  It says, "By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter;" (verse 24)      "refused" very important word.  "he refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter" and he made a choice, choosing.  When you make a choice, you refuse something.  He made a choice, and he learned to say "no."  Some of us spend our whole lives learning to say "no."  And he had that, he had that level of character.  It was no small thing, what he said no to.  It was no small thing, it was more than you and I will ever have opportunity to say no to.  He didn't have a New Testament, he didn't have an Old Testament.  He never saw the movie, The Ten Commandments, didn't know who Carleton Heston was.  He didn't have all of the advantages of Sunday-school, you know, the way many of us have been raised in the church.  And without all of that advantage, with the little that he had from Amram and Jakobed, and the ministry of the Holy Spirit in his life, he was honest enough, and he had enough integrity to look around at the world he lived in, and say "no, I don't want it, it isn't all it's cracked up to be, and there are multitudes of people enslaved by it, and it doesn't deliver anything, it doesn't give anything.'  And it says, "choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;" (verse 25)  Notice, "the pleasures of sin for a season."  How do you do that?  How do you make that choice?  Well I think Moses saw that there were two worlds, there were two paths, and there were two destinations.  He had a conviction in his heart that there was something greater than just the physical world that was all at his disposal.  He had something in his heart, that conviction, that there was more than just the path to the throne, and the path that seemed so obvious, and the path that he was refusing.  And people were saying, "Moses, you're outa your mind!  You got your PhD in Egyptology, the whole world's at your fingertips, and you're talking about What!?, the people of God, your talking about suffering? What in the world, you're outa your mind!'  No doubt, you probably have relatives and friends that have said some similar things to you, "You're on fire for what!? You read what!? You believe what!?  You go where!?  That place is a cult, we heard about that.  You'd rather serve Christ than what?  Everything's at your fingertips, you have so much potential, and you made this decision?  You're outa your mind!'  All of that is lesser than the pressure he had on him.  But he understood there were two worlds, and he understood that there were two paths, and he understood there were two destinations.  And you know, as believers, we constantly have to make that choice.  Yea, God is sovereign, but we still have to choose.  And as unbelievers, some of you need to make that choice.  Some of you know in your heart, as you look at the world, you look at the emptiness and the phoniness, you look at how it's destroying your friends, you look at the very thing you want to find success in is enslaving so many.  And tonight, maybe tonight is the night that you can make a choice.  Well how do we make that choice?  Well it tells us in verse 26 how Moses made the choice.  Some people are going to think you're crazy, but there's a basis for the choice. 

 

How Do We Choose?  You Have To Lay Out The Spreadsheet, You Have to Measure The Liabilities And Assets Within Your Hand

 

It says here in verse 26, "esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt:  for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward."   What did he do?  "Esteeming" King James says, your translation might say "Accounting," that's the idea.  He put out the spreadsheet in front of him, and examined all the assets and all the liabilities of his choice.  He examined the present, he had his hand on the throne and the sceptre of Egypt.  And not only this, he knew sin was pleasurable.  I mean, what was it like, we're not told, when he was seventeen and his dad gave him the keys to the chariot, what was he like?  Was he a rascal for awhile, in Egypt?  You know in the hieroglyphics we found record that most of the Pharaohs had their own brew-masters, they drank beer, it was warm, but they drank beer.  One of the hieroglyphics in Egypt, it was a professor from one of the universities said, "My students are no good, all they do is carouse and drink beer," nothing's changed.  Moses was embroiled in that to some degree, what was he like?  He knew sin was pleasurable.  Sin is pleasurable, don't let anybody kid you.  You know, if you don't know Christ, you're not a believer, hey, we're not stupid.  Sin is pleasurable.  Sin feels good.  Sin tastes good, it is pleasurable.  That's why the Bible warns us about sin.  [How does the Bible define sin?  The apostle John gave us the definition in 1st John 3:4, "Sin is the transgression of the law."  Which law?  Only one law of God existed when John wrote, the Old Testament Law of God.  God has defined sin for us so we'd know.]  The Bible doesn't warn us about beating our forehead with a ballpeen hammer.  "Look out, you're going to wake up in the morning, and you're  just going to feel like slamming your head for awhile, you know, it feels so good.  Don't eat carpet tacks,' the Bible doesn't say that, "You know, you like the way they feel when you chew them and swallow them,' no, no, no, no, the Bible warns about sin, because the Bible's not stupid, the Bible knows sin is pleasurable, and it is pleasurable.  You know, if that's what you want, we can't provide it.  It's not on the menu here at church.  If you want it, don't come up here to pick up girls, don't come here to sell drugs---you want that?  Go on out there, be a good sinner, don't be a funky sinner, going to church on Sunday nights and Wednesdays nights or Sunday, be a real sinner, sin like a man!  [laughter]  Go on out there and sin till your sick of it.  Do it right, do something right.  But when you're tired of that, and you want the truth, you want the love of Jesus, you want forgiveness, you want a new start, we'll still be here.  You're welcome.  We want you to come.  But we want you to choose.  And it's a hard choice.  Because you have to lay out the spreadsheet, and you have to measure the liabilities and the assets that are within your hand.  Because you can go sin tonight, and sin is pleasurable.  Moses examined his present, esteeming, it says, made estimations.  He examined his past, the last 40 years in Egypt, but more importantly he measured the future, he accounted, laid out the spreadsheet, looked at eternity.  And he said, "sin is pleasurable for a season, but what will I do when it's all done?  What frame of mind am I going to be in when I draw my last breath?  If I get killed in a chariot, drunken chariot race tonight, where am I going to spend eternity?'  Esteeming, accounting, and on the basis of his esteeming and accounting he made a choice, and the choice was refusing.  God doesn't want us to be mindless.  You know, people say that, "You know, you're one of those Bible-thumpers, you're mindless.'  No, the Bible doesn't know anything about that.  He wants us to use our intellects and use our minds, and measure things out.  Moses, it says here "esteeming the reproach of Messiah greater riches than the treasures in Egypt:" why? "for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward."  He made a choice.  He knew that in the final analysis, when he measured his destination, "Where does this all end up?  Sin is pleasurable, but where's it end?'  That's the question, where does it end? (cf. Romans 6:23)  Where does it take you?  And when he measured things against eternity, against the Living God that somehow he knew about, about promises made by this Living God to this people of Israel, that somehow my blood is the blood that's in their veins, that somehow I'm part of this, and he knew it in his heart.  And he decided to become part of it.  You know, it's interesting, I watched the Olympics, I'm enjoying it, but you know, you watch those kids in the gymnastic team, and when one kid messes up, it effects the whole team, it effects their overall score.  And you see how important it is, the contribution of one person, the contribution of one set of parents, Amram and Jakobed.  That's what it says here at the end of this chapter, you know, that we're running the race, "let us lay aside every sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us." (Hebrews 12:1b) we are part of something, and it's a team-sport.  If you live in compromise and call yourself a Christian, you effect and infect the rest of us.  If you stand up for Christ, and say "You know what, I'm going to refuse that, I'm going to live for Jesus, I want what I infect people with, Lord, to be something that will glorify you in the day when I stand in your presence."  Hey, man, that's the kind of people I want sitting around me.  That's the kind of people I want giving me counsel, that are around my kids, my grandkids some day when they come.  I'm thankful for every sinner that comes.  I'm thankful for every broken life that the Holy Spirit drags in here.  Because that was me.  To come and say "Lord, if you're there, and you love me, you'll forgive me,' I want that, I'm thankful for that.  But then, the Lord wants you to grow, his Word wants you to grow, the Holy Spirit wants you to grow, to mature, to take everything he's put at your disposal and be strong in the faith, not to be a wimp, to be strong, to go for the gold, run the race, to lay out the spreadsheet, to take account, and to realize what's at the finish line, and what finish line you want to cross and what finish line you don't want to cross.  And as Paul says, "how are we going to run our race? people in this world, they subject themselves to all kinds of discipline, all kinds of pain, all kinds of practice, for years and years and years, for a laurel wreath,' he says, at the Olympic Games, "for a thing that goes on their head.' he said, "But for you and I, it's for an unfading crown in the end.'  And Moses is a great example of that. 

 

Moses' 2nd Forty Years: Following Sheep, Learning He Was Nothing

 

Now, he made a choice.  That wasn't the end.  It took him 40 years to get that far.  He decided to deliver Israel.  So he saw an Egyptian beating up one of his fellow Israelites, and killed him. And he expected to hear God say "Thanks, Moses, we're on our way now, there's only millions of them left.'  And it says in Acts 7 that he thought that the children of Israel should have realized that he was the deliverer.  Something was cooking in his heart.  But he's going to deliver like he delivered Egypt with the Ethiopians, he's going to deliver with strength.  Now he's made the right choice, he's aimed his life in the right direction, and he's going to do it the rest of the way in his own flesh (power), "I'm going to huff and puff and blow this house down, I'm going to do it.' [Don't forget who and what Moses was, right up to this point in time, one of the commanding generals of the Egyptian army.  How would Bull Halsey or Chesty Puller have reacted in Moses' place? no differently, it would have been under their own steam, based on who they were, a fearless Naval admiral and a fearless Marine Corps general, going after the enemy.  That's part of the equation here, as to why Moses killed this Egyptian, "an enemy of his people."]  Next day, two Israelites are arguing, he comes to them and says "Hey, why are you hitting your brother?' and they say, "Are you going to kill us, like you killed that Egyptian yesterday?'  And it says he took off.  [Historically, at this point in time, Hatshetsup had three years to live, she was very ill.  She knew Moses had renounced his claim to the throne, even through these actions.  She probably advised him to flee, as Thutmose III had now assumed the throne, or would soon, and he'd be toast.  So he fled, and she died three years later, according to Egyptian records, and lining up perfectly with the dates for Moses life and the Exodus in 1446BC]  He ran, he fled.  And he has a new beginning, new career, shepherd, 40 years on the backside of the desert, keeping the flocks of Jethro.  From the Prince of Egypt, ready to be Pharaoh, to keeping sheep on the backside of the desert.  Now here's where a whole different part of his training began.  He's surrendered now, he's crushed, he's failed.  "That's it, I ain't delivering anybody else, God, no matter what you say.'  He's moping around out in the desert.  And I'm sure at this point in time he thinks the reproach of Christ, like it says here, he thinks the reproach of Christ is keeping flocks on the backside of the desert.  And for 40 years, 40 years, with the sheep, "baaah, baaah,' 40 years.  It's interesting, the Hebrew word for "desert" means "to speak."  And sometimes it's in that quiet place where we learn to hear something of God.  40 years in the desert, hum-drum. 

 

Moses' Last Forty Years: His Next New-Beginning, Learning How God Could Do Something With Nothing

 

Of course, one day he sees a bush on fire.  And that's like HBO, when you're out in the desert for 40 years keeping sheep, it's the most exciting thing he'd seen in a decade.  "Look!'  "baaah, baah,'  "You see it too, there's a bush on fire over there.  Get a close-up of that.'  Now as he got closer, he realized it was no ordinary bush, it knew his name, "Moses, Moses,' [he laughs] "take thy shoes from off thy feet, the place where you stand is holy ground.'  So then you know now it's a very unusual day [and bush], and the LORD's presence there, speaking to him.  Now he's ready.  Now that he's shepherded the flocks of Jethro for 40 years he's ready to shepherd the flock of God for the next 40 years through the wilderness.  "Alright, Moses, I want you to go.'  "Who am I, LORD, that I should go?'  The Lord says "It doesn't really matter, never mind who you are, I didn't tell you to go without me, go there and tell them that I sent you.'  "Who are you?  Who should I tell them sent me?'  "Tell them I AM that I AM,'  "Well, behold, LORD,' now imagine this, first of all, who argues with a bush?  He never saw the movie, ok?  Now he says "Behold,' now that means, "consider", "I want you to think about this."  What he's saying to the burning bush, "Behold, did you ever think about this,' he says to the burning bush, "They're not gonna believe me.  They're not gonna listen to me.'  God finally says to him, "Moses, what's in your hand?'  "Of course, a rod,'  "Good, now we're making progress, you don't know who you are, you don't know who I am, let's leave the philosophical realm and enter into vegetable, plant, mineral, what's in your hand, a rod, good, now we're making progress.'  [think Moses spent too long in the desert?]  "Throw it down.'  It turns into a snake, and Moses takes off, running.  "Come back here!'  The Deliverer heads off into the desert, his shoes are still back there at the burning bush, he's scared to death of the snake, God's gotta call him back.  You know, he does the thing with the hand and the leprosy and all, and now he's ready at this point to go into Egypt.  It says finally at the end of that chapter (in Exodus) the rod of God, no longer his rod, it had been his rod for 40 years, now the rod of God is in his hand, and he goes into Egypt.  That brings us to verse 27 of Hebrews 11, where it says, "By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king:  for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible."  By faith he forsook Egypt.  Now he forsook Egypt two times.  He forsook Egypt at 40 years old, as a failed deliverer, and he forsook Egypt at 80 years old, in fact, as the Deliverer.  It says here that "he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king"  Well, we know that it tells us here in Exodus chapter 2, "And he said," now an Israelite's talking to him, saying, "Who made thee a prince and a judge over us?  Intendest thou to kill me, as thou killedst the Egyptian?" this is in Exodus chapter 2, verses 14-15, "And Moses feared, and said, Surely this thing is known.  Now when Pharaoh heard this thing [and this would have been Thutmose III] he sought to slay Moses.  But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian: and he sat down by a well."  So, the context is the second time that he forsook Egypt, and that is with the children of Israel following him.  The first time he forsook Egypt, he did fear, he was afraid, and he fled.  This forsaking of Egypt, ultimately, it says, "he forsook Egypt," that word means "once and for all," he left it behind, "not fearing the wrath of the king:  for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible" not fearing Pharaoh.  There have been a lot of changes by then.  He had seen the hand of God in a remarkable way.  He had been trained in all of the wisdom of the world, all of the hieroglyphics, all of the science of Egypt, all of that.  But none of that was satisfactory to turn a rod into snake, or turn a river into blood, or call down hail from heaven, that was a whole different school he had to go to, to learn those things, and to be that quiet before God to hear the Lord.  And God now sends him back to Egypt.  And you know, they didn't receive him, they didn't believe him, he angered Pharaoh so that he increased the tally of bricks and made them gather their own straw, and the children of Israel were angry at him and Aaron, a remarkable scene.  But it says he's doing this by faith.  And it will be by faith ultimately, it says, he forsakes Egypt, that's once and for all, leading two to three million people out into the desert.  Now that's 1,500 tons of food a day, minimum to sustain about 2 million people.  I read one article that said if they ate the way American's ate, it would take 4,000 tons a day to feed them.  But considering their culture, it only took 1,500 tons a day to feed them.  It took 11 million gallons of water a day.  Think of the logistics, if you've worked in the military, you've worked in logistics somewhere, supporting 2 million people in the wilderness in the desert.  11 million gallons a day, that's not for a slip "n slide, or for a built-in pool, that's enough to brush your teeth, to cook something, to wash your face, not enough to shower [diesel-boat submarine sailors are used to that type of water rationing], not enough to take a bath, that's enough to sustain between 2 and 3 million people per day, 11 million gallons of water a day.  No wonder it says it was by faith he forsook Egypt.

 

Moses Had Faith That Was Long-Lived, An Enduring Faith

 

"for he endured" it says, "as seeing him who is invisible."  Very interesting, "he endured", the Greek word is "long-living."  Moses had a faith that was a "long-living" faith, it was an enduring faith.  It would keep him going for 40 years in the wilderness, with 2 million complaining people.  It wasn't a perfect faith, it was a long-lived faith, it says, enduring.  No sooner had he got them through the Red Sea, or even before the Red Sea, remember Edward G. Robinson said, "Oh Moses, you brought us out of here to die, didn't ya.'  I mean, they get to the other side of the Red Sea, you'd think that would straighten anybody out, walls of water, all that stuff, and we'll get there next week, the Lord willing, and they're complaining, "You brought us out here to kill us, there's no water, there's no food,' that went on and on.  Then, when they're supplied miraculously, when the manna begins to fall from heaven, tons of it a day, they're saying "We're tired of this manna.  Manna in the morning, manna in the evening, manna at suppertime, we've worn out our manna cookbook, we make mannacote, manna this, manna that.  We want corned beef, we want kosher pastrami, we want sandwiches, remember in Egypt we had fish, we had garlic, we had leeks.'  Don't people have a selective memory?  People have a selective memory.  When they're in the world, when they're under Pharaoh, they're weeping, their backs are loaded with scars, they're being whipped, they're being beaten, they're weeping, their children are being killed, their families are being destroyed, and they come to Christ, and they're set free, they come out of Egypt, and then somehow along the line they start this "It was easier in Egypt, remember there was garlic there,' wait a minute, garlic!?  What about the tears and the suffering, we're out of our minds, we have this selective memory, when we want to remember something, we remember whatever we want to remember, we don't remember the truth.  And Moses led them for 40 years.  Kibroth-Hatavah, the graves of lust, "We want meat, we want meat,' God says, "That's it, I'm gonna give "em meat, not for a day, not for a week, but for a month, I'm gonna give them meat until it comes out of their nostrils.'  That's a lot of meat.  But he led them on from there.  Korah, those guys, rebelled against Moses.  But God led them on from there.  They turned away at Kedesh-Barnea, God led them on from there.  They got involved with immorality, under Balaam, and the women of Moab, but God led them on from there.  And Moses, to lead God's people, needed the kind of faith that was long-lived.  It wasn't perfect.  How did he endure, how did he go on?  I mean, some of you with your kids, they're sixteen, seventeen, they're turning to the world, "I've done my best.'  Look, Moses was 40 before he made that first decision.  If you've sown the Word of God into their lives, don't be completely discouraged.  Remember that even the best father has prodigals, that's why Jesus tells us the story of the prodigal son, because his Father in heaven has prodigals.  Remember that.  You see, because what we can do sometimes, is we can get like Moses, you know.  Yes, Moses' faith was long-lived, it wasn't a perfect faith.  The warning of those last 40 years is when he looses his temper, in Numbers chapter 20.  And the people, a whole generation has passed away, a new generation is there, and they're whining for the world, "We want this, we want that, we want this, we're thirsty, you brought us out here to die, just like you brought our parents out here to die.  We remember this in Egypt.'  Moses was thinking "You were never in Egypt!  How could you remember that?'  He goes to the Lord, and the Lord says, "Look, Moses, take the rod, speak to the rock, and I'll care for my people.'  Now this rod by now, had grown flowers, almonds, it comes out of the Tabernacle, remarkable, and Moses, instead of speaking to the rock, goes there, and starts smashing that rock [with that rod that had budded with all these almonds and flowers] "You rebels!  You don't care!' almonds and flowers are flying everywhere, he's beating the rock.  Now, water came forth from the rock.  Water came forth from the rock.  And God blessed his gripy complainy people, and even their flocks and their herds.  And God didn't punish the people because his servant acted wrongly, but what he said to Moses, was "Moses, you're not going to enter into the land now, because you didn't sanctify me in the hearts of the people.'  Sanctify means to set aside, to set apart.  And the whole beautiful type of that rock, years and years before that, Moses smote that same rock, and it says the Angel of the LORD went before him and stood upon that rock, Jesus.  Paul tells us "that Rock that followed them was Christ,' 1st Corinthians chapter 10.  That Jesus himself led Moses to that rock years before, and Jesus stood on the rock, and Moses struck right through Christ and hit that rock, and when he hit it water began to gush forth, and they were preserved in the wilderness, just as you and I are, by the Rock of Ages, who was smitten for us, Jesus Christ.  And now if you and I are sinning and complaining and griping and falling away, Jesus doesn't have to be crucified again, it says "he's faithful and just to forgive us, if we'll confess, and we'll go to him, and we'll ask forgiveness.'  Moses only had to speak to the rock, because it was already smitten.  Now look, I want to cut him some slack, because he's 120 years old, and when you're 120 you might have a bad day.  "Well you know, it seems unfair, just because he lost his temper one time, he didn't get into the Promise Land,' he get's in on the Mount of Transfiguration with Elijah, he gets in.  And you'll see him there, he'll meet us there, he gets in.  [He'll also be rising in the 1st resurrection to immortality with all the other saints, and come back to earth with Jesus Christ, to rule with him during the Millennial Kingdom of God, not just ruling over Israel, but over the entire world with Christ.  Moses will be a top ruler in that Kingdom of God now established on earth, cf. Isaiah 2:2-4; 11:3-16).  But the warning is, you know, here he has a faith that is long-lived. 

 

Moses' Life Was A Series Of New-Beginnings

 

This is why he had to be long-lived, when he looked back at his own life, his life was a series of new beginnings.  Handed over to Pharaoh's daughter as a child.  And at 40 years old, who knows what sin was in his life up to that point, but he finally makes a decision that the pleasures of sin are not worth it, and Moses chooses to suffer affliction with the people of God.  Then he blows it, he murders somebody, he does it the wrong way.  And he gets driven out into Midian, and it's a new beginning again.  And it takes him 40 years to learn the lesson that God wants to teach him there.  And then when God comes and reveals himself to Moses, Moses doesn't want to go, "Don't send me, they won't listen.'  God's gotta be thinking, "Here I AM, in my glory, in miraculous form, standing in front of this knuckle-head, and he's arguing with me.'  "Take off the shoes from off your feet, because the place where you stand is holy ground, and put your hand over your mouth,' he should have said.  And then finally Moses says "Well, I can't talk.'  Well it says he was mighty in deed and speech it told us in Acts 7, but he's given up, he's surrendered, he's defeated by then.  And God says, "Moses, I made the mouth, what do you mean you can't talk, I understand how mouths work.'  "Mine doesn't work.'  "You have a brother, don't you?'  "Yea.'  "Can he talk?'  "He can talk.'  "Go get him, he'll be the mouth.'  "I'll whisper in your ear, you'll whisper in his ear, and you can let him talk, but the Program's going forward from here.'  But it was a new beginning again.  He wasn't perfect.  And then into the wilderness, that was another new beginning, they were finally delivered, they came out.  And Moses needed to look back at his own life, and remember that his own life, and your life, my life, is a series of new beginnings.  And it better be, I'm looking for one that's deeper, that's more profound, that God would grant to me a new hunger for his Word, a new brokenness, a new understanding of his grace.  And though our faith is long-lived, sometimes it is not perfect, and we can get angry at God's people, and we can get frustrated, "They're griping, they're complaining, they're carnal, they want to go back to Egypt,' so we end up smashing something, and it's not a representation of God.  He's already paid the price.  He said "It is finished, Tutelisti.'  And I think the warning there, and Moses needed to remember, there's a series of new beginnings.  If you're in sin tonight, there's provision.  You know, there isn't provision to play with it, and go on and just think "I can just live in fornication, I can live in sexual sin, I can live with pornography, I can just spend the family money at this casino,' there isn't provision just to go on in sin, God doesn't endorse sin.  But God's made provision that anybody who comes to him in genuineness, and says "I'm worn out, I surrender, I've been blowing it, I've taken account again, I've laid out the spreadsheet, I've looked at the assets and the liabilities, the whole thing, I have been blowing it, Lord Jesus would you forgive me afresh, would you give me a new beginning?'  snap! it is there, that's what the Bible teaches.  If we continue in sin, he chastens us.  We can't win that wrestling match.  He loves us too much to let us do that.  He will break us down.  Because a broken and a contrite spirit is always, it says, an acceptable sacrifice before the Lord.  But there's a way to do it that's much easier.  Moses, first thing we see, is he refused.  It's important, there's certain things in all of our lives we need to refuse.  How do we do that?  By choice.  God's given us the ability to choose.  You're a free moral agent, you can make a choice.  His sovereignty surrounds you.  It works all around your life.  But you can choose.  How do you make that choice?  You've got to take inventory.  "Esteeming the reproach of Christ more valuable than living in the pleasures of sin for a season, because you've put a recompense on the estimate of reward,' you look at the finish line, and you say, that's where I want to cross, and when I cross the finish line, what I want to hear is, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant,' that's what I want to hear.  I don't want to hear, "Throw another one in the fire.'  Look, "faith, the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.' 

 

Where Are You In Your Life Right Now?

 

Where are you tonight as a believer?  I mean, does it need to be as it does for me, always a challenge to take fresh inventory? saying "OK Lord, we're looking, being reminded is a great thing, Lord, and I see that you've given me this ability to choose, there are some things I need to refuse, things I need to estimate all of this again, and esteem the things that are right, and I'm doing that Lord.'  Are you here tonight, not knowing if any of this is true?  All you've had in your life is religion, never relationship, or maybe you've just never had anything.  And you need to think, "Is God real?'  We know this, life and death is real.  We know this, we're wearing out, or there wouldn't be all these TV shows for exercise machines, carrot juicers, nips and tucks, all this stuff, you know.  So the whole world's in denial.  If you don't know where you're going to spend eternity, when you close your eyes in this world, and you take your last breath, you can know that before you leave tonight.  If you'll make your way up here after the service, we'd love to pray with you, give you a Bible, some literature to read, you can make the choice.  God is going to let you choose.  Moses made a choice.  You can choose.  "Well if God's a God of love, how can he send people to hell,' no, no, no, no, listen, there's two doors, you take inventory.  One door goes to heaven [or into the Kingdom of God and eternal life], you go through that door because you're washed in the blood of Jesus Christ, someone else has died in your place so that you can be forgiven.  You choose.  That door's there.  Or there's another door, that leads to outer darkness, eternal suffering. That's what the Bible says. [Comment:  Different parts of the Body of Christ have differing beliefs about that other door.  For some other takes on it, see http://www.unityinchrist.com/plaintruth/battle.htm]  People who refuse God, they refuse his love, they refuse his forgiveness, he's given you the ability to choose, he's not going to override that.  If you say "I don't want Jesus Christ, I don't want forgiveness, I don't care what there is, I'm going to give the man upstairs a piece of my mind,' you need to get into your right mind is what you need to do.  But if you refuse Christ, the Bible calls that the unpardonable sin.  Then there's no means of forgiveness.  A substitute has died in your place.  "God's a God of love, how can he send people to hell?' he doesn't send, he's telling you tonight you can make your reservation.  One door leads to heaven [the kingdom of God and eternal life], to forgiveness, to light, to hope, to a future, the other one leads to stepping, you know, you take your last breath, and step into the darkness without God.  Choose, it's your choice.  [transcript of a connective expository sermon on Hebrews 11:23-27, given by Pastor Joe Focht, Calvary Chapel of Philadelphia, 13500 Philmont Avenue, Philadelphia, PA  19116]

 

related links:            

 

For a very interesting study about the Egyptian dynasties leading up to and through the time of Moses, see,

http://www.unityinchrist.com/lamb/exodus1.html

 

How do you ask Jesus into your life, become a believer, refusing what this world offers, esteeming what God offers as being far more valuable?  See,

http://www.unityinchrist.com/prophecies/2ndcoming_4.htm and scroll to the paragraph title "How To Become A Christian" and read from there down.  Also see,

 

http://www.unityinchrist.com/baptism/What%20is%20Baptism.htm

 

 

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