This month, we are using this definition for faith:
Biblical faith is confidence in God’s character and assurance about what we do not see.
We have learned that faith has a by-product of affecting how we choose to live our lives. Because it determines what we consider to be right or wrong, faith also leads us to live with righteousness.
We then, as a local church of believers, as a family-focused on God… we encourage one another to move forward with faith and in the pursuit of righteousness.
Our outward actions are affected by our inner decision to put our faith in Jesus Christ. Therefore, the writer of James reminds us, in James 2:24
24 You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.
Faith, plainly put, means we move forward and act although we do not know the outcomes. We have confidence in God’s character and assurance about what we do not see… and it changes, or it should change, the way we live our lives.
As we have been reading through the examples of faith listed in Hebrews 11, we’ve touched on some of the biggest names in the Old Testament.
Today, we will look at Moses.
Moses looms large over all of the Bible.
- It is through Moses the people of Israel are set free of their captivity under Egypt.
- It is through Moses they become a nation in search of the promised land.
- It is through Moses that the Law is given.
In fact, the first five books of the Bible are attributed to Moses.
Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy… they are known as the Torah or the Pentateuch.
Moses is not just found in the Old Testament writings. He is referenced often in the New Testament. Moses is mentioned often in connection with the Law and his name is sometimes evoked as a substitute for the Old Testament legality that existed during Jesus’ ministry on Earth. You get the sense that his name is evoked synonomously with what is right and legal for the Jewish people.
Now, if you don’t know the full story of Moses, that’s ok. We have a pretty concise summary in our text today.
Turn with me to Hebrews 11:23… here we read a summary of Moses…
23 By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.
24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 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. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible. 28 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.
29 By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned.
Of course, if you want the full story of Moses, you’ll have to read the Book of Exodus.
For today, I want us to consider this question:
How is Moses an example of faith for us today?
Well, one way we could answer that is to imagine Moses’ answers to these three questions that we’ve been wrestling with all month long:
- What are you doing to grow in your faith this year?
- How will you serve our community?
- What will (might) God do through you?
Depending on when you asked him, Moses could answer these questions in different ways.
He could have said anything from:
– trying to survive,
– protesting before the Pharoah,
– or leading these stubborn people towards the Promised Land…
– trying to keep the people fed, keep the watered…
– teach them to live…
– show them God’s goodness…
– help them be set apart from this world…
– discover God…
– resist evil.
In fact, if we consider these questions seriously, we may likely answer them for Moses easier than for ourselves… because we have hindsight and a written record of what happened.
But… keep in mind… For Moses, when he was alive, the question “What might God do through you?” was still unknown as he was living his life.
How our lives will turn out is unknown too. The future is unknown and that is why we wrestle with it by faith… and with hope.
What do we learn about faith by studying Moses’ example?
Well, there are at least three things I’d like to point you to today.
Three ways Moses is an example of moving forward by faith…
- Moses moves forward…
- By faith… despite his doubts
In the Exodus story, when God first calls Moses to lead the people, Moses doubts his own ability to be a representative of God. However, he moves forward and finds that God gives him the words he needs at the right time.
We can take comfort in this knowing our doubts do not negate our ability to be used by God.
- Moses moves forward…
- By faith… regardless of risks
Moses, as I pointed out at the beginning, stands before a person who considers himself to be a god-king, the Pharoah. Moses had every reason to expect nothing less than a death sentence for his bold proclamations from the Lord. However, Moses moves forward by faith and he does it despite the risks.
For us, though we do not anticipate facing the same risks as Moses, we can know God will protect us when we are being His witnesses… there is nothing on this Earth that can ever separate us from God’s eternal love, grace, and mercy… and that emboldens us to speak His truth in love when given an opportunity.
Now, it doesn’t mean you get to blast people with snarky, gossip-laced comments on social media… but, it does mean you can have assurance to stand up for Jesus without fear. There are far worse things that can happen to us than to be canceled by our culture for sharing a Bible verse.
Moses faces a greater risk and we see, by faith, God equips him with the courage he needs.
- Moses moves forward…
- By faith… future unknown
Moses leads the people through the plaques as they are unleashed on Egypt.
Each one of these God delivered disasters is progressively worse.
Each plaque shows the Egyptian gods to be inferior and false.
As Moses leads through these omens, and eventually guides the entire nation into the wilderness, he does it with one thing for certain… that God is faithful and that His hope is in God alone.
He leads forward even though his future is unknown.
Then, what do we see at the end? Does Moses lead to a future bright shiny house on the hill or a golden castle in a land flowing with milk and honey?
In fact, Moses never even gets to cross into the Promised Land. He never sees the promised future of his nation rooted in the land God has given them. Moses dies before they cross the Jordan River. He goes home just as the nation of Israel is to step into their homeland… because he moved forward with faith regardless of what his circumstances were.
Moses, therefore, shows us that faith moves forward and that people of faith set an example of following God even when it doesn’t make sense on paper. Even when it might cost us everything. Even when the end result of our faith is only to help someone else or to push forward the next generation to experience the God of all creation.
Moses moving forward by faith reminds us that faith is not about us… it is about God… and experiencing Him until we see His glory!