Paul Kretzmann Commentary - Hebrews 11:23 - 11:29

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Paul Kretzmann Commentary - Hebrews 11:23 - 11:29

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This Chapter Verse Commentaries:

The example of Moses:

v. 23. 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.

v. 24. By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter,

v. 25. choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;

v. 26. esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt, for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.

v. 27. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing Him who is invisible.

v. 28. Through faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the first-born should touch them.

v. 29. By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land; which the Egyptians as saying to do, were drowned.

The first incident from the history of Moses is that which illustrates the faith of his parents: By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw that the child was well formed, and they did not fear the order of the king. Exo_2:2. Moses was born at the time when a new dynasty had arisen in Egypt, and Pharaoh the king had, for political reasons, given orders that all male children among the children of Israel should be thrown into the Nile to die. But the parents of Moses, having in mind always the promise of deliverance out of Egypt, which was connected with the Messianic promise, and seeing that their new-born son seemed to be intelligent as well as well formed, defied the command of the king, Jochebed, the mother of Moses, therefore kept him at home for three months, managing to conceal him from the many spies of Pharaoh. Eventually the life of Moses was preserved in a miraculous manner. But this act of the parents of Moses was an act of faith and a fine example for all times.

Moses proved himself worthy of such parents: By faith Moses, when he had reached adult age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, preferring rather to suffer with the people of God than to have the enjoyment of sin for a time, since he considered the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he steadily kept in view the reward. Exo_2:3-10. When the daughter of Pharaoh found the child Moses at the river's brink, his own mother became his nurse, thus receiving an opportunity to instruct him as to his descent. The instruction which Moses received in his early years was not driven out of his heart by all the subsequent studies which he took up as the adopted son of Pharaoh's daughter. When he had grown up, at about the age of forty years, Act_7:23, he renounced his adoption as the son of Pharaoh's daughter. He preferred to suffer ill usage and persecution with his countrymen rather than to have a short-lived enjoyment of sin. In his position as the adopted prince of the land he could have satisfied his highest ambitions and gratified all his finer tastes. But his stay at the Egyptian court brought him into daily contact with idolatry and sins of every description. His faith, which had been implanted in his heart through the teaching of his mother, caused him to hold that God would surely fulfill His promise to His people, even though the outlook at that time was rather gloomy. It would mean disgrace for him, so far as this world was concerned, but he was willing to bear this scorn, this reproach, since it came upon him for the sake of the Messiah, in whose coming he believed. Although he saw Christ only in hope, yet the riches which his faith brought him even so were immeasurably greater than everything that the civilization of Egypt was able to offer him instead. So he resolutely turned away from the glittering promises of this reward and steadfastly fixed his eyes upon, constantly directed them to, the reward which the promise of God held out to him. Such an action, to forsake an apparently certain enjoyment of all that this world has to offer for an uncertain and hazy promise, as the children of unbelief see it, that is the characteristic of faith to this day.

A second incident from the life of Moses is held up as an example: By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king, for he bided his time as seeing Him who is invisible. What Moses had openly confessed in renouncing his adoption as the son of Pharaoh's daughter he just as openly carried into execution by casting his lot with his own people. He not only left the court of Pharaoh and Egypt proper, but he also made his home in Goshen, where his countrymen lived. By faith he braved the king's wrath, because he saw an invisible monarch greater than Pharaoh on his side. He could afford, then, to bide his time, to wait till the Lord would show him what step to take next. That opportunity came after his flight to, and sojourn in, Midian: Through faith he celebrated the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, so that the destroyer might not touch their first-born sons. Here again it required simple faith and trust in the word of the Lord to make all the necessary preparations for the first Passover in the history of Israel. It was a case of simply obeying the order of the Lord concerning the lamb and the entire Passover meal, and especially the act of painting the door-posts and the upper lintel of the doors with the blood of the slaughtered animal, Exo_12:7-22. The Lord had stated that the object of this sprinkling, or painting, of blood was to keep the great destroying angel, the angel who, by God's command, went through the land of Egypt and slew the first-horn in every family, from the houses of the children of Israel. It certainly was no small act of faith which caused Moses confidently to promise the people security in the midst of the general destruction.

But just as the people, as a whole, had joined Moses in the keeping of the first Passover in the manner enjoined by God, so the Israelites showed their faith soon after: By faith they passed through the Red Sea as if on dry land, of which the Egyptians, making trial, were swallowed up, Exo_14:22-23; Exo_15:4. The Red Sea proved the first hard test of the faith of the Israelites after they had left Egypt. Before them was the sea, behind them was the army of Pharaoh; they seemed doomed to extinction. It was then that the Lord commanded the people through Moses to keep their peace, since they were going forward. In this promise they trusted, and when the sea opened up before them, the water forming solid walls on the right and on the left, they forgot the doubt and distrust with which they had been battling and boldly went forward under God's protecting arm, passing over to the other side in safety. The Egyptians, however, that had no such trust, but were enemies of the true God, challenged the sea by their pursuit of the Israelites, the result being that they all perished, being swallowed up as the water once more followed the law of nature. Again a victory of faith.