Faithlife Sermons

Moses: Courageous Faith (Heb 11:24-28)

Hebrews: Jesus is Better  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  44:39
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We see from the life of Moses that by faith he willingly chose suffering, that his trust in God superseded fear of man, and that by faith he obeyed God's command--all courageous actions that led to God's deliverance of his people. Enduring Faith leads to bold action because faith believes that relationship with God is a treasure far better than this world and this life, that God is to be feared above earthly kings, and that obedience to God's instruction is for His glory and our good.

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PRAY… and Intro:
Now before we read the text for study today involving Moses as an excellent model of faith, I want to remind us of what we’re reading. - When we come to these situations and individuals in Hebrews, a pretty good familiarity with OT revelation is assumed. (What is assumed that we understand about Moses, and How did we get here in Hebrews?) Remember:

Moses was a big deal.

- For his status in Jewish history and faith
My kids love to ask me who the big shot is (best basketball player, athlete, singer, etc.) - So Moses was even BIGGER in Jewish history than George Washington or Abraham Lincoln to the foundation and preservation of the United States of America.
- Moses’ status is alluded to in Hebrews (not just historically, but to Jewish faith and practice): Heb. 3:5
Hebrews 3:5 ESV
Now Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later,
BUT the real point of Hebrews becomes that Jesus is greater: Heb. 3:3 and Heb. 3:6
Hebrews 3:6 ESV
but Christ is faithful over God’s house as a son. And we are his house, if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.
Hebrews 3:3 ESV
For Jesus has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses—as much more glory as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself.

Jesus is GREATER.

… than the angels (created beings), than Moses, than the law, than the tabernacle, than the sacrificial system, than the Aaronic priesthood…
BC He fulfills the law, he becomes the better tabernacle by which we enter God’s presence, he serves as our perfect and permanent sacrifice for sin, he is the mediator of a new and better covenant, and is a high priest of a greater order and continues as our great high priest forever.
Moses was a big deal… Jesus is greater.
Ask yourself, in my life… Is Jesus > Me?
Is His glory > my glory? Do I put his purposes higher than my desires and earthly aims?
With that understanding in Hebrews, we transition forward to the Hall of Heroes Who Endured by Faith in chapter 11. More specifically we pass through Abel, Enoch, and Noah… to the faith of Abraham and Sarah, and then Abraham again and the Patriarchs after him (including Joseph). [finally we come to our text]
- Earlier Moses’ faithfulness as a servant was commended, and now he is set forth as a towering example (like Abraham) of righteousness that comes by faith and not by works of the law...
What triggers, or what is the beginning point, for Moses’ bold faith? (The faith of his parents, v. 23)
Now let’s read together Hebrews 11:24-28
Hebrews 11:24–28 ESV
By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward. By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible. By faith he kept the Passover and sprinkled the blood, so that the Destroyer of the firstborn might not touch them.
In Hebrews 11:24-28, Moses serves as a chief example that...

Enduring Faith Takes Courage

It takes a lot of courage to trust and obey God. It takes a lot of courage to be a Christian.
We see this truth here set forth in the life of Moses.
We see here three prominent ways that Moses’ faith demonstrates courage: 1. to willingly suffer, 2. trusting the unseen God over earthly rulers, 3. obeying Him in the face of adversity and without knowing everything or controlling anything. But the bold actions are shown to be rooted in enduring faith—faith that believes… 1. relationship with God is a treasure far better than this world and this life, 2. that God (as the unseen Ruler of all) is certainly to be feared above earthly kings, 3. and that obedience to God's instruction is ultimately for His glory and our good.
In vv. 24-26, we see...

Faith’s Courage to Willingly Suffer

The first of three courageous actions of Moses’ faith: courage to willingly suffer.
(24-26 understood as a whole) - By faith Moses refuses power and pleasure, choosing instead mistreatment for the sake of greater wealth—identifying with the Messiah’s people and the Messiah to gain God
What does Moses refuse and what does Moses choose?
What Moses refused (in 24-25)
(temporary) pleasures of sin *[the temporary experience of sinful enjoyment] - too often we foolishly settle for feeble and fleeting pleasure… at the cost of lasting joy in God (a growing relationship that results in spiritual maturity and strength and joy even for this life)
treasures of Egypt
[in essence - personal (short-term) gain]
Choosing instead… greater wealth/riches (but how does he get there - THROUGH suffering)
[Moses] to suffer with God’s people - How was Moses “choosing” suffering? - IDENTITY - identifying himself with God’s people -

F. F. Bruce thinks that our author read the Exodus narrative as Stephen did (Acts 7:23–25) and concludes that by ‘identifying himself with the downtrodden Israelites, Moses renounced the status he enjoyed in Egypt as a member of the royal household’.

His actions spoke for him, choosing to leave his privileged position, to be identified with the people of Israel, who were indeed suffering great oppression at the hands of Egypt (and had been for 400 years). - Apart from God, Moses was NOT picking the winning side. Why do it then? Bc God proves himself time and time again that His steadfast love and faithfulness can be trusted!
So v. 26 highlights identifying with Messiah’s people in their suffering. But it also answers Why? (Why did Moses do it? Why would WE do it?)! - He considered the reproach of Christ of greater wealth bc he was looking to “the reward”
By identifying himself with God’s people in suffering, the author explains, he also identified himself with suffering the Messiah’s reproach (who was harmed and rejected by his own) - reproach = unjust ridicule and disgrace; insult
Can fully identifying yourself with Jesus and with God’s people bring suffering in this life? - To one degree or another, it’s guaranteed: Paul to Timothy (2 Tim. 3:10-11a You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me... - 2 Tim. 3:12
2 Timothy 3:12 ESV
Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,
But also like Moses, by identifying in Christ’s humiliation we also identify ourselves in Christ’s reward
Moses refuses the pleasure of sin and earthly treasure, choosing instead to suffer with God’s people and be insulted with Christ. WHY?

Because Relationship with God is Better

Faith can willingly choose suffering if it is the path to greater riches in God. - Do you believe that your journey through suffering can produce the reward of spiritual growth and lasting joy in God?
For the author of Hebrews this example of Moses’ faith is aimed to be an encouragement to God’s people, (thousands?) of years later, to bolster their faith in suffering, from temptation to leave Christ and revert back to religion - So the author of Hebrews interprets the actions of Moses to loudly proclaim that
Christ is better and the reward he offers is FAR better—restored right relationship to God!!!
By faith we can have courage to willingly suffer in this life… in order to gain a priceless treasure = Relationship with God!
We might ask, and many of us probably do at one time or another: “If it takes so much courage to belong to and faithfully follow Jesus, then… Why Moses? Why me?”
(Bc) Faith’s reward is eternal fellowship with God.
But honestly, that’s the wrong question… or the right question but with the wrong tone. Instead of “why me God?” do I have to suffer for you and struggle in the Christian life, we SHOULD be saying “Why me God?,” Why have you graciously chosen me to be your child rather than allowing me to continue down my path of blindness and sin and death that leads to eternal destruction?
Hebrews and the NT everywhere emphasizes “BY GRACE through faith.” Grace makes all the difference. - The person who really understands and embraces the gospel understands God’s gracious choosing of us (from out of a world full of hearts that reject and rebel against him) to be His own.
Faith then is our response to grace, to God’s initiative: If God in his grace is inviting you now, respond in faith. - (I won’t put words in your mouth, but here’s an example.) “I know my sin will destroy me and that I’m already dead apart from you. I believe that Jesus came as God in the flesh, lived a perfect life, and died for my sin and rose again. I believe, and I want you to rescue me God and to make me your own. I commit myself fully into the hands of Jesus.”
When we do that, and then we commit ourselves to be fully devoted followers of Jesus, we keep growing in faith and trust him to give us the courage in this life to… love and live like Jesus, to sacrifice with renewed purpose and courage.

Will you sacrifice with renewed purpose and courage?

What stirs people to make great sacrifices?
(What do they see and how do they have courage?)
Love - John 15:13
Long view - 2 Tim. 2:3-7
Football coach on 4th down
How do we translate courageous faith to daily living?
Look beyond temporary pleasure and pain to the eternal treasure of restored relationship to God. - 2 Cor. 4:16-18
[Look beyond temporary pleasure and pain (worldly gain and earthly suffering) to the eternal treasure of restored relationship to God (which is eternal, now and forever)… to the love of God and the goal of sharing his love (manifest supremely in the gospel of Jesus) - 2 Cor. 4:16-18]
2 Corinthians 4:16–18 ESV
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
Scale it back without losing focus on love and a long view. - 1 John 3:16-17
1 John 3:16–17 ESV
By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?
Closing: ***Suffering and sacrifice is right where we live. For what reward will you live?

[Next time in vv. 27-28]

Faith’s Courage to Fear God Above Man

It takes courage and endurance Bc our faith is in Him who is invisible - “seeing” - The Bible doesn’t ignore that that’s a challenge for us. It was a challenge for Moses. The first time Moses left Egypt he was most definitely fleeing in fear of the Pharoah.
BTW, that means V. 27 must reference the second time Moses left Egypt, after the plagues, with God’s chosen people in tow.
Reminder: Faith heroes don’t have a flawless faith but a growing faith.

Because God’s Rule is Better

Faith’s Courage to Obey God’s Word

Word - his instruction, his revelation
It takes courage to obey bc God’s instruction is beyond our comprehension and control.

Because Faith’s Goal is God’s Glory and Our Good

Grow in Courageous Faith

Look beyond temporary pleasure and pain (worldly gain and earthly suffering) to the treasure of restored relationship to God (which is eternal, now and forever) [last week]
Endure in setting your gaze on the trustworthy, invisible God (so that you will not fear mere man)
And love and obey His command bc it leads to His glory and our good.
When faced with real struggles and fears, courage is a challenge. Paul asks the believers pray for them for boldness. What do you think you should do? Pray for bold faith. (Pray for one another and God’s people everywhere to be bold.)
For Further Application:
1. Imagine dramatic scenarios under which you would be willing to make drastic sacrifices for someone you love or for a higher goal.
2. Now scale down those situations to practical choices you can make in every-day life. In other words, apply that same love and eternal perspective to specific (seemingly ordinary) choices. (See 1 John 3:16-17 as an example!)
3. Share honestly the sacrifices that are difficult for you to make. How can you think and pray differently for the courage and strength to love and live like Jesus?
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