Faithlife Sermons

Moses: Courageous Faith, Part TWO (Heb 11:27-28)

Hebrews: Jesus is Better  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  42:35
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We see from the life of Moses that by faith he willingly chose suffering, that his trust in God superseded fear of man, and that by faith he obeyed God's command--all courageous actions that led to God's deliverance of his people.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 the invisible God is to be feared above earthly kings, and that Jesus has made the way for our full and final deliverance.

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PRAY: Eternal, transcendent, invisible God, instruct us now in your word by your grace so that we will go from here today beholding more of your glory. Amen.
INTRO - Let’s get our minds back in the right place: How does the text we are about to read fit in the broader context of Hebrews and all of God’s word? - More specifically, why is there such a heavy emphasis on faith in this letter to the Hebrews? When we read it as a whole, two reasons emerge: The community of faith to whom the author writes seems to be facing trials, persecutions, and suffering… and perhaps struggling with how God’s faithfulness and their faith in Him can still be consistent with the hard times they’re going through. Secondly, those very sufferings seem to be pressing on the Christian community such that they are tempted to revert back to Judaism, the religious system, rather than focusing on the provision made by Christ for new relationship to God. - But rather than derail us, trials are meant to drive us back to dependence upon God by faith.
(Spurgeon writes, in a sermon he preached at… #...)
The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, Vol. XXIV The Hiding of Moses by Faith (No. 1,421)

Having begun by faith we are to live by faith. We are not to find life in the gospel and then nourish it by the law. We are not to begin in the spirit and then seek to be made perfect by the flesh, or by confidence in man, but we must continue still to walk by the simple faith which rests only upon God, for this is the true spirit of a Christian.

Amen to that, prince of preachers. Thank you Lord for raising up a guy (to love you and your word) whom you gifted to put it so eloquently!
Now here’s the challenge. When you’re born into the faith, you’re not automatically mature in the faith (but maturity is the goal as Paul explains in Eph. 4:13-16). - We know this to be true by practical analogy bc [baby image] we observe babies eat their feet and look at their hands like they just discovered a jewel.
And here’s how you sometimes have to speak to your kids:
To your toddler: I can’t believe I am saying this, but... don’t stick that in your ear!
To an older daughter: I’m trying to help you understand, sweetheart, that you actually want a young man to love you who understands that your highest good is God and not him. That his highest good is God and not you.
My point is, we people of faith may be at different points in our journey but ALL have room to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18). And if we are going to have the courageous faith we see exhibited by Moses in this era of his leadership of God’s people, we need to keep growing in faith.
Then let’s listen to and study the text with ears to grow and learn. What is God saying?
Read Hebrews 11:23-28.
As we emphasize vv. 27-28, What do we see happening in the text, and what’s its implication for us?

Faith takes courage.

[Last week we studied verses 24-26 to see that]
It takes courage to follow God by faith through suffering.
(For some, suffering in life creates an insurmountable hurdle that leads to misunderstanding God. But for those who know God by faith in Jesus, suffering becomes an agent of God’s refining and a means to His glory. We can, therefore, even willingly choose suffering to be like and be close to Christ in pursuit of spiritual reward—growing relationship with God.) - Spurgeon also said, specifically of suffering’s benefit for drawing him closer to God: “I have learned to kiss the wave that throws me against the rock of ages.” - Spurgeon
It takes courage to trust God by faith and not fear man.
(Courage is not based on the absence of fear but the presence of faith.)
It takes courage to obey God’s command by faith when it is beyond our comprehension and control.
How does faith give us the courage to suffer, to not fear mere men, and to obey God with limited understanding?
We look beyond temporary pleasure and pain to the treasure of restored relationship to God.
We endure in setting our gaze on the trustworthy, invisible God.
We love and obey His command because it leads to our deliverance.
[the part i will say…]
Don’t focus on the present suffering (loss of temporary pleasure, the current pain) but toward the eternal reward of relationship with God. - Faith gives us courage to face trial and suffering because by faith we see and understand that there is indeed a treasure greater than this world can offer. Even God himself. It’s important to note, I guess, in the current penchant for prosperity gospel (which is no gospel at all), that the reward of which we speak is presently immaterial—it is a spiritual blessing that is experienced within us in the unseen realm of the unseen God, but will one day culminate in very real material reward as well as spiritual.
We must know that the unseen God rules over all earthly princes. - He may be invisible, but he is good and his rule is better, and the effects of his goodness can be seen.
Trust that God’s instruction is for for His glory and our good, leading to our deliverance. - Love and obey His command to believe in Jesus and fully follow him bc it leads to our deliverance.
Faith’s Courage to Fear & Obey God

Fear God.

Moses demonstrated that he feared God and not Pharaoh by persisting in confidence that the invisible God would do as he had said. (v. 27)
Hebrews 11:27 ESV
By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible.
I think the evidence is stronger that this is a reference to Round 2, when Moses faced the king as the official representative for God’s people. Chronologically it could make sense to mean the first time he fled Egypt, but then you have to find some way to say that “the author of Hebrews wishes to emphasize the boldness of Moses actions rather than his negative emotion of dread.” (Guthrie) (By the way, some do take that approach. But I don’t think it fits the details best.)
When Moses killed an Egyptian, he indeed ran away scared in fear of reprisal from Pharaoh. But then some 40 years later he is back with specific instruction from God to go into Pharaoh’s presence, (Moses—the guy who had grown up in the privilege of Pharaoh’s household but then chosen to identify himself with the slaves by striking down an abuser), and say on behalf of God “Let my people go.”
It makes more sense too that he “endured” (which means he persisted, he didn’t stop), in connection with this not being afraid, if we consider the context of the many plagues that God brought upon Egypt, and yet Pharaoh’s heart remained hard. So Moses had to persist in saying Let my people go. - The emphasis here being that it took courage/boldness, and he persevered in it.
So by my understanding is that this must reference the second time Moses left Egypt, after the plagues, with God’s chosen people in tow. - How did he do it? What gave him the courage?
Seeing the invisible - At this stage, this isn’t a reference to Moses literally seeing God. It is a figurative reference to Moses seeing God with the eyes of faith, knowing there is a God who rules in perfect authority over any and all earthly authority.
[Now I don’t know if fearing God sounds to you like something you want.] ***The good news: God is good and his rule is better!
The point the author emphasizes by way of comfort and as an example to emulate is not on Moses’ extraordinary experiences in this process, but rather on his enduring faith. - We endure hardship by faith, recognizing that the invisible order of God is real, superior, and permanent. Even the risen Christ is no longer seen with the eye but is perceived by faith. Jesus said to Thomas, John 20:29… and John says of why he records these things: John 20:31
John 20:29 ESV
Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
John 20:31 ESV
but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
It takes courage and endurance bc our faith IS in Him who is invisible. - 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 Pharaoh. And when God sent him back it wasn’t because of Moses’ superior confidence! But here Moses had grown to have a persevering faith.
Reminder: Faith heroes don’t have a flawless faith but a growing faith.
By the time Moses was passing the torch to Joshua, this is what he had to say: Deuteronomy 31:6
Deuteronomy 31:6 ESV
Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”
From running away scared to “Let my people go.” - We want approval and we fear disapproval. God “frees us not by removing our fear of disapproval, but transferring it to the right place.” (Jon Bloom at desiringGod.org) “And typically, he frees us by helping us face our false fears so that they lose their power over us.” - Do you need to give some things causing you fear back to God?
(Whom we fear reveals our love and motivates our obedience.)

Obey God.

Moses obeyed God, and it resulted in the deliverance of God’s people. (v. 28)
The culminating event that led to “leaving Egypt” in v. 27 is the next subject the author touches on as an illustration of faith:
Hebrews 11:28 ESV
By faith he kept the Passover and sprinkled the blood, so that the Destroyer of the firstborn might not touch them.
By faith Moses performed the initial passover, in obedience to the divine command (Exodus 12) - a lot of details, all of them obeyed
[Unfortunately obeying sounds to us like something we don’t want. But that’s wrong.]
Obedience of faith results in deliverance from impending judgment. (v. 28b) - Who is the destroyer? (Here is a reference to God, or to his agent - whom some Bible scholars call the angel of death.) - The invisible One in whom we trust to be better than the earthly rulers we see is also the one who holds our very lives and eternal destiny in his hands. From him comes judgment and deliverance.
The deliverance comes in God’s provision by the blood of a substitute.
Poured out the lifeblood (“When I see the blood, I will pass over you.” Ex. 12:13a) - I’m sure we are not meant to hear this without remembering what has been spoken about Jesus in Heb. 9:12
Hebrews 9:12 ESV
he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.
Who is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world? Whose blood was poured out once for all?
Jesus obeyed the will of the Father, and it results in the deliverance of all those who receive Him by faith.
What brings salvation is accepting God’s grace by faith (what Jesus accomplished)… our obedience to His word (his command, his instruction) is the evidence of that faith.
So Moses obeyed God (as did the people with him) as evidence of their faith. That faith was not misplaced, but resulted in deliverance.
[Rubber, meet road.] ***

Grow in courageous faith.

To grow in faith we need to fix our eyes on God. How do we do that? (fix our eyes on God to not fear man, obey God even when our understanding is limited) - 2 Cor. 4:18 & Heb. 12:2
2 Corinthians 4:18 ESV
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.
Hebrews 12:2 ESV
looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
How do we “fix our eyes” on an invisible God?
1. Jesus is God made visible. - Know the invisible God through faith in Jesus.
2. You won’t keep your eyes fixed on what you don’t appreciate and value.
3. To set your mind on God and his truth, immerse yourself in God’s word and in relationships with others who are doing the same.
4. Obey God and watch him work!
1. First, you must know that Jesus is God made visible. He is the perfect manifestation and representation of God. - Our author in Hebrews has made it clear from the beginning: Heb. 1:1-3. And in a letter to the Colossians, Paul states similarly: Col. 1:15-20, which we read at the outset of our meeting together, for our call to worship: “He [Christ Jesus] is the image of the invisible God...”
Hebrews 1:1–3 ESV
Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
And because he is God revealed to us, Jesus says in John 10 and John 14 that the way to know the Father is through him. So how do you savingly know the invisible God? Through faith in Jesus. - Jesus is God made visible. Know the invisible God through faith in Jesus.
2. Negatively, you won’t keep your eyes fixed on what you don’t appreciate and value. - But
As a teenage boy, you think you value the girl on whom your eyes are glued bc she is cute and sweet and seems to be actually giving you the time of day (she’s noticing the you’re noticing her… yada yada). But that shallow attraction withers when the excitement wears off. Unfortunately for many immature people that happens when you marry them and the chase is done and the honeymoon fades in memory. This is where the mature man discovers that by investing in relational intimacy with his wife, he only grows in greater appreciation for her, and he can keep his eyes fixed on the wife of his youth without wandering off. (The Christian man is praying to know and value his wife the way that Christ obeyed the Father and gave himself up for us.
If you seek to grow in knowledge of Jesus (intimacy with Jesus), you will only value and appreciate him more, giving you more courage of faith to obey him. Where is Jesus to be found?
3. To set your mind on God and his truth (Col. 3:2), immerse yourself in God’s word (where he reveals himself). Invest in relationships with others who are doing the same (to help each other grow in it and by it).
Colossians 3:2 ESV
Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.
a. Don’t say, “God, show yourself to me!” while your Bible gathers dust.
b. Instead, pour over God’s word to know God. - Let me flood you rapidly with some verses from God’s own word about this truth: Heb. 4:12, 2 Tim. 3:16-17, Isaiah 40:8, Luke 11:28
Hebrews 4:12 ESV
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
What is able to cut through all the exterior facade right to the core of who we are at heart? The word of God.
2 Timothy 3:16–17 ESV
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
What is breathed out by God and thus can be used to strengthen us to maturity? All scripture.
Isaiah 40:8 ESV
The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.
While everything earthly will not last, what stands forever? The word of our God.
Luke 11:28 ESV
But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”
Jesus said God blesses those who do what? Keep his word.
And then get ready for Psalm 119… at home! :-) - Seriously though, the word of God is living and active because it emanates from the Living God. Scripture is profitable to mature us bc it matures us in relationship to the living God. God’s word stands forever bc he speaks according to who he is, and he is consistent forever. So we are spiritually blessed in keeping his word bc it teaches us to fear him, trust him, love him, and obey him. [which leads me to the last point on how to keep our eyes fixed on the invisible God and not on our earthly surroundings and pursuits]
4. Obey God and watch him work!
a. God wants to use you and grow you and draw you into closer relationship with him, but he calls you to obey him by faith toward that end.
b. Jesus talks to Nic at night in John 3 about how the Holy Spirit is like the wind: We don’t see Him but we see His impact… with the eyes of faith.
So if you want to grow in faith, in keeping your eyes fixed on the invisible God, then 1. Turn to Jesus in repentance and faith, 2. valuing relationship to Him above all other treasures; 3. Pour over God’s word to know God; and 4. Obey God and watch him work.
Conclusion: Now take a deep breath to come up for air. (Swimming down deep in the text and implications of it, and we need to resurface to remind ourselves of the overall picture and point.)
[summary] 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 the invisible God is to be feared above earthly kings, and that Jesus has made the way for our full and final deliverance.
We too can grow in courageous faith if we will keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.
And now let’s sing together as a transition into our practice of obeying God in observing the ordinance of the Lord’s table. Let’s obey him and let him work.
[Communion]
[Benediction] When faced with real struggles and fears, courage is a challenge. Peter & Paul pray for and ask for prayer to be bold. What do you think you should do? Pray for boldness to have obedient faith. Pray for one another and God’s people everywhere to have courageous faith. (To send you out, I’m going to pray for us to grow in bold faith, and to live courageously by faith this week.)
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