Faith is a crucial piece of our relationship with God. We don’t always understand God or what he is doing. Sometimes we may feel like we are up against a wall or we feel like we are being run down by a fierce army and God is nowhere to be seen.
Moses’ story is amazing from start to finish. As an act of faith his parents sent him down the Nile River in a basket (v.23). Moses was found by Pharaoh’s daughter and grew up in Pharaoh’s home (v.24). By faith he gave up the luxuries of Egypt to help let his people go free (vs.25-26). By faith Moses listened to God and obeyed his commands (vs.27-28). What God prepared Moses for was an amazing journey of faith marked by miracle after miracle.
“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.” – Hebrews 11:24-27, ESV
Faith acts. With Pharaoh and his army charging after the slaves they just let go the people had a choice: freak out or have faith. By faith the Hebrews crossed the Red Sea on dry ground (v.29). No doubt Moses’ faith and leadership inspired their faith. Their faith preserved their lives from the bitter Egyptian army who drowned after the last Hebrew reached the other side of the Red Sea.
The city of Jericho was a towering menace and it was a barrier between the Hebrews and the land God promised. God’s plan seemed a little wacky: March around the city seven time and blow trumps and the walls would come down. No weapons. Only instruments and obedience. By faith the Israelites did as God said and God did as he said (v.30). And the people of Israel did the impossible were able to walk into the Promised Land.
Rahab the prostitute was saved when Jericho was destroyed because of her faith and kindness in helping the Hebrews spies escape (v.31; cf. Joshua 2:10-21; 6:25). Not only that Rahab became a part of the nation of Israel. She married Salmon and gave birth to Boaz who was an ancestor of King David (Matthew 1: 4–6).
When faith acts God honors it. Faith shows we trust God at his word. The moment we act in faith is never easy. That is why it is called faith.
Questions for Reflection:
- How does faith need great courage for difficult decisions?
- How do you see faith in action in the life of Moses?
- What does it mean that Moses “considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward”? What might Moses have known about Christ? In what sense can we say that Moses suffered for the sake of Christ or how did Moses give an image of Christ? (see 1 Corinthians 10:4)
- How is Jesus never far away from any Scripture, even Old Testament Scriptures? How do all examples of faith ultimately lead to Jesus? What are the promises offered by the world which seek to pull us away from following Christ?
- How can you encourage others around you to be bold in faith and to persevere, rather than yielding to the temptations of the world?
- For all that Moses did for the Hebrews, he still didn’t get to enter the Promised Land. What does this teach us about God’s rewards for the faithful? What are some other examples of rewarded faith that seem unexpected or maybe even unsatisfying at least according to the world’s understanding of “reward”?
- What is so unique about having Rahab listed as a heroine of faith? What does she show you about the unique plan of God and the kind of people God uses? What do Rahab’s actions teach us about the relationship between obedience and faith?
- How might God use you to act in faith to further his kingdom purposes?