Moses - A Faith that Surrenders

Bible Book: Hebrews  11 : 23-29
Subject: Moses; Faith; Surrender to God

I came across an article this week that blessed my heart. It is called "Real Men." It goes like this, 'when life gets messy:'

Real men don't turn to Jack Daniels, they turn to John's Gospel.
Real men don't pretend they are strong; they admit they are weak.
Real men don't hide their tears when blindsided by sorrow. They open their eyes to the inevitable hardships that come to everyone.
Real men don't rationalize away the need for faith. They readily admit that only fools claim all the answers.
Real men don't take the name of the Lord in vain. They make a point of using that name to talk to God often.

I believe it is safe to refer to Moses as a "real man." The Bible attributes many things to the life of Moses, and none greater than referring to him as "the meekest man in all the earth."

However, although Moses was a man of meekness, he was not a man of weakness. Again, he was a 'real man,' and a man's man.

The life of Moses gave the world the greatest Bible historian of all the ages. Moses recorded the account of creation. Moses authored the first 5 books of the Bible, known as the Pentateuch. He also wrote one of the greatest psalms, Psalm 90. Moses represented the picture of the forming of the nation of Israel. He was the great Law Giver. He was the greatest statesman in the Old Testament as he stood before Pharoah. He was also a man who, firsthand, beheld the glory of God.

The life of Moses could be divided into 3 distinct periods of 40 years each. Herbert Lockyear said of it:

"In the first 40 years, in the palace of Pharaoh, Moses learned to be SOMEBODY. In the next 40 years, in the desert, Moses learned to be a NOBODY. In the final 40 years, during the time of the Exodus, he learned that God was for EVERYBODY!"

The life of Moses is best viewed by looking at the time when he turned to; the time when he turned from; and, the time when he did not turn back. He turned to God, he turned from Egypt; and, he did not turn back from his commitment to his Lord.

Let's continue our journey of faith through Hebrews 11, and notice 3 wonderful things about the faith-life of Moses.


The first saga of the life of Moses is seen in the willingness that measured his life as he accepts God's plan, purpose and program for his life. These verses explain to us that Moses was willing:


We read in verse 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."

The very beginning of Moses' life was marked by separation. His birth embraced separation. We're told that "when he was born, he was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child." The word "proper" means "exceedingly fair." In other words, his parents recognized that there was something altogether about Moses, even at his birth.

The birth of Moses is not as magnified as some of the other great men of the Bible. We know that his parents were a couple named Amram and Jochebed. We know that his parents hid him for 3 months, because of Pharaoh’s decree to slaughter all of the male Hebrew children. We know that they hid him in a 'basket of bulrushes,' which literally a 'basket of willingness.'

Undoubtedly, his parents had received special revelation from God that Moses' life would be spared, and God would use his life in a great way. Thus, he was separate from his birth.

However, not only did his birth embrace separation, but his behavior embraced separation. We're told in verse 24 that, "By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter."

One day, while bathing in the river, Pharaoh’s daughter noticed the little basket which carried the baby Moses. She took him, and gave his care into the hand of her nurse, which happened to be Moses' mother, Jochebed.

Thus, as Moses grew into manhood, he was faced with a choice. He was found by Pharaoh’s daughter, and was adopted into the royal family. However, we're told that he decided against remaining in the palace of Pharaoh, and refused to be known as "the son of Pharaoh’s daughter."

It seems that Moses knew that in order to be used of God, he had to separate himself from any alignment with Egypt. He could not remain in the palace; and, at the same time, rest in God's plan. Thus, he made a choice to embrace separation.

Yet, as the people of God, we are called to embrace separation as well. We are to "come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord." In other words, if we are to be used of God then we cannot have any alignment, or affiliation with the world. Why, because James 4: 4 says "the friendship of this world is enmity with God."

There are many Christians who get saved and come out of the world, but the world never comes out of them. They have been delivered from Egypt on the outside, but they've never been delivered from Egypt on the inside. However, if God is going to use our lives, then we are called upon to embrace separation. Moses was also willing:


As one would imagine, with the choice to embrace separation from Egypt came the consequence of enduring suffering in Egypt. In other words, because Moses chose not to associate and affiliate with the 'house of Pharaoh,' he could expect suffering at the 'hand of Pharoah.'

We read in verse 25, "Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season." The words "suffer affliction" is better translated, "to have bad times with."

In other words, rather than choose a life of prominence, position and pleasure, Moses chose a life of persecution with the people of God. He chose to have "bad times" over good times in order to fulfill God's purpose for his life.

He knew that the "pleasures of sin" were only "for a season." He realized that all the benefits he would enjoy as a member of the royal family of Pharaoh would not be permanent, only temporary.

I need not remind you that sin always look good on the front-end, but it brings devastation on the back-end. Sin brings passing pleasure, not permanent pleasure. Sin may bring short-lived pleasure, but it always carries a long-lasting price.

Dr. D. James Kennedy put it well, "If you don't avoid the bait, you'll end up on the hook." Finally, we learn that Moses was willing:


Moses' reason for embracing separation and enduring suffering is found his desire to experience satisfaction as described in verse 26. "Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect to the recompense of the reward."

In Acts 7 we read that "Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds." In other words, Moses could have anything he wanted in the world of Egypt, and from the wealth of Pharaoh.

But, he preferred and chose the "reproach of Christ," because he realized that it was "greater riches than the treasure of Egypt."

How could Moses make such a decision? We're told that he "had respect to the recompense of the reward." The word "respect" literally means, "to look away from." In other words, Moses looked away from all that he could see with his natural eye, to all that he could not see with his spiritual eye. In the Lord's army, he found a reward he could have never found in Pharaoh’s army.

I remind you, tonight, that this world is not our home, we're just a passin' through. Our rewards and riches will never be found in this life, but only in the next life. The things of this world can hale nothing in comparison to the things which "God hath prepared for them that love Him."

Though it may call for a temporal time of separation and suffering, when God's payday comes it will bring an eternal time of satisfaction.


In verses 27-28 we not only see the willingness of Moses' life, but the worship of Moses' Lord. There is worship for:

A. God's REVELATION to Moses!

Verse 27 depicts the time Moses fled to Midian, commonly referred to as "the backside of the desert." He has taken matters into his own hands, killed an Egyptian, and buried him in the sand.

Thus, he leaves Egypt for Midian and remains there for the next 40 years of his life.

However, verse 27 reminds us that he endured this time, "as seeing him who is invisible."

Moses did not have a Bible to read for instruction. Moses did not have a spiritual adviser to give him counsel. He only had a firm conviction that the Israelites were the people of God, and the God would keep His word to His people.

We're not told here that Moses saw God, but rather endured "as seeing" God. In other words, although he paying for his own sin by being alienated in the land of Midian, he saw God through the eyes of faith.

I have never seen God, but I know that He is real. I have never seen salvation, but I know that I possess it. I have never seen the blood of Christ, but I know it was shed for me, and was applied to my depraved heart. I have never seen heaven, but I know that I am "looking for a city that hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God."

You say, 'Preacher, how can you go through this life by hoping and looking for the life to come?' I'll tell you, I do it "as seeing Him who is invisible." God said it, and that's good enough for me.

B. God's REDEMPTION of Moses!

I love to read verse 28. "Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them."

That verse describes possibly the most momentous night in the life of Moses: the Passover.

It was an event that he never forgot. He never forgot the night that redemption came to Israel by the means of the "sprinkling of blood."

The blood was the token of obedience to God's command. This was the night that God redeemed them from Egyptian bondage. This was the night that death came to the house of Pharaoh. This was the night that blood, sprinkled upon the door posts, signified that redemption had come to that house.

As a result, this miraculous night was ever to be remembered throughout the Exodus journey. They were never to forget what God had done for them. It was to be a constant memorial for them to observe. Even to this day the Jewish people commemorate and celebrate the Passover as a remembrance of what God did for His people.

I say to you that we are to never forget what God has done for us. We are to never forget his body that was shattered, and His blood that was shed for us. We are to never forget the day that He picked us up from off the trash-heap of sin, from the "miry clay," and saved our unworthy soul.

It has always amazed me that we have no problem remembering birthdays, anniversaries, and many, various special occasions. I submit unto you that if there is one day we should never forget, it is the day that God saved us by His marvelous grace.

The tragedy is that many Christians have forgotten what God has done for them. They have lost sight of the wonder of it all. They have gotten over what it means to be a child of God.

That is exactly the reason that many Christians do what they do, say what they say, and act the way they act. They have forgotten what God has done for them.

We ought to replay what He has done for us every day that we live. For, if it had not been for Jesus, we'd still be in a drunkard's life, in the gutter, in hell or on our way to hell. But, thank God for the day that when I could not get to Him, He came to me. Blessed be God for the day that He reached further down than I could reach up. We must never forget that day!


Because of the willingness that measured his life and the worship that magnified his Lord, we see the eternal witness that marked the loyalty of Moses. As a result of his undying, unwavering and unyielding loyalty to God, Moses was allowed to witness some marvelous and miraculous things. First, he witnessed:


We read in verse 29, "By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned." Those words remind us of the familiar night the Israelites crossed the impossible waters of the Red Sea.

The Red Sea miracle has well been called "the victory of faith." It was something that could not be explained, only experienced. It was something out of the hand of man, but in the hand of man.

I read about a fellow that had not been saved very long and he was so excited about what he was learning about God. One day he was on a bus reading his Bible and every now and then he would shout, "Glory to God, Praise the Lord, Amen!" A skeptic heard him and asked him what he was reading. He answered, "I'm reading the Bible and how God parted the Red Sea and let the Israelites cross. That was some miracle."

The scoffer said, "Do not believe everything that the Bible tells you. The truth of the matter is that it was not the Red Sea they crossed but the Reed Sea which is only about 6 inches deep, so it was not a miracle." The fellow nodded in disappointment but kept on reading. The skeptic walked away feeling proud that he had set the Bible reader straight.

Suddenly the skeptic heard the fellow let our big "Glory to God, Praise the Lord, Amen!"

Hearing this he went back and asked, "What is it now?" The fellow jumped up, pointed at where he was reading in the Bible and said, "Here is the real miracle. God drowned Pharaoh's army in 6 inches of water."

Think about this. There was anywhere from 3 to 3 1/2 million Jews that crossed that night. It has been calculated that for that many people to cross in one night they would had to cross 5000 abreast which would have required God to open a path in the Red Sea 3 miles wide. To cross in a normal double file line, it would have required a line 800 miles long, and would have taken 35 days/nights to cross. Yet, God did it in just 1 night.

Someone might ask, "How did God do that?" Well, in Exodus 15: 8 we read that "with the blast of thy nostrils the waters were gathered together, and the floods stood upright as an heap, and the depths were CONGEALED in the heart of the sea."

Would you allow me to give you a Wagers' translation? God blew His nose, and the waters stood up like Jell-O. Moses witnessed, firsthand, God's power to perform the impossible.

By the way, I need not remind you that if God is big enough to do that then there's nothing in our life He cannot handle.


The close of Moses' life seems somewhat tragic. It was tragic that he was not able to lead his people into the Promised Land. It was tragic that he was only allowed to go to the top of Mt. Nebo and envision it, but not enter it.

But, don't feel sorry for Moses just yet. The time of grevious disappointment ended in a glorious destiny. On the Mount of Transfiguration, in Canaan, one is able to see a different picture. It is recorded in Luke 9: 30-31, "And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias: Who appeared in glory, and spoke of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem."

As Jesus prayed, two men were conversing with Him. One, was Elijah and the other was Moses. The topic of their conversation was "of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem."

The word "decease" means "departure, or exodus." In other words, Moses was allowed to catch a glimpse of Christ's work in setting man free from the slavery of sin. He was allowed to see the purpose of Christ's coming into the world, and how He would redeem man, and ultimately lead the redeemed throng into the true Land of Promise.

Moses may not have been allowed to see the physical, temporal Promised Land; but, he was allowed to see the spiritual, eternal Promised Land. He looked a saw a bigger day, a brighter day and a blessed day for the people of God. God rewarded his willingness, his worship and his witness by allowing him to catch a glimpse of the finished work of Christ.

As the Bishop of Smyrna in the second century, Polycarp openly confessed his faith in Christ. This confession was dangerous, however, because the emperor, Marcus Aurelius Antonius, was in the business of killing those who claimed Christ publicly.

Eventually, Polycarp was arrested and sentenced to be burned at the stake. During his trial the proconsul offered to release Polycarp if he would recant his faith. Polycarp replied, "Eighty and six years have I served Jesus, and He never once wronged me; how then shall I blaspheme my King, who hath saved me?" For this answer Polycarp was tied to a stake and burned to death, all the while praising God.


We have seen, in the faith-life of Moses, that while we may be called upon to endure the trials of this life, as the people of God, we will enjoy the triumph of that life. I ask you, tonight, will you be willing to do as the poet has described?

"Trust Him when dark clouds assail thee,
Trust Him when thy faith is small.
Trust Him, when to simply trust Him,
Seems the hardest thing of all."

Although the life of a child of God may call for times of sadness, sorrow and suffering. And, although there will be times of hardness, not happiness; bitterness, not sweetness; I would still rather be a Christian than anything else I know. Glory be to God!