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    Moses … [Chose] to Suffer

    By Mark Roth on February 24, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    “Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season: Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward” (Hebrews 11:25, 26).

    Moses had to make hard choices. The differences between his options were vast and far-reaching. The distance between the two possible courses before him would grow greater over the years and culminate in contrasting destinies. Only eyes of faith could weight the future advantages against the present allurements. To choose present suffering over present pleasure tested the genuineness of his faith.

    Moses’ break with Egypt was not a calculated move or a brave statement of position. We do not know how long he had been contemplating the choice, but he showed his loyalties when he saw an Egyptian smiting a Hebrew— “one of his [Moses’] brethren.” Moses slew the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. The next day when he tried to separate two Hebrews fighting, the one in the wrong challenged him with the Egyptian’s death. Moses was shocked. “He supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by His hand would deliver them: but they understood not” (Acts 7:25).

    Moses now knew that his slaying of the Egyptian was no secret. As he feared, Pharaoh found out about it and wanted to kill Moses. So Moses fled.

    But something had happened earlier. Evidently Moses had come to view the Hebrews as his people. This unusual situation exposed his growing faith. Moses had seen his brethren suffer. He knew that more suffering lay ahead. But he believed that they were God’s people. Since he wanted to be a part of them, he was ready to bear the suffering. Maybe this was God’s way of shaking Moses loose from Egypt.

    Faith enabled Moses to see the difference between the two options before him. One side offered ease and luxury—the best now. He knew that all those pleasures were fleeting. He had the insight to know that those pleasures were hollow and unsatisfying. On the other hand, God’s people had it hard now. But he knew blessings lay ahead, and he wanted to be included.

    Moses also had to choose between riches and reproach. Egypt was rich and powerful. From a human perspective, the Hebrews had no identity, no land, and no apparent future. They were only slaves. Again, Moses saw beyond to a future reward for the Hebrews. That was what he wanted. The suffering and the reproach were but steppingstones to what his faith had grasped.

    A verse in Hebrews 11 sums up how the whole picture looked to Moses when he made his choice. “By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured as seeing him who is invisible.” Regardless of how it came about, Moses left Egypt in faith.

    Does the world offer you its pleasure and treasures? Are you tempted to view its sports and entertainment, its looseness and immorality, its “easy credit” and plush lifestyle as an advantageous investment? Believe it not! Reject its offers! “Look not at the things which are see, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18).

    Excepted from: The Great Cloud of Witnesses

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