God Pleasing Faith, Joseph’s Bones, Moses’ Faith, Lesson 15, Hebrews 11:22-26
In our study of Hebrews 11, Paul, whom we believe penned this epistle, is taking us down the trail of faith.
He is doing this by bringing to our mind men and women whose lives were characterized by a walk with God founded on their belief in God, belief in His word and belief that he is a rewarder of all those who diligently seek him.
He have met on this trail, Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sara, Isaac, and Jacob.
These men and women of faith are not random choices but all belong to a line leading to the kingdom of God which is a very particular place, a place where only those who believe God will be allowed to enter and occupy.
The blood red thread of scripture of course we all know to be our Lord Jesus Christ but also the thread of scripture is God bringing us to know that he has a kingdom that he wishes to populate with those of faith, those whom he conforms to his Son.
The whole epic account of this thread of faith, from creation, to judgment for sin, to Abraham who looked for a city, to slavery in Egypt, to exodus to the promised land, to a Savior, to the rapture of his church and his revelation promotes and displays the unifying theme of the Bible, that of the glory of God and the advancement of His Kingdom.
So our next character who walks this line to the kingdom of God is a son of Jacob, a son called Joseph whose mother was Rachel.
Joseph, considered a type of Christ, is one of those rare characters in the Bible who can be examined and found to be without any recorded flaws.
Read in detail of his life as chronicled in Genesis and you will find many demonstrations of his strong faith in the God of his great grandfather Abraham, and his grandfather Isaac.
His life was filled with trials and troubles initiated by his own brothers, he was unjustly accused and unjustly imprisoned but throughout his life he remained true to God.
His dealings with those who had persecuted him, especially his brothers, were godly, honest and upright without malice.
He was chosen by God to bring deliverance to the Egyptians which resulted in a safe haven for his family and the eventual birth of the nation of Israel.
And all of this was in line with God’s kingdom plan.
So multitudes of praiseworthy words about Joseph could have been recorded but Paul chose to speak of Joseph’s last words, word’s concerning the disposition of a dead man’s bones.
And we read of this in Hebrews 11:22: By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.
Now this commandment is recorded in Genesis 50:24-26 where we read:
And Joseph said unto his brethren, I die: and God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. 25 And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence. 26 So Joseph died, being an hundred and ten years old: and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.
We are given here a glimpse into the mind of a man of faith.
For a man of faith is a man who yields himself to God’s will.
Abraham did this when throughout life he looked for a city whose builder and maker was God.
This is the vision of the man of faith down through the ages and it was the vision passed down from man to man of what God was doing.
Promises had been given to Abraham centuries before Joseph’s death but these promises were alive and well in Joseph who also walked the steps of faith.
The fact that Joseph and his family were well ensconced in Egypt did not cause Joseph to waiver from these steps.
And this account of Joseph about the whereabouts of his bones reveals his mind of faith in this matter.
Joseph’s faith gave him an assurance that therefore he, being in Egypt, could say, God will surely visit you and by saying that he inferred that God will take you from Egypt and bring you to the land flowing with milk and honey and therefore that is where my bones are to be.
So like Moses to come Joseph knew to whom he should associate himself with, not the people and systems of Egypt, but the people and the promises of God.
Certainly he could have had a grand and prominent sepulcher in Egypt, having been their hero by rescuing them from starvation, and death but he knew that God had better plans for his people than to enjoy the pleasures of Egypt for a season.
That is what faith reveals, a dissatisfaction of the things of this world, for new vision gives a glimpse of the dwelling place of God.
Joseph died at the grand old age of 110 and his testimony of faith endured till the end where he testified that the riches and power he had gained in this life simply revealed an emptiness that could only be filled by depending and trusting in the God who brought him to be.
Now we continue to move along the trail of faith and next we meet a monumental character of the Bible named Moses.
Is there anyone in the world who does not know of Moses for this most famous of Bible characters is displayed throughout the world as God’s lawgiver?
Michelangelo’s statue of the sitting Moses in Rome, is one of the most majestic statues ever made.
And even our Supreme Court gives him honor by its prominent display of Moses.
So Paul tells us about this man of faith in Hebrews 11:23-26, 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. 24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; 25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; 26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.
We have in this short passage two “By faiths”, one referring to the parents of Moses and the second referring to Moses himself.
And both of them refer to choices.
Now we live is a world of choices.
It seems that this world of choices gets bigger every day and the multitude of choices is somewhat mindboggling.
And in this world of sin many choices are concerned with choosing between good and evil.
The choices made here by faith are of those types, very serious choices for the consequences of those choices have moved the world.
But being made by faith they were two good choices for when guided by the hand of God, a hand welcomed by the man or woman of faith, choices are always good choices.
When choice is called for, Pray Brethren pray!
Now the edict of the Pharaoh was clear.
The slave population was too large and becoming a threat to his kingdom so the command went out for the midwives to kill all the male babies.
So all slaves had choices to make and one of them was to choose to give birth apart from midwife involvement or to be part of a deception by the midwives who told the Pharaoh that the babies were born before the midwives could get to the house.
Moses’ parents decided to defy the Pharaoh’s command, at the risk of their own lives for God had given to them what is called a proper child, being interpreted a handsome son.
They simply obeyed God rather than men.
These two slaves were prolife and therefore they hid Moses from the authorities for three months.
As an aside thought we today have multitudes of Pharaoh’s that edict the taking of lives, not at birth yet, but early through abortion but the evil of this has increased for in our time the Pharaoh is the mother and or father of the child.
Talk about the evolution of evil, call it evil-u-tion!
But Moses’ father and mother would have no part in this evil.
Did they know that this child would be the great deliverer of his people?
There is no indication of this but by faith they could not enter into this murderous act commanded by the authorities, for doing such a thing was an act against the very God in whom they believed, for children are an heritage of the Lord.
The second choice, the second “By Faith” is from Moses himself who when this choice is made is of age and is fully capable of knowing the consequences of his choice.
Remember who Moses was at this time for only by faith would a man choose to do what Moses did for he chose to move as a prince from the palace to the place of a shepherd tending sheep in the field.
He had a choice to keep his high position of power and influence with every need met in the palace of the Pharaoh but he decided to join those on the trail of faith and in doing so he chose to suffer affliction with the people of God.
We are taught by this passage of faith that choices made by faith may result in suffering but any suffering is but for a season for faith will always result in eternal blessings for God is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
But Moses parents chose to not be afraid of the king’s edict for their fear of God was greater.
Moses was born unbeknownst to the authorities, not reported by his parents nor the midwives and kept undercover for three months.
They not only risked the life of Moses but no doubt they put the whole family at risk if caught in their rebellion against the word of the Pharaoh.
I imagine the three months keeping Moses from view was agony for them for how do you keep the knowledge of a baby in a home from being revealed.
So it came to a time when a choice had to be made.
God would have to intervene in this for they came to a crossroads and decided by faith to place Moses into the river in an ark of bulrushes and see where God’s hand would direct.
By faith they gave their handsome and goodly son to God and you know the rest of the story.
Faith always leads one to obey God rather than man.
In this is a built in risk factor for obedience to God means disobedience to man but when obeying God one accepts the consequences of disobedience to man for any consequences are paltry compared to the eternal blessings to come.
And not only eternal blessings will come but temporal blessings came because the parents of Moses decided to place their son into God’s hands.
Moses, the greatest leader but also the meekest man in the history of Israel was used of God to bring his people to the Promised Land.
He was given the honor of recording God’s word in Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, five books called the Pentateuch.
He heard the voice of God atop the mountain and delivered God’s commandments to the people.
He was responsible for building and furnishing the tabernacle and arranging the worship and sacrifice which took place there.
His parents knew nothing of what was to come by their act of faith for faith sees God’s hand in reaching far past the reach of man for with God all things are possible.
Jesus said that monumental things will take place just because of someone who has faith as a grain of mustard seed, for that small amount of faith moves a God Almighty.
Who knows what faith preceded you to bring you also to faith?
God worked thru the faith of Moses’ parents to bring about an enormous step in the direction of His kingdom.
Remember mighty John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ, who came to prepare the way.
But John’s way was prepared by the faith of his parents, Zecharias and Elizabeth.
These two, elderly and childless, thought of as beyond the time of conception, were a couple who believed God and believed they were born to be in God’s kingdom.
God used them to rear John the Baptist to a point whereby he would increase and then willing to decrease as Jesus Christ came on the scene.
Our Lord’s mother Mary, was a young unmarried girl, but a girl of faith whom God the Father called upon to bear His Son.
A mission so subject to ridicule and condemnation but she knew by faith that her God was far above such earthly and insignificant matters.
She was just a young woman as obscure as could be but she believed God and it was accounted unto her for righteousness.
Perhaps her faith was as a grain of mustard seed but it was a faith that resulted in a Saviour who came into this world to call out a people for his name, a people who would walk the trails of faith each day toward the city whose builder and maker is God.
And so it was with Moses’ parents for they by faith launched their little baby boy into the hands of God and were able to see God’s working in his life even his working as his little craft floated into the arms of Pharaoh’s daughter.
How mighty the hand of God was in this as Moses soon returned to his mother who was now hired to care for him by the princess.
Again, we who are given the responsibility of parents, are reminded from this account of faith how important it is to rear our children in a home founded on faith.
With what will our children leave our homes?
Will they remember a home where Mom and Dad brought all their cares to God depending upon Him for all things?
Or will it be a home of self-sufficiency where the motto was “We can do it ourselves?”
Will it be a home where God’s will was paramount and decisions were brought to Him in prayer, and patience in waiting on God was the norm?
Will it be a home where spiritual growth will be more important than physical growth and spiritual health be more important than physical health?
Will it be a home where God’s Word is heard and acted upon on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis?
A home where God’s word is lifted up as the supreme word by which all other words are measured?
God is looking for men and women, boys and girls who come from homes like these so that his love and his word can be spread throughout the earth for God wishes to bless and he chooses to bless through people of faith.