We begin by wrapping up some conclusions from our previous episode concerning the life of Noah. Then continue to examine the characters in the Hall of Faith – touching on the life of Abraham before settling in to focus on Moses. One of the pillars of the story of God in the world, Moses makes intentional choices about the source of power he trusts. In many ways, the faith of Moses lays a framework that will be perfected in the life of Jesus Christ.
We started a little theme that I’m going to continue today; I like it a lot. I’m going to add to it just a little bit.
Just to review where we started, we have the idea of perspective in this Hall of Faith segment. We’ve been talking about a triangle: We’ve got me on one corner of the triangle, man on another corner of the triangle, and God on the third corner. And we have to make a fundamental decision who we want to please in life. Do we want to please man, or do we want to please God?
Last week we added another component which is timeframe. And we used the concept of a payday loan. So do we want to live a payday-loan life. And what would the alternative be? Life for long-term riches, perhaps?
We said if you get paid every two weeks, and you get paid on Friday, if you go to get your payday loan on Wednesday, you’re actually giving up twenty percent of your pay just to have it now, which is a common perspective.
We went into a prisoner’s program, and they told us a story about helping prisoners reenter the workplace. And they helped this guy get a job, and they were really excited because he made it to his first payday on a Friday. And Monday morning he didn’t show up for work.
So the guy they had placed him with, the employer, called the sponsors and said, “Hey, your guy didn’t show up this morning.”
So they got in the car and went to see him. He opened the door, and they said, “You’re not at work this morning.” He said, “I-I got paid on Friday. I got paid, and I paid my rent. I don’t understand.”
So this is kind of the payday-loan perspective.
If you think about the Bible telling us our lives are like a wisp of vapor, in the economy of forever, our entire lives, and everyone in this room, we’re somewhere between 8:00 Wednesday morning and payday time in our life. It’s just not that long.
So we looked at Noah. Noah preached the gospel by building an ark. There was about a one hundred year gap there. Maybe he built it the whole time. Whatever period of time it was, it was a long time. He built the ark. In doing so, he was preaching the gospel.
He obeyed God now looking to the future; accordingly, he was judged by men. But he was kept alive in the judgment.
And the Hall of Faith gives us this picture of laying down our lives now and being willing to be judged by men so we can be approved by God. The people in Noah’s time that were approved by men suffered the judgment of God.
In Genesis 12, God tells Abraham, “Now the Lord said to Abram: ‘Get out of your country, from your people and from your father’s house, to a land I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’”
So here you’ve got this 70-something year old man—what does it say? Abram is 75 years old, and he leaves his country because of three reasons.
1) Great Nation
He’s going to make a great nation. So, he’s 75. He doesn’t have any children. Is he going to see himself become a great nation in his lifetime? There’s no way. And, not only that, he doesn’t even know how this is going to happen. It’s just him and Sarah.
But in spite of that, he goes.
2) Great Name
He says, “I will make your name great.” He’s 75 years old. He’s leaving everybody who knows him. Does that seem reasonable that in his lifetime his name is going to be great? Well, maybe. Maybe in a different area. But that’s a pretty big stretch.
And, in fact, his name did become great in his time, but not nearly as great as it has become over time.
3) Blessing to the Whole Earth
And “You shall be a blessing to the whole earth.” You know, these are pretty far-out-type promises. Abram’s response is yeah, no problem. I’ll go.
So Abram didn’t live a payday-loan life. He leaves everything he knows and goes out because of these promises: I’ll make you a great name. I’ll make you a great nation. You’ll be a blessing to all the earth.
And there’s a whole lot more in the Bible about Abraham, but he is the example of faith and living by faith, believing in the promise. It’s really pretty spectacular. He leaves everything he knows, everything he’s comfortable with, and goes because of this promise.
Now in the Hall of Faith, we’re going to end with the greatest member of the Hall of Faith, which is Jesus. We can peek ahead to Philippians 2, which the pastor has been talking about, and it fits right into this.
Let’s look at Philippians 2:5, “Let this mind be in you which also was in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted him and given him the name which is above every other name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in Heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the Glory of God the Father.”
Same Three Promises
Do you see in this passage the same promises that God made to Abraham? Do you see them there? Do you see make you a great nation? Well, if every knee bows and every tongue confesses, what does that tell you? Everybody is submitting to Jesus. What does that mean Jesus is, if everybody is submitting to him? The king of the whole world, right?
I’ll give you a great name. Do you see I’ll make in you a great name? What’s it say? A name above every name.
I’ll make you a great nation. Do you see a nation there? Jesus is above all nations.
How about all the families of the earth being blessed. Do you see that here in Philippians 2? Did his death on the cross bless anybody? It blessed everybody.
And why did he do these three things? Why did he suffer death on the cross according to this passage? According to this passage, did he do it because he loved us? We know elsewhere that he did. Out of obedience. He was doing it out of obedience.
So you’ve got the triangle and the timeline both. He was rejected by men. He suffered the shame of men. And what he said about suffering that shame was I don’t give it any value at all. He despised the shame.
And instead he looked to God to please God, and he obeyed now. And because of that, he was elevated to have these three immense promises. And what we’re going to see is—what Hebrews 11 is doing for us is it’s telling us I want you to have those same things. We’re given the same basic offer Abraham is.
In Christ, we’re given the same offer that Christ has to participate through him.
So this is Hebrews 11, this Hall of Faith. Let’s look at it today; and what we’re going to do today is move on to Moses.
Hebrews 11:23. “By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the kings command.” What king’s command are we talking about here? Pharaoh had commanded all the midwives throw them in the water. So the parents threw him in the water. He just happened to be in a boat. He’s picked up by Pharaoh’s daughter, and is raised as a child of Pharaoh.
Hebrews 11:24. “By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing him who is invisible. By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them. By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned.”
Now we could do a whole series just on this passage, but today we’re just going to hit the highlights of Moses.
Forsaking Privilege and Pleasure
“Moses when he became of age refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.”
So he left the privilege of being in Pharaoh’s household and, instead, chose to side with God.
Now, let’s look at the contrast here of what he had as a son of Pharaoh versus what he had as God’s prophet leading the children of Israel out.
So as Pharaoh’s son, he had several things. What do you see here? The passing pleasures of sin, the treasures in Egypt, and the third thing, of course, he has privilege. Who is Pharaoh at this time in the world? Ruler of the world. This is the most powerful nation on earth, and he’s in the household of the most powerful person on earth.
So he’s got passing pleasure, riches, and power.
Now, we could go to Leviticus 18 if we wanted to, and could look at what this pleasure looks like. But let me just summarize it for you:
In Leviticus 18 God says, hey, you’re leaving Egypt. Don’t do what you saw them do in Egypt. Don’t have sex with your mother. Don’t have sex with your father’s wife. Don’t have sex with your sister. Don’t have sex with your mother’s daughter or your father’s daughter, whether born in your house or whether born elsewhere.
What is this telling you? They like sex. And who do they have it with? Pretty much everybody. Anybody that’s in close proximity, they’re having sex with them. And it ends with don’t have sex with animals. This was a sex-crazed culture.
So there are plenty of passing pleasures. And if you’re a Pharaoh person, what’s going to be available to you? Any time, any place, pretty much.
So you’ve got power, wealth, and sex. Now what is held up as the ultimate thing you want to have in our culture? Those three things, right?
And Moses says to all three of those things, no thanks.
And he chooses something else. What does he choose in this passage, instead of passing pleasures of sin, treasures in Egypt, and being part of Pharaoh’s household: money, power, sex? He chooses to suffer. What kind of suffering? The affliction of Christ. The reproach of Jesus.
I’ll take the reproach of Jesus instead. Why? What’s his reasoning? I’ll take the reward.
Do you see our paradigm here? You’ve got the triangle there. If you’re a Pharaoh household, whether the people like you or not, they’ve got to give you adulation, right? If you don’t, they might end up building a pyramid. And if you’re in Pharaoh’s household, you have all these things available to you. And instead he says, no, I want the reproach of Christ. So he’s looking at God.
And, timeline wise, he can have a lot of pleasure now; and he says, I’ll take something that’s way out in the future again because it’s a lot better.
So here’s our same basic paradigm.
The Reproach of Christ
So, then I think we have a really interesting question, which is that Moses chose instead of the passing pleasures of sin, power, etc., he said I think I’ll take the reproach of Christ. Now is Christ around at this point in time? No. So he’s not looking at Christ at this point in time in the historical sense like we do. But he chose the reproaches of Christ.
Now what is the reproach of Christ?
Well, first let me make a point. Let’s look at Deuteronomy 18:17. “And the Lord said to me: ‘What they have spoken is good.’” What they had just spoken is: we don’t want to hear the voice of God or see this fire anymore lest we die. This is Mount Sinai-type stuff.
Deuteronomy 18:18. And he says, “I will raise up for them a Prophet like you—” So this is God speaking to Moses. “I will raise up for them—” the nation of Israel “—a Prophet like you—” Moses “‑‑‑‑from among their brethren, and I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him.”
Moses and Jesus: Parallels
So here you’ve got the people coming and saying, “Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord our God, nor let me see this great fire anymore lest I die.” So they’re hearing the voice of God, and God comes and says: That’s good. That’s good. I’m with them all the way. What I’m going to do is I’m going to raise up somebody else like you. I’m not going to speak from heaven with fire and lightning and all. I’m going to raise somebody up like you, and they’ll tell you the word.
Who is that, by the way? Who did he raise up like Moses? Jesus. This is Jesus. Jesus is a parallel to Moses. As a matter of fact, Dr. Anderson says that the book of Matthew emphasizes parallels with the book of Deuteronomy. It’s kind of a—if you follow Deuteronomy, you can follow Matthew, and they actually lay down side by side; and part of what Matthew is trying to do in his gospel is prove the point that this is fulfillment of Deuteronomy 18.
Appeal to Authority
And look at it. What did Moses do? What’s Moses most famous for? The Ten Commandments, giving the law. He spoke the word with authority. Did Moses say, “Uh, um, this is what Hannarabi said, so we need to do this?” Where did Moses get his authority? God. God gave me this, and I’m giving it to you.
What was it that they were amazed at Jesus about, the people with his teaching? He spoke with authority. Because the way rabbis talk is they say, “Rabbi K.C. says, and Rabbi Brandon says, and Rabbi Jonathon says, and I say…” That was their way of teaching. And Jesus never did that. He just said this is the way it is, and the people marveled, “He speaks as if he has authority in and of himself.”
We’re getting to know a guy who is an apologist to orthodox Jews. He grew up as an orthodox Jew. I’m actually watching a DVD he did on this. It’s really fascinating. And what he’s doing in order to witness to orthodox Jews about Jesus is he’s going and taking the words of the first and second century B.C. rabbis and what they said about Jesus, which just lays straight down with who he is.
And he says if you go to an orthodox Jewish person and say, Let me tell you about my life, my testimony. That kind of works in our world, right? And to them, that’s like, So? Who are you?
If you tell them, look, read this Bible verse here. See what it says? There’re like, So? Who are you?
So you have to appeal to authority. And the authority has precedence almost like a court case where you have to have precedent of other people. That’s the way the Jewish mind thinks.
Well, that’s the way they thought with Jesus too, and they said, you teach like someone who’s got authority! Well, that’s because he was the guy who had come down from the mountain, just like Moses did. And he’s saying, let me tell you.
So we’ve got Moses, Jesus; they’re parallels.