Hebrews 11:23-28 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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The Faith of Moses
Comments for Study 10

Hebrews 11:23-28
Memory Verse 11:23


I. Moses' birth (23)

>1. In what respect were the circumstances surrounding Moses' birth hopeless? (Ex. 1:8-22)

>2. What can we learn from Moses' parents' faith? How might his parents' faith have influenced his life? (Ex. 1:22-2:10)

Hebrews 11:23 "By faith Moses' parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king's edict."

* Acts 7:20-44 is a good summary of the main events in Moses' life.

* "Moses' parents" -Exodus 6:20 and Numbers 26:58-59.

* "hid him for three months" -Moses' miraculous salvation at birth foreshadowed Israel's escape from Egypt.

* "no ordinary child" -Exodus 2:2 says "fine child".

* "they were not afraid" -Fear of man is the opposite of faith in God.

* "the king's edict" -Pharaoh ordered all males to be killed because the Hebrews were growing to be to many. (Deut. 34:10-12)

II. Moses' decision (24-27)

>3. What decision of faith did Moses make after he grew up? (24,25) Think about what Moses gave up. What is the limit on "the pleasures of sin"?

Hebrews 11:24 "By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh's daughter."

* "when he grew up" -The desires of youth can be strong. Moses resisted. 2 Timothy 2:22 states, "Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart."

* "refused" -He had a choice and decided.

* "to be known as the son of Pharaoh's daughter" -This meant being excluded from the riches, honor, power, and glory associated with Pharaoh. Egypt was a very great country compared to many others in ancient times.

>4. Why did Moses make this decision? What did he believe? What were his rewards? What was the cost?

Hebrews 11:25 "He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time."

* "he chose to be mistreated" -He became a slave, opposite of what human nature teaches. Jesus taught in the parable of soils, "The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life's worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature." (Luke 8:14) And elsewhere, "Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else's property, who will give you property of your own?" (Luke 16:10-12)

* "with the people of God" -The Israelites. In connection with this letter it is all who believe in Jesus. Jesus' people seldom are rich and often have lowly positions. For those gifted like Moses obviously, they have to chose to seek all they can get in this world or the next world.

* "the pleasures of sin for a short while" -Sin does have pleasure. However, it is very long term and often the pain and suffering after it is so great.

* Jesus said, "Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out--those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned. By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me." (John 5:28-30)

>5. Why did leaving Egypt with the people of Israel incur the king's anger? (Ex. 2:12, 15)

Hebrews 11:26 "He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward."

* "disgrace" -Those of world look down on God's people. They mock us and ridicule us. They laugh at us and call us evil.

* "for the sake of Christ" -Moses did not know all the detail about the Messiah even when he died. However, he did have faith in the promises given to his forefathers which looked forward who looked forward to the Messiah and his kingdom.

* "he was looking ahead to his reward" -The reward God's gives his people is a personal reward. Jesus often told of the rewards he will give his people.

>6. How was Moses able to persevere, not giving up and turning back? What can we learn here?

Hebrews 11:27 "By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king's anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible."

* "he left Egypt" -He fled Egypt to go to Midian when he was forty. (Exodus 2:11-15; Acts 7:23-29)

* "not fearing the king's anger" -like his parents before him. Exodus indicates that Moses was afraid, but does not expressly say of whom or what. And it tells us that he fled from Pharaoh when Pharaoh tried to kill him, but does not expressly say that he fled in fear. The author of Hebrews capitalizes on these features of the account to highlight the fact that, in his fleeing from Pharaoh, Moses was sustained by his trust in God that the liberation of Israel would come and that he would have some part in it. (NIV Study Bible)

* "he saw him who is invisible" -eyes of faith

III. Moses' act of faith (28)

>7. In what respect was keeping the Passover an act of faith? What did those who kept the Passover and sprinkled the blood believe about God? (Ex. 12)

>8. What was accomplished by keeping the Passover? (Ex. 12:24-36.) What does this teach about God?

>9. How does Moses' faith reflect Heb. 11:6? i) Believing that God exists ii) Believing that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

Hebrews 11:28 "By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel."

* "he kept the Passover" -He and all the Israelites and some others were told to keep it in a special way. This was the only time the Passover was kept that way way. When the tabernacle and temple were built the Passover was to be kept in a different manner. When Jesus came and fulfilled the Passover, he changed its meaning during the Last Supper.

* Exodus 12 gives the account of this Passover.

* Leviticus 23:4-5 "'These are the LORD's appointed feasts, the sacred assemblies you are to proclaim at their appointed times: The LORD's Passover begins at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month."

* Exodus 12:26-27 "And when your children ask you, 'What does this ceremony mean to you?' then tell them, 'It is the Passover sacrifice to the LORD, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.'" Then the people bowed down and worshiped."

* Numbers 9:1-3 "The LORD spoke to Moses in the Desert of Sinai in the first month of the second year after they came out of Egypt. He said, "Have the Israelites celebrate the Passover at the appointed time. Celebrate it at the appointed time, at twilight on the fourteenth day of this month, in accordance with all its rules and regulations."

* Numbers 28:16-17 "On the fourteenth day of the first month the LORD's Passover is to be held. On the fifteenth day of this month there is to be a festival; for seven days eat bread made without yeast."

* Numbers 33:3 "The Israelites set out from Rameses on the fifteenth day of the first month, the day after the Passover. They marched out boldly in full view of all the Egyptians"

* Deuteronomy 16:1 "Observe the month of Abib and celebrate the Passover of the LORD your God, because in the month of Abib he brought you out of Egypt by night."

* "Abib" -Abib is the name of the first month in the Hebrew calendar which has a total of twelve months. Abib is taken from the ripening of barley to reach the stage of "abib" meaning the nearly ripened crop. The month of Abib is called Nisan by modern Jews. (From "The Believer's Future - Hope that Inspires" found on this web site.)

* "Passover" -Passover was the first Feast of the Lord in the Hebrew calendar. It is the first of a seven day event commemorating when the Lamb of God's blood saved Israel from death and slavery in Egypt. It starts with Passover and ends with the seven days Feast of Unleavened Bread with the Day of Wave Sheaf in the mist of it. (Ex. 23:19, and 2 Ki. 4:42) (From "The Believer's Future - Hope that Inspires" found on this web site.)

* John 1:29 "The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!"

* John 1:35-36 "The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, "Look, the Lamb of God!"

* 1 Peter 1:18-20 "For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake."

* Throughout history the Lord has established three ways to celebrate the Passover. The first could only have been observed once; the night before the Israelites were lead out of bondage to slavery by the Lord. The second was instituted at Mount Sinai and was to be celebrated in the promised land. The third institution was when Jesus celebrated what is called The Last Supper.

* The Passover lamb pointed to Jesus death for our sins. His blood cleanses us.