Study Notes

Hebrews 11:24-26


Last week, we heard the story about Pharaoh becoming fearful of how many Jews were occupying the land of Egypt.

Exod. 1:9-10 And he said to his people, "Behold, the people of the sons of Israel are more and mightier than we. Come, let us deal wisely with them, lest they multiply and in the event of war, they also join themselves to those who hate us, and fight against us..."

And so the Egyptians decided to enslave the Jews.

Exod. 1:11-12 ...they appointed taskmasters over them to afflict them with hard labor... But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and the more they spread out, so that they were in dread of the sons of Israel.

The Egyptians were brutal to the Jews, making their lives miserable with the work they were forced to perform. But still they increased in number. So Pharaoh commanded that every boy that was born to the Jews should be killed.

When a man and woman from the tribe of Levi gave birth to a little baby boy, they hid him for three months.

Exod. 2:3-4 But when she could hide him no longer, she got him a wicker basket and covered it over with tar and pitch. Then she put the child into it, and set {it} among the reeds by the bank of the Nile. And his sister stood at a distance to find out what would happen to him.

As it turned out, the first person to find this baby was the daughter of Pharaoh. She knew it was a Hebrew's baby, but cared too much to kill it. The baby's sister, who had been watching, came up and said,

Exod. 2:7-9 ..."Shall I go and call a nurse for you from the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for you?" And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Go ahead." So the girl went and called the child's mother. Then Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Take this child away and nurse him for me and I shall give {you} your wages." So the woman took the child and nursed him.

Unbelievably, the baby's mother was now playing nursemaid to her own child! She had lawful permission to have the baby, at least for awhile.

Exod. 2:10 And the child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son. And she named him Moses, and said, "Because I drew him out of the water."

Moses, born to a Jewish family, who should have been killed at birth by the command of Pharaoh, actually became a child of Pharaoh's household!

As he grew up, he...

Acts 7:22 "...was educated in all the learning of the Egyptians, and he was a man of power in words and deeds."

His life was set. It was just as if he was really Pharaoh's own grandson.

11:24 Moses Refused

When Moses was nearly 40 years old, a thought entered his mind. The Bible says,

Acts 7:23 "But when he was approaching the age of forty, it entered his mind to visit his brethren, the sons of Israel.

Although the NAS, NIV and King James all translate this word as "visit," we would miss the understanding of the entire story if we didn't look at it more closely. Literally, the word means, "to watch over, to look after."

Moses didn't just wake up one day and say, "Hey, I think I'll go pay a visit to my people the Hebrews." No, it entered his mind that he was supposed to be their rescuer (Acts 7:25), the one that God was calling to be the protector of the Jews.

So when he left the palace that day, he wasn't just stepping outside. He was stepping out of all the rights and privileges of being a son of Pharaoh's household.

11:25 Moses Endured

Because Moses was a man of faith, it became all-important to him to be one of the people of God, and to fulfill the ministry to which God was calling him.

This was no easy decision. After all, every one of the Jews were slaves. Brutally beaten and mercilessly overworked, there was nothing appealing about being counted with the children of Israel in those days.

Being Egyptian royalty, on the other hand, had lots of benefits. To be incredibly wealthy, to have servants waiting on you, fulfilling your every need and desire, this would be difficult to give up.

And yet, Moses had faith in God. He knew what God was requiring of him, and acted on it, in spite of the consequences.

It is a lesson we must all learn: God's will must be more important to us than our comfort. God's command must supercede our desires. Jesus told the multitudes, along with His disciples,

Mark 8:35-36 "...whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's shall save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?"

The Bible admits that sin is pleasurable. After all, if it wasn't any fun, no one would do it! But that season of pleasure will end - the pleasures pass away. Someday you will be standing in the presence of God and will have to give an account for every decision you made, every action in your life, and every word from your mouth. Will it be shown that you endured with the people of God, or enjoyed the passing pleasures of sin?

11:26 The Reproach Of Christ

To be reproached is to be disgraced or discredited. The "reproach of Christ" is to be disgraced FOR Jesus. Whenever we suffer for a decision made by faith, we are suffering the reproach of Christ (see 2Cor. 1:5 and Col. 1:24).

Jesus set the example for us. After all, He gave up everything to come to earth and suffer, dying to pay the penalty of our sins. He was mocked, ridiculed, reproached, tortured, spit upon, and killed. He endured terrible suffering because He knew that the end result would be blessing.

Hebr. 12:2 ...for the joy set before Him (He) endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Jesus set the example of enduring temporary suffering to receive eternal reward. Moses applied this same principle. Even though Egypt had treasures, he was focused in on the greater and more permanent reward: heaven.

Where is your focus today? Have you been looking for the temporary satisfaction that the world offers? The passing pleasures of sin? Isn't it time to have a longer-term vision? What will happen to you when you die? Will you find that you had been trying to gain the whole world, but lost your soul?

Jesus suffered reproach and died on the cross to pay the price of your sins, which have separated you from God. If you believe that and receive Jesus into your heart, you will receive the reward of eternal life. It may mean suffering - your friends might leave you, your coworkers might make fun of you - but the reward is well worth it. Will you choose this morning to choose ill-treatment with the people of God, that you might receive eternal life?

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