Sermon #66 Hebrews Notes
Title: The Faith of Moses’ Parents
Text: Hebrews 11:23
Subject: Faith Prevailing Over Fear
Date: Tuesday Evening –
Tape # W-63b
There are three arks mentioned in the Word of God. Each was a place of refuge, shelter, and safety. Each of these three arks was typical of the Lord Jesus Christ, and God’s salvation in and by him.
The ark that Noah built secured those who were in it from the vengeance and violent wrath of an angry God. That is Christ our Substitute. Noah and his family were saved when all the world was drowned in the wrath of God. In Christ all God’s elect shall be eternally saved when all the world is drowned forever.
The ark of the covenant sheltered the two tables of
God’s holy law, and being covered with blood, was the place of atonement,
mercy, and acceptance with God for sinners. Where the ark went God went. That
ark is Christ our Mercy-Seat. In him we have perdect righteousness and complete
atonement. He kept the law for us in his life of obedience to God as our
Substitute, and satisfied its justice by his death in our place at
Moses’ ark was a basket made of bulrushes protected one of God’s chosen ones, Moses, from the murderous designs of a wicked ruler, Pharaoh. That ark is Christ, into whom chosen sinners were placed by our loving Father from eternity. As that ark of bulrushes was the means by which Moses was saved from drowning in the Eygptians’ river, God’s elect are saved from drowning in that infernal lake of his wrath, which burns forever with fire and brimstone. It is this ark of bulrushes that is referred to in our text.
(Hebrews 11:23) "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."
From the beginning there has been but one place of refuge for sinners, only one way of salvation. That refuge, that way, that salvation is Christ! If we would be saved, we must be robed in Christ’s righteousness and washed in his blood. We must be in Christ by faith. Only Christ can bear our souls above the flood of God’s wrath. Only Christ can save us.
Between the death of Joseph
and the birth of Moses, a considerable length of time had elapsed. That
interval is bridged by what is recorded in Exodus 1. There we see a marked
change in the lot of the Hebrews. In the days of Joseph the Egyptians had been
very kind to the descendants of Abraham, giving them the
The policy of this new monarch was one of tyranny. “And he said unto his people, Behold the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we: come on, let us deal wisely with them, lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that when there falleth out any war, they join also unto our enemies” (Ex. 1:9, 10). But his policy of tyranny and persecution could not alter the purpose of God. -- “There are many devices in a man’s heart, nevertheless, the counsel of the Lord shall stand” (Prov. ). We read in Exodus 1:12 that “the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew.” Indeed, “The Lord bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: He maketh the devices of the people of none effect. The counsel of the Lord standeth forever, the thoughts of this heart to all generations” (Ps. 33:10-11).
The birth of Moses came in the very height and fury of persecution. After Pharaoh had failed in his design to destroy the male children of the Hebrews by the midwives who served them, he ordered the execution of all the male Hebrew babies. No doubt, his barbaric soldiers were delighted to carry out Pharaoh’s ordered butchery. Their object was the utter annihilation of God’s people from the face of the earth. It was but one more attempt by the fiend of hell to destroy the woman’s Seed and topple the throne of God. But it was as vain as it was butcherous and barbaric.
When the rage of the Egyptian was most fierce, in the wise disposal of divine providence, Moses was born and miraculously preserved. Indeed, the Lord God overturned Pharaoh’s wicked designs and made him to be the very one by whom the deliverer of his people would be preserved and brought to power! Never were the words of Psalm 76:10 more powerfully illustrated in the Old Testament.
(Psalms 76:10) "Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain."
John Owen wrote, “How blind are poor sinful mortals, in all their contrivances against the church of God! When they think all things secure, that they shall not fail of their end; that their counsels are laid so deep as not to be blown up; their power so uncontrollable, and the way wherein they are engaged so effectual, as that God Himself can hardly deliver it out of their hands; -- He that sits on high laughs them to scorn, and with an almighty facility lays in provision for the deliverance of His church, and their utter ruin.”
Proposition: Faith is a gift of God’s grace which enables its possessor to look away from human terrors, and with courage and boldness, to confide in God whom they have not seen. – Faith prevails over fear!
(Psalms 56:3-4) "What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. (4) In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me."
Divisions: Here, in Hebrews 11:23, the Holy Spirit holds before us the faith of Moses’ parents as an instructive, encouraging example for us to follow. Let’s look at our text line by line.
1. “By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents.”
2. “Moses was hid three months.”
3. “They saw he was a proper child.”
4. “By faith.”
5. “They were not afraid of the king’s commandment.”
I. “By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents..”
The Apostle mentions the faith of both of Moses parents. Moses, in his account mentioned only his mother; Stephen, in his speech before the Sanhedrin mentioned only his father; Paul combines two inspired narratives.
A. Here is a believing man and woman.
· Happy is that home in which husband and wife, mother and father walk together in faith in the fear of God.
· Blessed, blessed beyond what words can express, are those children born into such a home!
Matthew Henry made this observation: -- “It is a happy thing when yoke-fellows draw together in the yoke of faith, as heirs of the grace of God; and when they do this in a religious concern for the good of their children, to preserve them not only from those who would destroy their lives, but corrupt their minds.”
B. Moses’ parents teach us much about true faith.
1. Faith fears God.
Pharaoh had given orders that every male child born among the Jews be thrown immediately into the Nile. Instead of complying with this atrocious command, the Moses’ mom and dad concealed their infant son for three months.
Without question, we are to be in subjection to the higher powers. We are to be obedient to our divinely appointed civil rulers, no matter who they are (Rom. 13:1-7). But we have a higher authority than any earthly monarch. Our God is our King. “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).
· We cannot do that which God has forbidden.
· We must comply with God’s commands.
Illustrations: The Three Hebrew Captives (Dan. 3).
Peter and John (Acts 4:18-19).
2. Faith overcomes the fear of man. The fear of God makes the fear of man insignificant.
“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Ps. 27:1).
3. Faith obtains God’s salvation. -- Deliverance came to Israel because Moses’ parents, believing God, hazarded their lives to do what they knew to be his will. – Fearing God, they obeyed his Word, though obedience might cost them their lives!
II. “Moses was hid three months.”
Moses’ parents, like Abraham before them and Rahab after them showed their faith by their works. – Faith proves itself by works.
A. They concealed his birth, not fearing the wrath of the king. – From the beginning they showed greater concern for Moses’ soul than for their own lives..
B. They hid him for three months.
Theirs was a persevering faith. No doubt they made many cries unto God. Can you imagine what faith it required to put that baby in basket and leave him alone to God’s care in the Nile River? O God, give me such faith!
God preserves his own. Nothing can harm them, much less destroy them! In the preservation of Moses we have an illustration of how God preserves His elect from infancy to the day of their calling (Jude 1).
(Jude 1:1) "Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:"
III. “They saw he was a proper child.”
Their faith was not so much a parental act of love as it was the act of two people who believed God. That which motivated the faith of these godly parents was that which the Lord God had made known to them. -- “They saw he was a proper child.” The Holy Spirit is not talking about Moses’ being a physically beautiful child, too good looking to murder! – This was an act of faith. They saw that Moses’ was beautiful to God, chosen of God to be Israel’s deliverer (Acts 7:20). It is obvious from the Book of Exodus that they taught him this from his youth. Had this not been a matter of divine revelation, something specifically made known to them by God, it would not have been an act of faith, but of desperation. They believed God’s word…
· To Abraham.
· To Joseph.
· To themselves - According to Josephus.
IV. Look at the first two words of our text. – “By faith!”
This was an act of faith, God given, God wrought, God sustained faith. The principle of their actions in the preservation of Moses was faith. Paul’s purpose in this chapter was not to honor men, but to honor faith. Particularly, their faith was in Christ, the Deliverer of his people, of whom Moses was both a type and one by whom the Seed of the woman must be preserved.
They had a particular revelation form God. They had a firm faith in the deliverance of the children of Israel in the appointed season. And they had faith in him whom Abraham believed. They trusted Christ.
V. "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."
Their faith was eminent in this: In the discharge of their duty they did not fear the kings command. No doubt they had fear, but not such as would prevent the performance of their duty. “What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee” (Ps. 56:3).
Because they believed God, Moses’ parents secured for themselves and for the nation of Israel the promised blessing of God’s salvation.
Israel was delivered by the faith of a godly mother and father. Oh let us train our children for God, heaven, and eternity. Train them, first and foremost, by believing God ourselves, by making the will and glory of God the rule of all things in our lives.
1. Faith does not always comply with natural affections.
2. Faith is the mother of all virtue.
3. Faith secures the heart.
4. Whatsoever is not of faith is sin.
5. Nothing prevails over fear like faith.
6. And nothing robs us of blessedness like the lack of faith. – Just suppose Moses’ parents had not believed God. – How we court trouble by our unbelief!
(Psalms 81:11-16) "But my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would none of me. (12) So I gave them up unto their own hearts' lust: and they walked in their own counsels. (13) Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways! (14) I should soon have subdued their enemies, and turned my hand against their adversaries. (15) The haters of the LORD should have submitted themselves unto him: but their time should have endured for ever. (16) He should have fed them also with the finest of the wheat: and with honey out of the rock should I have satisfied thee."
(Isaiah 48:17-19) "Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go. (18) O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea: (19) Thy seed also had been as the sand, and the offspring of thy bowels like the gravel thereof; his name should not have been cut off nor destroyed from before me."
(John 11:40) "Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?"