Taught in Ambassador's Class of Peninsula Bible Church, Palo Alto, California
January 6, 1980 thru June 1, 1980
by Robert H. Roe, Pastor

Lesson #2, Exodus 1:13-2:10 - January 13, 1980, Birth of Moses

We will be picking up this morning at Exodus Chapter 1, Verse 13. You will recall that after Joseph, the Patriarchs, and the heads of the clans died, there arose a Pharaoh in Egypt, verse 8, who did not know Joseph, and the word in the Hebrew is not "rise up over," it is "rise up against.

When the Israelites came to Egypt they claimed to be shepherds and had an accumulation of cattle, sheep and goats. They were given the land of Goshen and settled in that pasture land. Pharaoh also gave them all of his flocks to tend. Shepherds were an abomination to the Egyptians.

Now we have these Semites, who, incidentally, are multiplying like flies, settled right in the delta area, the very route of any invasion force which could come sweeping down through the Delta and on down the Nile. How to deal with this problem? It was decided that one way was to make them slaves, work them hard, give them hard labor. That would keep them tired and broken up into little task forces under literally an "officer of a work group." The idea was to curtail the population growth, but it didn't work. The hard labor only trimmed them down to fighting size and, under the Hand of God, they reproduced very rapidly.

As we pick up Exodus, Chapter 1, Verse 13, the Egyptians are probably thinking, "Hey, here sits a potential band of insurrectionists, a potential band of traitors. They are not Egyptians. They are Semites. They sit right on our border. Any invading people swooping down could very likely pick them up as allies. Also they do have this deep ingrained desire to get out of here. They are not native to us. They have not been absorbed by us. They will not settle in our land. They have this coffin over there containing Joseph, once Prime Minister of Egypt. It's not in a Giza Pyramid sealed for all eternity, supposedly. It is sitting there ready to go into Canaan again. They refuse to be absorbed in the land. They will not stay here. They are aliens, sojourners."

So, from verse 13 on, there is the same basic pattern, how to keep the Israelites in slavery and as a national resource. Manpower was a very important national resource in those days. They had to keep the Israelites reduced to a state where they could be controlled, however. They didn't dare out breed the Egyptians without becoming a menace.

"Exodus 1:13:

And the Egyptians compelled the sons of Israel to labor rigorously; and they made their lives bitter with hard labor in mortar and bricks and at all kinds of labor in the field, all their labors which they rigorously imposed on them. [And apparently it didn't work. They kept right on reproducing. And so then arose a very vicious Pharaoh.] Then the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah, and the other was named Puah; and he said, "When you are helping the Hebrew women to give birth and see them upon the birthstool [On the two stones. The Hebrew women would crouch down on two stones when they gave birth], if it is a son, then you shall put him to death; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live. But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt had commanded them, but let the boys live.

The first plan didn't work. Work them as slaves, work them hard, keep them exhausted, break up their families, and thus curtail the population and retain the natural resource. The Hebrews were blessed by God in their oppression, and they multiplied rapidly.

"O.K. let's try something else. We'll use a little population control. We'll kill off new babies. No use killing the kids already here. We can handle what we have. Just kill off the new male babies. We'll let the females live. We can intermarry with them and eventually absorb them, thus ridding ourselves of the Israelite threat on our frontier."

So, Pharaoh calls in the two chief Hebrew midwives, Shiphrah, which probably means "beauty" and Puah, which probably means "splendor." It is interesting. God's evaluation is very different from man's. There are all kinds of Pharaohs in the Old Testament, mighty conquerors, tremendous dynasties, but they are never named. Two midwives, on the other hand, go down forever in the Word of God by name.

You think you never get recognized by God because you are set in some little corner of a ministry? Wait until you get to the Judgment Seat of Christ. He is going to render you a Shiphrah and a Puah there, a beauty and a splendor, two women who had the guts to defy an enemy.

So Pharaoh admonishes the midwives, "When a male comes out of the womb, kill him, a female, let her live." But it says here that the midwives "feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them but let the boys live." Two women defied the Pharaoh, a man who cared not a bit about human life, especially Hebrew human life. Mighty women of God.

Exodus 1:18:

So the king of Egypt called for the midwives, and said to them, "Why have you done this thing, and let the boys live?"

There is probably smoke rolling from his ears about now. He has this foolproof plan to reduce the population rate, and it is not working because of two resolute women.

Exodus 1:19:

And the midwives said to Pharaoh, "Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are vigorous, and they give birth before the midwife can get to them."

Well, that is a lie, of course, but they are afraid of a man who can kill them, and the Hebrew women really are vigorous. They have been working hard each day while the Egyptian women sat back fat and sassy. The lean, mean Israelites dropped children like calves. All the exercise programs we use today to keep in shape they got for nothing. It was just part of living. So Pharaoh's whole program is going down the drain because two women are defying him. Well, the two women are afraid, but they fear God, and He understands their hearts.

Exodus 1:20:

So God was good to the midwives, and the people multiplied, and became very mighty. And it came about because the midwives feared God [not because they lied so well], that He established households for them.

Because they feared God and allowed the Jews to grow, God gave them households as a reward. What they gave to their friends and relatives and neighbors in the Jewish faith, God gave to them. He made them householders, and they probably had tons of kids. That was because they feared God, not because they lied. The basic motivation was right. The methodology was wrong. But god doesn't look at our actions. He looks at our hearts. The reason they defied Pharaoh, albeit scared and albeit chiseling, was because they feared God. The reason their names are for all eternity written in the Word of God is because they "feared God."

By the way, this is quite relevant to the abortion principle today. God considers human life sacred. When two women defied Pharaoh because of the sacredness of human life, because of a God they feared who made that human life, God blessed them. God preserved them. God protected them, and God richly multiplied them. Nowhere in the Scriptures does God put up with the murder of children. So this is very relevant on abortion.

Now, Pharaoh is so frustrated and hates the Jews so much that notice verse 22.

Exodus 1:22:

Then Pharaoh commanded all his people [The Jews. Not only the midwives but all the Egyptians as well. "I can't trust the Hebrews, but I can at least trust my people who are threatened by the Hebrews], saying, "Every son who is born [to the Hebrews, in the context] you [The Egyptians] are to cast into the Nile, and every daughter you are to keep alive."

He decided he was going to wipe out the Jewish males if he had to use his own people. This is probably where he seals the death warrant of the first born of Egypt. God's retribution works in strange ways and sometimes down the road apiece, but it always works. Undoubtedly there were a lot of Egyptians that did throw male Hebrew babies into the river. In those days that was a common way of disposing of unwanted children. Another common way of disposing of them, if you didn't want to kill them, was to put them in a little ark. It was kind of like leaving them in a basket at the hospital or in front of a monastery or nunnery. In those days they used to either throw them into the Nile or put them into a little ark and push them out into the stream. So apparently they did obey, and God's retribution came back to haunt them in a couple of generations.

I love the next verse. Chapter 2, Verse 1. Now God begins to work.

If you were God what would you do to a king and people who would kill the first born sons of your chosen people? How would you react to that? I know what I would do. I would raise up a people to come sweeping down with their chariots and extinguish the Egyptians from the Nile to Nubia. God, however has different methods. II Corinthians 12 Paul says, "God's power is perfected in" what? Weakness! God refuses to use human strength to magnify himself. He always chooses to use weakness. Even in the days when Samson pulled down the temple, he was blind and being led by a little boy. Judges 16:26, he persuaded the boy to take him to the center posts of the temple. Archaeology indicates that was how the temples were built then with the balcony resting on the two center posts. They stopped building them that way very quickly. So Samson blind and being led by a little boy was made sport of, was totally humiliated, totally weak. And he said to the boy, "Let me just get my arms around the middle pillars. That is all I ask." He is hot, sweaty, tired and beat up. They put him by the middle posts and he says, "O Lord GOD, please remember me and please strengthen me just this time, O God, that I may at once be avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes." God complies, and "Pow!" Samson killed more Philistines in his death than he did in his life. But even that show of strength was by the permission of God after proven weakness.

Now, what I am about to propose here is what I call a "Roe Sanctified Theory." You who have been in this class before know I love "sanctified theories." This is a "Sanctified Theory." I want to repeat that. This is a "Roe Sanctified Theory." So don't say the Bible specifically says this. This is Bob Roe's best "Sanctified Theory." However, I believe it is a good theory. Using the principle of God's power being manifested in weakness, I want to apply it to this verse.

Exodus 2:1:

Now a man from the house of Levi went and married a daughter of Levi.

Levi has not yet become the priestly clan. They are just like any other clan except they are worse. There is an interesting thing about the Levites if you read and listen to their names. Compared to the other tribes, they have a great number of Egyptian names. Apparently they are quite secularized. They are quite profane or unholy, not set apart to God, compared to the other tribes. They named their kids after Egyptians. They were going down into idolatry. This is why God, of course, was allowing their persecution. It was not to strengthen them to leave as a nation and make this grueling march for forty years but to get their attention and make them cry out to God for help.

Ezekiel 20:4-6 makes it very clear that they had gone into idolatry.

Ezekiel 20:5:

'Thus says the Lord GOD, "On the day when I chose Israel and swore to the descendants of the house of Jacob and made Myself known to them in the land of Egypt, when I swore to them, saying, I am the LORD your God, on that day I swore to them, to bring them out from the land of Egypt into a land that I had selected for them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands. "And I said to them, 'Cast away, each of you, the detestable things of his eyes, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt; I am the LORD your God.' "But they rebelled against Me and were not willing to listen to Me; they did not cast away the detestable things of their eyes, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt. Then I resolved to pour out My wrath on them, to accomplish My anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt.

God appeared to the Jews in Egypt and told them, "Knock it off. You are My people. I am the Lord your God. I am going to deliver you. I am going to take you to the land of Canaan. Now put away those detestable things. Remove that idolatry from your midst." And they told god, "Stick it in your ear. Who are you? We are stuck here in Egypt under persecution and if you are our God, where are you? These gods have got us in bondage. You're not delivering us. So weighing the evidence, it looks like their gods are better than You." They rejected God's plea, kept on with their idolatry and came very close to dying in Egypt but for the grace of God.

Now, as to the Levites. Jacob, in Genesis 49 in his prophesies about the tribes of Israel has already talked about Reuben and then he talks about Simeon and Levi.

Genesis 49:5:

"Simeon and Levi are brothers; Their swords are implements of violence. "Let my soul not enter into their council; Let not my glory be united with their assembly; Because in their anger they slew men, And in their self-will they lamed oxen.

Remember when they did that, where they butchered a people together with their animals? Remember a sister of Simeon and Levi named Dinah? Does that ring a bell? Shechem! Shechem, the prince, raped Dinah, fell in love with her and wanted to marry her. As a precondition to the marriage poor old Shechem was lured into having all the males in his city circumcised. Simeon and Levi waited three days until the males were all sore and then butchered every one of them. They probably also butchered the cattle they didn't want. They took all the women and female children as slaves, took the choicest part of the cattle and put the city to the torch. They looted it.

Genesis 49:7:

"Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce; And their wrath, for it is cruel. I will disperse them in Jacob, And scatter them in Israel."

There is the prophecy for the tribe of Levi and the tribe of Simeon. The tribe of Simeon was absorbed by Judah. It just kind of disappeared.

We have talked before about the kindness of God and the severity of God as indicated in Romans Chapter 11. The kindness of God was allowing the Gentiles to be grafted into the domestic olive tree, the forefathers, the Patriarchs of the Jews. The severity of God was the temporary snapping off of the natural branch, Israel, and in its place grafting in the Gentiles. Because they crucified the Messiah, God snapped off Israel for a time and so instead of reaching the Gentiles through Israel, He began reaching the Jews through the Gentiles. Against nature He put a wild olive branch into a domestic olive tree. I am told that will not work. You can't do it. But He did it. His kindness was to the Gentiles who without Christ were without hope. His severity was the snapping off of Israel.

So, here are two tribes who are both vicious, two men who are both vicious. Simeon disappears. He is scattered all right. He just disappears. But what is the deal with Levi? He scattered Simeon in Judah, but He also promised to scatter Levi. How did He scatter Levi? Here we see the kindness of God.

Class comment? They weren't given any land.

Bob's response: Right! He took the tribe of Levi to Himself. He does not give them any inheritance of land. God tells the Jews under Moses, "You give them 48 cities all throughout the land of Israel. That is all they get." Oh, they are allowed a couple thousand yards around the outside of each city for pasture land, but they do not get any actual inheritance of land. So He scattered them all throughout Israel. He takes probably one of the most Egyptianized, profane, secularized tribes of Israel and uses it to instruct the Jews in the Law of God and to raise up Moses, Aaron, Miriam and Phinehas. Phinehas, an Egyptian name by the way, was grandson of Aaron and eventually became high priest. God takes the Levites and makes them the high priests of Israel, the mediators between God and man, the teachers of the Law of God. But He also keeps His word. He scatters them all throughout Israel, and they have no possession of the land except the cities which are given to them by the tribes. It is a beautiful picture of how God operates.

Now if I had been looking for a priestly tribe, I would have taken Judah. They are promised a brilliant future.

Genesis 49:8:

"Judah, your brothers shall praise you; Your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies; Your father's sons shall bow down to you. Judah is a lion's whelp; From the prey, my son, you have gone up. He couches, he lies down as a lion, And as a lion, who dares rouse him up? The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes, And to him shall be the obedience of the peoples. He ties his foal to the vine, And his donkey's colt to the choice vine; He washes his garments in wine, And his robes in the blood of grapes. His eyes are dull from wine, And his teeth white from milk."

The word for dull, by the way, means "you're darker than." It probably doesn't mean drunk. It is a blessing. Now Judah is what I would call a first class tribe. If I was picking a tribe to be my priests, my teachers of my law, I would pick Judah. That would be first class representation. If you got a resume from Judah, you'd hire him in a minute. Get a resume from Levi, and I wouldn't touch him with a ten foot pole. God takes Levi, that secular, profane tribe as his choice, the weakest in order that His power might be made manifest. Out of Levi comes Moses, Aaron and the Levites. We serve an extraordinary God.

Another point: When God wants to deliver Israel, what does he start with, verse 2, a conqueror who comes roaring down into Egypt with horses and chariots>? What does he start with?

Class comment: A baby.

Bob's response: A baby, A baby who is totally helpless and, at times, a rather disgusting creature who tinkles, burps, and drools. He starts with a baby. In fact some 1400-1500 years from this time He is going to redeem mankind, and what does He start with then?

Class comment: A baby

Bob's response. A real baby. The Son of God, yes, but He is a real baby. So God starts out with the weak things. He take a baby from the most secularized tribe.

Exodus 2:2:

And the woman conceived and bore a son; and when she saw that he was beautiful [In fact in Acts is says he was not only beautiful, he was a lovely thing in the sight of God. There was something very special about this baby], she hid him for three months [It says in Hebrews by faith they rejected Pharaoh's edict and hid this gorgeous child]. But when she could hide him no longer, she got him a wicker basket [actually a papyrus basket] and covered it over with tar and pitch. Then she put the child into it [Pharaoh said they had to put them into the Nile, but he didn't say exactly how and so she is within the letter of the law], and set it among the reeds by the bank of the Nile [where the current wouldn't carry it away. Where the crocodiles wouldn't get at it, and incidentally where Pharaoh's daughter is going to come down] And his sister stood at a distance to find out what would happen to him. Then the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the Nile, with her maidens walking alongside the Nile; and she saw the basket among the reeds and sent her maid, and she brought it to her.

The Nile was deified under the Egyptians. In fact, there is some thought that Moses, because he came out of the Nile, actually had a longer Egyptian name such as Hapmose or Irumose, the one born of the Nile. We think Moses may have been just the last part of his name. We don't know, but we suspect it could have been. This is a royal name, by the way.

The daughter of Pharaoh can have anything in all the world she wants, all of Egypt, except one thing, she apparently cannot get a child. What kind of a child? A male child. She has the longing of every woman, a male child. In the ancient eastern culture, the male, of course, was considered by far the most desirable because he passed on the family name. So she comes down to bathe in the Nile, literally to wash her whole body. They believed that to wash your body in the Nile prolonged your life and made you prolific. Well, Jochebed apparently knew the one spot where Pharaoh's daughter would come to bathe. It was marked off for Pharaoh's daughter which meant no strangers would be around, no males allowed. A little girl could get inside though. So she posted Miriam, her oldest child, older than Moses by a number of years. [Aaron was older than Moses by 3 years and later on that will be a problem] The basket was found among the reeds. Pharaoh's daughter is longing for a male child, and look who gives her the idea to take the child.

Exodus 2:6:

When she opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the boy was crying. And she had pity on him and said, "This is one of the Hebrews' children." [She knows the child deserves to die under her father's edict. She is deliberately violating her father's will]. Then his sister said to Pharaoh's daughter, "Shall I go and call a nurse for you from the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for you?" [Who is selling what to whom? Well, Jochebed really knows what she is doing] And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Go ahead." [She has really committed herself now] 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. 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."

Do you see the beautiful way God operates? If Pharaoh had not decreed that all male babies be killed, Moses would not be sitting in an ark in the reeds. Pharaoh's daughter would not pick up a male child, a Jewish male child, make him the son of Pharaoh's daughter, train him in all the wisdom of Egypt and make him a Prince of Egypt and a deliverer. The very sin Pharaoh committed was the very vehicle God used to accomplish His purpose

That is a very helpful thing to me. When you are struggling with your failure, with sin in your life, and you think, "Boy, there's just no hope for me," look up your redemption drawth nigh. You needn't despair because you are in bondage to something. Don't look upon that life as being destroyed forever. Your God is a redeeming God as well as a consuming fire. And, yes, you will lose your reward at the Judgment Seat of Christ for the time you blew it, and, yes, you will suffer the consequences, the natural consequences of your sin, but you are not big enough and your sin is not great enough to foul up God's purpose. He will take your sin, you'll get no credit for it, and make it work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose. He is not defeated by my stupidity, my willfulness, my emotionalism, my impulsiveness or my weakness. God does not lose any battle, ever.

The Pharaoh is god and Lord of Egypt, and yes he is knocking off Hebrew kids, but in reality he is making it come about whereby his own daughter will raise up in his own palace the deliverer of the Jews whom he is trying to stop from fleeing Egypt. And Moses will be trained, at Egyptian expense yet, to be a general, an administrator, a leader of men and an outstanding lawgiver. By the way, they studied the code of Hammurabi in Egypt in those days. He wrote it many years before this time. We know they studied it very carefully because they even annotated it. Moses was a skilled lawyer. He "was educated in all the learning of the Egyptians" we are told. Who would you want to codify the laws on Mt. Sinai? A trained lawyer. Who would you want to lead your people through the wilderness for 38-40 years? A practiced leader. Who would you want to handle all the logistics and problems that go with being a leader out in the wilderness? Somebody trained in administering large forces of men, a military general. Moses was that. Josephus tells us so. So he gets first class training at the expense of the Egyptians.

And what happens to Jochebed? She gets her child back, and she gets paid to nurse him. In those days they weaned children at about 3 years old. Many times they kept them until 12 before they began their formal education. So she may have had Moses as her child up to 12 years old. And you know those are the years when a child is ingrained with those deep thoughts and habits and values of living that stay with them the rest of their lives.

So God has Pharaoh's daughter guarantee the safety of Moses together with his future and give him back to Jochebed that he might be trained in the worship of Yahweh and brought up by an Israelite before the Egyptians could get to him. He builds into Moses this basic underlining knowledge of Himself. Then when He has prepared Moses properly He allows him to be taken to the courts of Egypt where he will be bombarded by all the teaching of the Egyptians. Some was brilliant. Some was Satanic. But He prepared His man first.

Now as a prelude to verse 11, which is where we will begin next week, let me read two passages of Scripture which help explain. First one is in Hebrews 11, the great heroes of faith passage.

Hebrews 11:24:

By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God, than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin; considering the reproach of Christ [translate that Messiah in the Jewish language] greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward.

Where did Moses learn about the Messiah, the reward that was coming some day? Where did he learn to put eternal values ahead of temporal riches?

Class comment: From his mother.

Bob's response: At his mother's knee, sure. She trained him in the hope of Israel, the Abrahamic Covenant, "Your people will be in Egypt 400 years, Abraham, and they will be oppressed down there, but I am going to bring them out with tremendous possessions, and I am going to judge that nation." God is going to bring them out in the fourth generation, 400 years, He said. He gives them the exact number of years, and it is getting close to the time. So God has Moses brought up at the feet of a very godly woman, one who, apparently, had not bowed her knee to Baal or to an Egyptian idol. He was trained by his mother to understand that eternal values have greater validity than temporal riches. So when the time came at some 40 years of age and he had to make a choice, he made the right choice. Years and years and years before, in those very formative years, the groundwork had been laid by a very godly set of parents, and it paid off down the line.

Then for the second passage, flip over to Acts 7 to Stephen's great defense before the Sanhedrin where he equates the murder and rejection of Christ with the rejection of Moses by the Israelites.

Acts 7:22:

"And Moses was educated in all the learning of the Egyptians, and he was a man of power in words and deeds."

Remember that. They will both become factors down the line. Moses is a tremendous speaker. He has been well trained in elocution. He knows language. He knows words. He knows how to talk. The Egyptian officials at Rameses spoke the Canaanite language as well as Egyptian. So Moses probably knew two or three languages. And he was a mighty man of deeds. He was used to winning. Josephus in his history, "The Antiquities of the Jews," which is pretty reliable although it has some flavor added for local color, mentions Moses. When the Ethiopians threatened Egypt, Moses was put in charge and became a hero when he routed them. Josephus also points out that Moses was not only a brilliant person but also an extremely handsome person, the Mr. Universe of the day. As a baby he was very beautiful, "lovely in the sight of God" Acts says. Josephus tells us that as a young man the Egyptians would stare at him as he walked along because he was so beautiful. He had every inducement to stay in Egypt. He was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was a man of power in word and deed. You'll want to note his excuses in the next chapter.

Acts 7:23:

But when he was approaching the age of forty, it entered his mind to visit his brethren, the sons of Israel. And when he saw one of them being treated unjustly, he defended him and took vengeance for the oppressed by striking down the Egyptian. And he supposed that his brethren understood that God was granting them deliverance through him; but they did not understand. And on the following day he appeared to them as they were fighting together, and he tried to reconcile them in peace, saying, "Men, you are brethren, why do you injure one another?" But the one who was injuring his neighbor pushed him away, saying, 'WHO MADE YOU A RULER AND JUDGE OVER US? YOU DO NOT MEAN TO KILL ME AS YOU KILLED THE EGYPTIAN YESTERDAY, DO YOU?' And at this remark MOSES FLED, AND BECAME AN ALIEN IN THE LAND OF MIDIAN, where he became the father of two sons.

So apparently at the age of forty, in some way, God must have revealed to Moses that he was to be the deliverer of Israel because it says in verse 25, "And he supposed that his brethren understood that God was granting them deliverance through him; but they did not understand." Stephen's argument in the passage of him before the Sanhedrin is, "You are like your forefathers. God brought them a deliverer that they didn't understand. God gave you a deliverer, Jesus, and you didn't understand. As they spurned their deliverer Moses, you have spurned your deliverer Jesus."

This sets the stage for verse 11 which is where we will begin next time. It was by faith, and apparently a revelation of God, that Moses made a stand. He had a choice. All the riches of Egypt and probably the Pharaohship. He would get to carry on the line. Moses is not a first class son, but Moses was the son of Pharaoh's daughter. He was her adopted son whom she raised and nurtured herself. He had a pretty good chance of being Pharaoh of all of Egypt.

Have you been to the King Tut exhibit in the city? Did you see the stuff up there, the gold? And that is just the stuff they can cart around. The riches of Egypt were unbelievable, and Moses had them all. Or he could deny that and look to the reward to come. That meant being a Jew, getting chased out of town, and coming back to lead a rabble through the wilderness for years and years. Then, after all that, not even getting into the Promised Land. It meant waiting for God to someday give him a reward.

That is the kind of choice that obtains to all of us. All day long we are bombarded by the temptations of the world; fudge a little here, compromise a little there, be this kind of a person and go up in your company. Be a little unrighteous on your income tax and save a little money. Why not? They are just blowing it anyway. Just conform to the world and the world will reward you, and, believe me, it will. You will get all the perks that go with it, the goodies that go with being something in the world. On the other hand you can take a stand for your Lord, and you may be fired, you may cause conflict in your home, you may not get that raise at work. You can only look to that reward. It is out there, but you can't see it, taste it or smell it, and it is given to you by a person you have never seen. Do you ever think about the fact that your total conversation with God is talking to the air. Have you ever touched, seen, tasted Jesus Christ? It's kind of dumb isn't it to give my life, present status and all that goes with it to somebody I have never seen? Pretty ridiculous! On the other hand if I conform and maybe chisel just a little bit, not an awful lot, I can have right here and now that Jaguar, and I like Jaguars. Hmmmm I like Jaguars, and that 85' schooner lying off Maui, Hmmmm I like 85' schooners off of Maui. Do you see that God is acting with us exactly as he acted with Moses? Moses never saw God, but he sure saw the riches of Egypt. Likewise we have never seen God, but we can sure see the riches of America. So we have a choice just like Moses. And, like Moses, we may never in this life ever see the complete fulfillment of the promises of God, the riches of God. Moses never did. "Now Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, which is opposite Jericho...Then the LORD said to him, "This is the land which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, 'I will give it to your descendants'; I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not go over there" Moses was only allowed to look at the Promised Land. Forty years he led that rabble through the wilderness and all he got was a travel folder, a series of slides, but, "Boy!" what he's got now, my friends, what he's got now.

Father, we just thank you so much for the fact that you are a God that does reward those that trust you, not because we get rewards for our behavior but because we fear you and our behavior comes out of that love, that fear, that reverential awe that you are a God who means what He says, that you are a God who is real even though you cannot be seen, tasted or touched. You are there, and we know it. Father, we ask that we might be like Moses and put aside the riches and the allurements of this world and the pleasures of sin and be the kind of men and women you want, that we might choose to endure the reproach of the Messiah, of our Lord Jesus, looking to the reward that may never come until the Judgment Seat of Jesus Christ. Father, make us that kind of men and women. We thank you in Jesus' name. Amen.