“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 greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen.”Hebrews 11:24-27
Moses was courageous, and we see in Scripture that courage was in his bloodline. His parents demonstrated courage by hiding him for three months, ignoring the king’s edict that every male Hebrew child is cast into the Nile at birth. His sister demonstrated courage by approaching Pharaoh’s daughter at the river’s edge and offering to bring a Hebrew woman (Moses’ mother) to serve as the child’s nurse.
Even though Moses grew up and was educated in Pharaoh’s household, he never lost touch with his identity as a Hebrew. God provided for his Hebrew heritage by allowing his mother to nurse him and pour into him spiritually as he developed. These verses from Hebrews 11 make it clear that Moses refused to be identified as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He demonstrated courage by choosing ill-treatment along with his fellow Hebrews over enjoying the pleasures of sin and the treasures Egypt had to offer. He was looking to the reward.
Don’t gloss over the significance of what Moses forfeited. The pleasures of sin—if sin was not pleasurable, what would be the difficulty in overcoming it? It was by faith that Moses was able to overcome, the same faith his parents exhibited by disobeying the king’s edict to kill him when he was born.
Moses demonstrated courage by leaving Egypt and enduring the trials he would face as “seeing Him who is unseen.” Moses was courageous because he learned to place his faith in God. He was not perfect. He killed an Egyptian and fled for his life to the wilderness. He made excuses to God for why he could not lead God’s people out of bondage in Egypt. But God chose him. God chose his parents. God chose his sister. All demonstrated courage in their roles in accomplishing God’s will.
When Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt they came to the edge of the Red Sea. Pursued by Pharaoh’s army and facing the terror of a watery grave, Moses was courageous. How did he muster it up? It’s simple. He called on God. Because of his confidence and faith in God, he was able to lead the children of Israel courageously. He was able to direct them not to fear. He told them to “stand by and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today…the Lord will fight for you while you keep silent” (Exodus 14:13-14).
Early on when Moses questioned God about going to Pharaoh to free the sons of Israel, God said, “Certainly I will be with you” (Exodus 3:12). Moses had experienced the God of Israel “being with him” in every situation. That is faith-building, that builds courage, and that honors God.