Anyone who has been around the Bible for very long recognizes the name, Moses. But you may not be as familiar with his early years. They are miraculous, to say the least. He was born at a time when the Pharaoh of Egypt had ordered Hebrew baby boys to be thrown into the Nile River.
When Moses’ mother, Jochebed, could hide him no longer, she placed him in a basket and floated it near the edge of the river where the Pharaoh’s daughter bathed. Sure enough, the princess discovered the baby and had compassion on him. Immediately, Moses’ sister, Miriam, who had been watching over her baby brother, asked the princess if she wanted a Hebrew woman to nurse the child. Affirmed, Miriam quickly got his own mother to wean him. Not only had God preserved the life of Moses, but He allowed Jochebed additional years to make a lasting impression on him.
When Moses was finally weaned, he lived in the palace as the son of the princess. I imagine that was the hardest thing Jochebed had ever done, placing her infant into the hands of another woman to raise. Acts 7:22 tells us, “Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action.” When we get to Heaven and talk with Jochebed, I’m sure she’ll tell us how she daily bathed Moses in prayer that he wouldn’t forget the God of his people.
After years of privilege in the palace, there came a turning point in Moses’ life when he no longer wanted to be identified as an Egyptian. We learn in Hebrews 11:24–25, “By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 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 give up all the benefits of Egypt in order to be identified with the Hebrew slaves.
I see three lessons from Moses’ life:
- Mothers, don’t discount the impact you can have on your children. The early years with them are crucial to instill within them a love for God. In the New Testament, Timothy was influenced by his mom to honor the Bible. “From INFANCY you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus“ (2 Timothy 3:15). Your children will face all sorts of temptations as they grow, but your prayers (and those of their father) are like arrows that fly straight into your children’s hearts, and help them to keep walking with the Lord.
- Moses enjoyed great honor and entitlements inside the palace, but he was willing to give up all those comforts for something greater, to be identified as one of God’s worshipers. In our case, it might mean giving up a promotion, or an opportunity to advance, or a relationship in order to be clearly identified as a Christ-follower. Is there something God is asking you to give up?
- Notice it says he no longer wanted “to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time.” The writer of Hebrews is making a parallel statement. The riches of Egypt were temporary, and so are the pleasures of sin. That’s the reality. SIN IS PLEASURABLE … FOR A SHORT TIME. If we want to be available for God to use us, we also need to say “no” to sin and “yes” to God on a daily basis.
You may never sit in a boat and float down the Nile. You may not describe your home as a magnificent palace. But you and I will be faced with situations in which we will have to intentionally decide between pursuing comfort and maintaining the status quo, or proudly identifying as a Christ-follower.