Sunday, May 7, 2017

HEBREWS 11:23-26

"By faith Moses,
when he had grown up,
refused to be called
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."

Yep, that's what babies do, they grow up.
And then they start thinking for themselves,
and sometimes it looks more like rebellion,
when actually he was taking a stand for God's people.
It was more socially acceptable to enjoy the pleasures of sin
than to relate to those slaves, who though beaten down by the Egyptians,
still clung to their God.


Possibly Pharaoh's daughter?

Imagine the son of Pharaoh's daughter, possibly in line to rule the Egyptian Empire--the most powerful kingdom in the world--just walking away from it all.  Well, maybe he had to run because he killed an Egyptian while trying to bring  street justice by his own hand to the one whom he had seen kill a Jew.  Right or wrong, it was the turning point in which Moses chose whom he identified with, the Egyptians or the Hebrews.  Could it be that his nursemaid, who was Moses' own mother, had imprinted the fact of his true identity?  Could that Jewish mother have shown more love and attention to her son than his adoptive mother?  We don't know.

Houston's third wife

It reminds me a tad of Sam Houston, whom Andrew Jackson had put forward to become the governor of Tennessee.  However, in order to do that, Jackson thought it fitting that Houston should marry the daughter of someone influential, like Eliza Allen.  Houston evidently saw the pretty little thing and agreed.  However, she did not love him, would probably never love him as some say she was still grieving over the loss of the former love of her life who died, or others say she loved someone else.  She also found his wound from the American Indian War vile and was repelled by it.  She left him.  He walked away from it all, from his wife, from the governorship of Tennessee and went to back to live with the Cherokee and was adopted by John Jolly.  They named him, "Big Drunk."  Hmm.  After his Cherokee wife refused to follow him to Texas with Jim Bowie, he married a sweet Christian woman and turned his life around becoming a Christian, the President of Texas, then Governor of Texas and later a member of Congress.  It isn't exactly parallel, of course, however, the point is, he walked away from a promising political career and went to the wilderness.  Hmm.  God gave it all back to him in the end, a wife, a political career, but took away the alcohol!

Moses probably could have married the most beautiful Egyptian woman, or a princess from another kingdom in order to extend Egypt's influence.  Nope.  God had another wife in mind for him, one he least expected, a shepherd's daughter in the wilderness.  Some say she might have been a beautiful woman of color.  But he walked away from the pleasures of sin in the Egyptian court.

In England's history, as well as France's--and most rulers in other countries, to tell the truth, including past American presidents--were well known for their mistresses and adulteries.  The Regency Period in England, in spite of the rigid rules of deportment such as seen in Jane Austen books and movies, had a regency court which led England to a very low level of morals.  It was not expected for married couples to be faithful and mistresses and illicit affairs abounded.  King Louis the 1Vth, court was the same. 
From the top down, they were most often depraved in their dress to their behavior, which might even be shocking even to us today, though most would happily watch it and call it entertainment.   That is why Queen Victoria was a breath of fresh air as she thought of the wickedness of her uncles and promised, "I will be good."  Her faithful marriage to the love of her life, Prince Albert was an example around the world and issued in the Victorian era. 

Adam Clarke says, "We know that Moses was bred up at the Egyptian court, and there was considered to be the son of Pharaoh's daughter; and probably might have succeeded to the throne of Egypt: but, finding that God had visited his people, and given them a promise of spiritual and eternal blessings, he chose rather to take the lot of this people, i.e. God as his portion for ever, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin, which, however gratifying to the animal senses, could only be temporary."

All that to say, that it is no stretch to believe that the Egyptian court was any different in seeking the pleasures of sin, the ones that Moses turned away from.  Even more, he turned away from the riches of Egypt to take on the reproach of the slaves of Egypt, even ill-treatment. In fact, he was "looking for the reward," or as Adam Clarke says, "He looked attentively to it; his eyes were constantly directed to  it."  He also said that it is not shocking that Hebrews speaks of Moses taking on the reproach of Christ, the Messiah. 

For Adam Clarke goes on to write, "The Christ or Messiah had been revealed to Moses; of Him he prophesied, Deuteronomy 18:15, ("The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him."); and the reproach which God's people had, in consequence of their decided opposition to idolatry, may be termed the reproach of Christ, for they refused to become one people with the Egyptians, because the promise of the rest was made to them, and in this rest Christ and His salvation were included: but, although it does not appear these things were known to the Hebrews at large, yet it is evident that there were sufficient intimations given to Moses concerning the Great Deliverer, (of whom himself was a type,) that determined his conduct in the above respect; as he fully understood that he must renounce his interest in the promises, and in the life eternal to which they led, if he did not obey the Divine call."

Just think, if Moses had not left Egypt,
he might have been a king whose grave
would have been dug up,
the next King Tut
kind of thing!

"Many have stumbled by the word Christ, here; because they cannot see how Moses should have any knowledge of Him. It may be said that it was just as easy for God Almighty to reveal Christ to Moses, as it was for him to reveal him to Isaiah, or to the shepherds, or to John the Baptist..."  We don't know all that was involved in that burning bush experience, and Moses probably had difficulty finding words to describe it.  Christ might have met him there is my puny little theory.

John Wesley said about the reproach of Christ in this passage, "That which he bore, for believing in the Messiah to come, and acting accordingly; 'for he looked off'--From all those perishing treasures, and beyond all those temporal hardships; unto the recompense of reward,--Not to an inheritance in Canaan: he had not warrant from God to look for this, nor did he ever attain it; but what his believing ancestors looked for, a future state of happiness in heaven."

Speaking of those perishing treasures, it is quite the thing, even to this day, to dig in those pyramids to find these treasures.  Though it is proof that some of those Egyptian treasures have lasted, the ones who sought to keep them in the afterlife, had to leave them behind after all beside  their mummified bodies.  It just goes to show, you can't take it with you.  Even those who have discovered these, have to leave them behind someday when they die.  Our true treasure lies in heaven where the streets will be paved with gold.

Andrew Murray says, "Faith looks at everything in the light of eternity, judging of it as one will do when the judgment day is past, and the glory begun; everything is seen in its true value, and sacrifice and suffering and loss and trial are welcomed as the training in which the glad decision, and the firm will, and the strong character, and the victory of faith are attained."

It is interesting to note that as recently as Easter week, the Coptic Christian churches in Egypt were attacked, and men, women, and children were killed in their church while worshipping the Messiah.  Christians are persecuted for their faith still in that country.  But their faith still holds to the promise that there is another kingdom coming. 

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