"By faith he left Egypt,
not fearing the wrath of the king;
for he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen."
I don't know about you, but I've had the unpleasant experience of a verbal lashing from those over me for leaving, not fearing their wrath, but enduring, as seeing Him who is unseen. There are times you must obey God rather than man, especially awkward when those lashing have the holier-than-thou attitude. It is never easy. It might not be on your bucket list. It's not in your top ten fun things to do. But sometimes, the time is ripe, forced even. You must act on your faith and cross the line, going across the border of the land of easy to the land of difficult for His name's sake, "yea-ing that though I walk through the valley, I will fear no evil, for God is with me-ing." Umm. I don't like the word endured any more than you do, but sometimes endure happens. The flipside is giving in, giving up or turning into milk toast--I think that's kinda like when you've dunked your cookie in your milk until it is all in the soggy bottom of your glass blending into mush.
As for me, I never want to or am known to be as spineless as a limp cat under anesthesia. (Now what made me think of that?) But what does this whole list of "By faith" mean if it doesn't mean stepping out and daring to do what others might think is crazy, unpopular, uncomfortable, outside of the norm, relying on God to do the impossible? When's the last time you did something by faith? Have you ever left your Egypt? Have you ever done something in spite of fearing the wrath of the powers that be? Have you endured lately? Oh, I get it, that's just for those Moses types, and who wants a Moses complex?
It's a little ironic, however, since it states that Moses endured as seeing Him who is unseen. Well, Moses had one of the best glimpses of God as anyone ever could when He was tucked away in the cleft of the rock covered by God's hand. It was such that when he came down from the mountain, his face was so bright and shiny that the people begged him to put a veil over himself 'cause their eyes hurt (as well as their guilt.)
Andrew Murray says, "By faith Moses, with Israel, left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king who would pursue them. That is ever the first step--coming out, being separate, parting with sin, bidding farewell to Egypt, the land of our birth, and not fearing the wrath of Satan or the world. It is by nothing but faith that this can be done, definitely and perseveringly. But faith can enable us to do it, as it did Moses. For he endured, as seeing Him who is invisible. Here is the mighty power of faith; it sees what others cannot se. It sees, amid the thousand things others see and are guided by, something infinitely greater--it sees God. No wonder if leads a man to act differently from other men. On everything it looks at, the bright light of eternity, of God, shining."
Adam Clarke says, "The apostle speaks here of the departure of Moses with the Israelites, not of his flight to Midian (after he had killed an Egyptian); for he was then in great fear: but when he went to Pharaoh with God's authority, to demand the dismission of the Hebrews, he was without fear, and acted in the most noble and dignified manner; he then feared nothing but God. He continued to as one who had the judge of his heart and conduct always before his eyes. By calling the Divine Being 'the invisible, the apostle distinguishes Him from the gods of Egypt, who were visible, corporeal, gross, and worthless. The Israelites were worshippers of the true God, and this worship was not tolerated in Egypt. His pure and spiritual worship could never comport with the adoration of oxen, goats, monkeys, leeks, and onions."
This be like us following Moses in the wilderness nowadays.
I think the end of that last quote is one of the weirdest things out of the story of Moses setting his people free: some of them wanted to go back because they missed their leeks and onions. Give me a break! Yet, the things that make us yearn for backward thinking aren't much better sometimes. We want a little more flavor in our lives, even if set free from the chains that bound us. We crave things instead of God. Even after thirty or forty years of quitting smoking, my husband says that the cigarette smell is sometimes appealing, not that he's going to pick back up a pack a day habit or anything. Most of the time he finds it disgusting, however. Yes, even though we leave Egypt, the tempting aromas of onions or cigarette smoke following us, calling us, is alluring, or other things God has put off-limits for our own good.
"I have decided to follow Jesus,
no turning back, no turning back."
So what are we to do with a Moses like that? Follow his example. His example is following Him who is unseen, invisible. Without man-fear. Now on the surface that seems ridiculous, right? But it is the only way.