Hebrews 11:23-26 Commentary

Hebrews 11:23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king's edict. (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: Pistei Mouses gennetheis (APPMSN) ekrube (3SAPI) trimenon hupo ton pateron autou, dioti eidon (3PAAI) asteion to paidion, kai ouk ephobethesan (3PAPI) to diatagma tou basileos.

Amplified: [Prompted] by faith Moses, after his birth, was kept concealed for three months by his parents, because they saw how comely the child was; and they were not overawed and terrified by the king’s decree. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)

KJV: By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king's commandment. (NLT - Tyndale House)

Phillips: It was by faith that Moses was hidden by his parents for three months after his birth, for they saw that he was an exceptional child and refused to be daunted by the king's decree that all male children should be drowned. (Phillips: Touchstone)

Wuest: By faith Moses, having been born, was hid three months by his parents, because they saw that he was a comely child. And they did not fear the mandate of the king. 

Young's Literal: By faith Moses, having been born, was hid three months by his parents, because they saw the child comely, and were not afraid of the decree of the king

BY FAITH MOSES, WHEN HE WAS BORN, WAS HIDDEN FOR THREE MONTHS BY HIS PARENTS, BECAUSE THEY SAW HE WAS A BEAUTIFUL CHILD; AND THEY WERE NOT AFRAID OF THE KING'S EDICT: Pistei Mouses gennetheis (APPMSN) ekrube (3SAPI) trimenon hupo ton pateron autou, dioti eidon (3PAAI) asteion to paidion, kai ouk ephobethesan (3PAPI) to diatagma tou basileos:

  • Ex 2:2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10; Acts 7:20
  • He 13:6; Ps 56:4; 118:6; Isaiah 8:12,13; 41:10,14; 51:7,12; Daniel 3:16, 17, 18, 6:10; Matthew 10:28; Luke 12:4,5
  • Exodus 1:16,22
  • Hebrews 11 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries
  • Art related to Moses


From 3 deaths the writer changes focus to one birth! Moses had been a major character in Hebrews 3:1-4:13, but was not mentioned in any detail (cp incidental mentions in He 9:19, He 10:28) until this section of the letter.

In Hebrews 11:23-29 the writer summarizes the faith of Moses the friend (Jas 2:23-note) and servant (Dt 34:5, 1Chr 6:49, 2Chr 24:9, Da 9:11, Rev 15:3-note) of God, by beginning with the faith of his parents (cp 2Ti 1:5-note). In so doing the writer illustrates to his Hebrew readers (who would have been familiar with the story in Exodus) how faith confronts opposition, hostility and threats of men! May the faith of these godly OT couple encourage all parents that they can still train up their children to be friends and servants of God even in the darkest of days (even as we see America, "one nation under God", in effect becoming "one nation" that is no longer under God but under the rule of rebellious, God-rejecting men!)

This verse summarizes a dangerous time for Israel because Pharaoh had commanded the Hebrew midwives to murder all the males immediately upon birth (Ex 1:22, see Ex 1:15-22). Satan has forever been trying to destroy the line of the Messiah (cp Ge 3:15, Esther 3:8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, Mt 2:16, 17, 18) so that He could not come and redeem fallen men from their bondage to sin and its consequence, death.

By faith (4102)(pistis) is synonymous with trust or belief and is the conviction of the truth of anything, but in Scripture speaks of belief respecting man's relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervor born of faith and joined with it. As pistis relates to God, it is the conviction that God exists and is the Creator and Ruler of all things well as the Provider and Bestower of eternal salvation through Christ. As faith relates to Christ it represents a strong and welcome conviction or belief that Jesus is the Messiah, through Whom we obtain eternal salvation and entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven. Stated another way, eternal salvation comes only through belief in Jesus Christ and no other way.

For more discussion on the meaning of faith see commentary on Hebrews 11:1-2.

Faith is believing that God will keep His promises, despite circumstances that seem to be to the contrary! True faith that saves one's soul includes at least three main elements - (1) firm persuasion or firm conviction, (2) a surrender to that truth and (3) a conduct emanating from that surrender. In sum, faith shows itself genuine by a changed life. (Click for W E Vine's definition of faith) (Click for Dr Wayne Grudem's online outline of Conversion and/or Listen to the Mp3 of Conversion).

Faith prompted the hiding of baby Moses, illustrating that genuine faith inspires noble conduct. One act of faith by God-fearing, God-trusting parents! While they may have had an "inkling" that their son was destined for some divine duty ("he was beautiful" Ex 2:2, Acts 7:20), they could not have fully comprehended the bountiful fruit the sowing of their seeds of faith would one day bring forth for the entire nation of Israel and ultimately for the world! Oh, how we all need to be reminded of the importance of remaining faithful in our daily lives. Only time will reveal what to us at the moment may have seemed like such a small act of faithful obedience and yet what God used to bring forth a bountiful harvest of righteousness. (cp Mt 25:21, 23, 38, 39). God give us all the grace to persevere in faithful obedience moment by moment, day by day, until our last breath opens the way into your glorious Presence. Amen.

Phillip Hughes has a great description of faith writing that "The faith of which our author is speaking is not blind faith, vacuous and unintelligent credulity, but faith that is in the highest sense enlightened and substantial, because the divine word to which it is the response is a word not only of power but also of light (Ps 119:105-note). In the biblical purview faith and revelation belong together, and revelation inevitably involves, on the part of the recipient, the activity of the intellective faculty: by faith we understand. The origination of all things by the creative word of God (Heb 11:3-note) is a truth that can be known to us only through revelation, and accordingly its disclosure demands the response of faith. It is an article of faith that recurs throughout the range of Scripture. (A Commentary On The Epistle To The Hebrews)

Spurgeon on by faith - The stress in these passages of sacred biography should be laid upon the words “by faith.” The mighty deeds of heroes and the obedient acts of pilgrim fathers are only told to us because they spring out of faith. It is to commend the root that the fruits are mentioned. The children are named one by one that the mother may have the praise, for faith is the mother of all virtues. The Lord is not praising the natural affection, but the supernatural faith. A very strong current is seen when nature and faith both set the same way, yet it is not nature but faith that bears the sway. Sometimes faith has to go against nature, as in the case of Abraham when he was bidden to offer up his son (Heb 11:17), and then faith wins the victory. Here, though faith and nature ran together and so made the current stronger, still the text does not say, “By the force of nature, by the natural love of parents for their child, Moses was hidden for three months.” No, but they did it “by faith.” Both the parents of Moses believed, and both acted by faith in disobeying the cruel order of the king. If they had not agreed about it, I do not see how Moses could have been concealed. But they both went together in the hiding of the child, and how well it will be if we all go together in the endeavor to bring our children to Christ. If our prayers are united, if our example is one, if our teaching is never contradictory, if both parents are with like earnestness seeking the salvation of their little ones, we may rest assured the promise will be kept, “Train the child concerning his way; even when he is old, he will not stray from it” (Prov 22:6).

By faith - Here is the story from Exodus to remind you of this courageous act of faith in which Moses' parents risked their own lives to preserve the life of the child (genuine faith is not passive but active, dynamic, obedient)...

Ex 2:1 Now a man from the house of Levi (Amram) went and married a daughter of Levi (Jochebed = Ex 6:20). 2 The woman conceived and bore a son (in one sense this was an act of faith to chose to have children in the face of the Pharaoh's edict regarding male sons!); and when she saw that he was beautiful (literally "a handsome child to God" NIV offers a somewhat interpretative rendering = "he was no ordinary child"), she hid him for three months (Note that He 11:23 says "his parents" which follows the Septuagint translation of the Hebrew text and commends the faith of both parents = Ex 2:2 "they hid him three months" = this was an act of faith). 3 But when she could hide him no longer, she got him a wicker (papyrus) basket ("box-like container" ~ Noah's ark Ge 6:14) and covered it over with tar and pitch. Then she put the child into it and set it among the reeds by the bank of the Nile (This was an act of faith). (Note: Moses and Christ both faced the threat of death as infants, and both were saved to bring about a great redemption and to establish a blood covenant with God's people, Moses the Old Covenant and Jesus the New Covenant) (Wiersbe "Jochebed obeyed the letter of the law when she put Moses in the waters of the Nile, but certainly she was defying Pharaoh's orders in the way she did it." cp similar principle in Acts 5:29) 4 His sister (Miriam Nu 26:59) stood at a distance to find out what would happen to him.

Ex 2:5 Then (in the providential outworking of the sovereign God) 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. 6 When she opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the boy was crying (Wiersbe "The phrase "as weak as a baby" doesn't apply in the kingdom of God; for when the Lord wants to accomplish a mighty work, He often starts by sending a baby. This was true when He sent Isaac, Joseph, Samuel, John the Baptist, and especially Jesus. God can use the weakest things to defeat the mightiest enemies [1Co 1:25, 26, 27, 28, 29]. A baby's tears were God's first weapons in His war against Egypt). And she had pity on him and said, "This is one of the Hebrew's children." 7 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?" 8 Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Go ahead." So the girl went and called the child's mother. 9 Then Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Take this child away and nurse him for me and I will give you your wages." So the woman took the child and nursed him. (This is the fruit of faith!) 10 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." (Moses In the Egyptian language, Moses means "born" or "son" and sounds like a Hebrew word that means "drawn out [of the water].") (cp Acts 7:20, 21)

And so we see the heroic faith of Moses parents Amram and Jochebed. Moses' faith will be described below, but is it any wonder that parents of faith begat a child of faith? (cp this principle in Timothy's life - 2Ti 1:5-note). Notice also the sovereign watch care of the omniscient, omnipotent Almighty God over His servant Moses even from his birth. Our God is not an "in and out" of our life God, but is with us forever and a day, and every moment of every day. Oh, how we need to recall this to our minds, not only when we feel alone but likewise when we feel the pull of temptation to sin. He is there from our birth until our death and then throughout eternity. What a comforting truth that He will never leave us nor forsake us in this life or that to come (He 13:5, 6-note). Praise His Name Immanuel! (Is 7:14, Mt 1:23) Amen.

Beautiful - It is interesting to note that Jewish writers embellished Moses’ beauty, even with such non-Biblical descriptions that the glory of this baby filled the entire room at birth! Even in his humble birth, our Lord's glory and majesty were veiled that He might be fully Man while, in the mystery of mysteries, remaining fully God (Luke 2:16, 17). While our Lord at His birth did not fill the room with glory (as far as Scripture records - there was glory around His angelic announcers Lk 2:9), His birth caused both angels (Lk 2:14) and men (Lk 2:20) to give glory to the Most High God. What a humble Lord we are privileged to worship and serve and spend eternity with!

Beautiful (791)(asteios) means beautiful, well-formed, acceptable. Used in Acts 7:20 and Hebrews 11:23 and 3x in the Septuagint - Ex 2:2 ("beautiful"), Nu 22:32, Jdg 3:17.

Zodhiates says that asteios refers to "One who dwells in a city and by consequence is well-bred, polite, eloquent, as the inhabitants of cities may be in comparison with those of the country. Used only of Moses, meaning elegant in external form (Acts 7:20; Heb. 11:23). The Greeks used to call the opposite of asteíos, the urban person, the agroíkos, the one who comes from agrós, field or country-side. Therefore, asteíos came to be assumed as one who is fair to look on and attractive, a suggestion of beauty but not generally of a high character. Asteíos may mean the same thing as hōraíos, fair or beautiful, but they reach that beauty by paths which are entirely different, resting as they do on different images. Asteíos belongs to art and to it are attributed the notions of neatness, symmetry, and elegance. Hōraíos receives its hour of beauty by nature which may be brief but which constitutes the season of highest perfection. (Complete Word Study Dictionary – New Testament)

Gilbrant on asteios in Classical Greek - Asteios comes from the word astu, “town,” and means “that which pertains to the town”; however, this literal sense is conveyed by another term, astikos, in classical Greek (Liddell-Scott). Asteios functions in a sense other than literal. Since the “city” represents culture, asteios denotes that which is “refined” and hence “beautiful, pleasing, acceptable.” This can apply to people, words, objects, or ideas and can describe physical appearance or conduct. (Complete Biblical Library Greek-English Dictionary)

Spurgeon - Stephen says in his speech that the child was “exceeding fair”; and if you look at Stephen’s speech you will see that the KJV translators have put in the margin, “Or ‘fair to God’ ” (Acts 7:20). So it may run, “they saw that the child was handsome to God.” Now, I gather from that expression that the child was exceedingly beautiful, beyond the common run of children. There was a charm about his features, a remarkable glory about his face, and something superhuman, probably, since he was fair to God. A spiritual air floated about the child’s face, as if he bore some glimmerings of the glory of Sinai, of the wondrous shepherd-lawgiver who led the people forty years through the wilderness. In the babe’s face there were prophecies of the man of God. Surely among those who have been born of women there has not been born a greater than Moses; and about him as a child there was a something so striking, so marvelously beautiful, that his parents were fascinated by him.


Were not afraid - This is clearly evidence of their faith! While surely they were aware of the terrible pronouncement by the Pharaoh and it may have caused them momentary fears and doubts, they did not allow any fear that may have been presence to control them, but instead choose to act in faith, trusting wholly in a Holy Trustworthy God. The antonym of and antidote for fear is faith (see related study on Fear, How to Handle It) Phobeo and its cognates are used in Hebrews 2:15 (phobos - word study); He 4:1; 10:27, 31; 11:23, 27; 12:21; 13:6. The Greek word for "not" is "ouk" signifying they were absolutely not afraid! Why not? They were parents of faith. They feared God which is the greatest weapon against the fear of man, for he who fears God, fears nothing else! Or as Spurgeon phrased it fear of God "is a blessed fear which drives us to trust (for)...unregenerate fear drives from God (and), gracious fear drives to Him." And in light of his God fearing parent's faith, we are not surprised that the "apple" did not fall far from the tree (so to speak) as we see Moses exercise a similar faith in Hebrews 11:27-note.

Spurgeon - Their faith made them hide him, for that faith laid hold of God, and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment. Faith makes a person wise. It is one of the notable points about faith that it is sanctified common sense. That is not at all a bad definition of faith. It is not fanaticism; it is not absurdity. It is making God the grandest asset in our account, and then reckoning according to the soundest logic. It is not putting my hands into boiling water with the impression that it will not scald me; it is not doing foolish and absurd things. Faith is believing in God and acting toward God as we ought to do. It is treating Him, not as a cipher, but as a grand overtopping numeral in all our additions and subtractions. It is realizing God—that is what it is. And in that sense, faith is the truest reason, spiritualized and lifted up out of the ordinary sphere in which godless men choose to indulge in it. It is sanctified reason, enlightened from on high.

How can we apply the lessons from this godly example of faith? (1) Do not fear the Pharaoh’s in your life (cp Pr 29:25, Mt 10:28, Ps 25:15-note). (2) Entrust your children into God’s watch care! And for all of you who were born into "Moses-like" godly homes where both parents were believers (I was not so blessed), let your praise and thanksgiving for such a wonderful gift continually resound to the Giver of all good gifts! (Jas 1:17-note)

Warren Wiersbe - "Though godly parents cannot pass on their faith as they do family traits, they can certainly create an atmosphere of faith at home and be examples to their children. A home should be the first school of faith for a child.

See Pastor Cole's exposition below

Hebrews 11:24 By faith Moses, when he had grown * up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: Pistei Mouses megas genomenos (AMPMSN) ernesato (3SAMI) legesthai (PPN) uios thugatros Pharao

Amplified: [Aroused] by faith Moses, when he had grown to maturity and become great, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, (Amplified Bible - Lockman)

KJV: By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter;

NLT: It was by faith that Moses, when he grew up, refused to be treated as the son of Pharaoh's daughter. (NLT - Tyndale House)

Phillips: It was also by faith that Moses himself when grown up refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter. (Phillips: Touchstone)

Wuest: By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called a son of Pharaoh's daughter, 

Young's Literal: by faith Moses, having become great, did refuse to be called a son of the daughter of Pharaoh,

BY FAITH MOSES, WHEN HE HAD GROWN UP, REFUSED TO BE CALLED THE SON OF PHARAOH'S DAUGHTER: Pistei Mouses megas genomenos (AMPMSN) ernesato (3SAMI) legesthai huios thugatros Pharao:

The godly British pastor Charles Simeon (1759-1836) (himself an most incredible example of suffering for Christ - see John Piper's bio of Simeon - Brothers, We Must Not Mind a Little Suffering) introduces his sermon on Hebrews 11:24, 25, 26 ("Moses' Choice") with these words - IT is a great advantage to us to be conversant with the Holy Scriptures, not only because from them we learn the principles of religion, which can be derived from no other source, but because we see in them examples which have upon them the stamp and impress of God’s approbation, and which therefore we cannot presume to disapprove. Had any individual of the present day acted as Moses did in the instance before us, we should, I doubt not, have all agreed in condemning him as inconsiderate, enthusiastic, and unwise. Not knowing his motives, or not giving him credit for them, we could not have formed a correct judgment of his actions: but we are sure that the choice which Moses made, however absurd it might appear to those more immediately connected with him, was truly commendable. (Simeon, C. Horae Homileticae Vol. 19: page 407. London)

Wuest - With respect to the action of Moses in renouncing his relationship to Pharaoh and his court, and choosing to cast his lot with Israel, we cannot do better than quote Expositor’s: “The significance and source of this refusal lay in his preferring to suffer ill-usage with God’s people rather than to have a short-lived enjoyment of sin … It was because they were God’s people, not solely because they were of his blood, that Moses threw in his lot with them. It was this which illustrated his faith. He believed that God would fulfill His promise to His people, little likelihood as at present there seemed to be of any great future for his race. On the other hand there was the hamartias apolausis (the pleasure of sin), the enjoyment which was within his reach if only he committed the sin of denying his people and renouncing their future as promised by God. For ‘the enjoyment to be reaped from sin,’ does not refer to the pleasure of gratifying sensual appetite and so forth, but to the satisfaction of a high ambition and the gratification of his finer tastes which he might have had by remaining in the Egyptian court. Very similarly Philo interprets the action of Moses, who, he says, ‘esteemed the good things of those who adopted him, although more splendid for a season, to be in reality spurious, but those of his natural parents, although for a little while less conspicuous to be true and genuine’.… That which influenced Moses to make this choice was his estimate of the comparative value of the outcome of suffering with God’s people and of the happiness offered in Egypt.… ‘He considered the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he steadily kept in view the reward.’ The reproach or obloquy and disgrace, which Moses experienced is called “the reproach of the Christ because it was on account of his belief in God’s saving purpose that he suffered … The writer uses the expression … with a view to his readers who were shrinking from the reproach of Christ (Heb 13:13).” (Hebrews Commentary)

By faith (4102)(pistis) is synonymous with trust or belief and is the conviction of the truth of anything, but in Scripture usually speaks of belief respecting man's relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervor born of faith and joined with it. As pistis relates to God, it is the conviction that God exists and is the Creator and Ruler of all things well as the Provider and Bestower of eternal salvation through Christ. As faith relates to Christ it represents a strong and welcome conviction or belief that Jesus is the Messiah, through Whom we obtain eternal salvation and entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven. Stated another way, eternal salvation comes only through belief in Jesus Christ and no other way.

True faith that saves one's soul includes at least three main elements (1) firm persuasion or firm conviction, (2) a surrender to that truth and (3) a conduct emanating from that surrender. In sum, faith shows itself genuine by a changed life. (Click here for W E Vine's similar definition of faith)

Spurgeon - What was the source of Moses’ decision? Scripture says it was faith, otherwise some would insist that it was the force of blood. We know right well that the sons of godly parents are not led to adore the true God by reason of their birth. Grace does not run in the blood; sin may, but righteousness does not. It was faith, not blood, that impelled Moses in the way of truth.

Refused (720)(arneomai from "a" = negation + rheo = say) literally means "to say no", to say one does not know about or is in any way related to some person or some thing. Webster says that to deny implies a firm refusal to accept as true, to grant or concede or to acknowledge the existence or claims of.

Arneomai is used 33 uses in the NT - note especially the first use of arneomai. (Matt. 10:33; 26:70, 72; Mk. 14:68, 70; Lk. 8:45; 9:23; 12:9; 22:57; Jn. 1:20; 13:38; 18:25, 27; Acts 3:13, 14; 4:16; 7:35; 1Ti 5:8; 2Ti 2:12f; 3:5; Titus 1:16; 2:12; Heb. 11:24; 2Pe 2:1; 1Jn. 2:22f; Jude 1:4; Rev. 2:13; 3:8) and is translated: denied(9), denies(4), deny(13), denying(3), disowned(3), refused(1). It is used once in the Septuagint (LXX) (Ge 18:15)

Sarah denied it however, saying, "I did not laugh"; for she was afraid. And He said, "No, but you did laugh."

Arneomai means to refuse to consent to something or reject something offered, as perfectly exemplified by Moses acting in faith. Moses learned that it is not the possession of things, but the refusing and forsaking of them that brings rest, resting ultimately by faith in the promises of God (He 3:18, 19-note, He 4:1-note cp Mt 11:28, 29, 30). The decisions we make today (including those things we "deny") will determine the rewards of tomorrow. Our instructor grace (see Titus 2:11-note, Note it is "grace" that is instructing us = Titus 2:12-note) will empower us to deny the temporal for the eternal. It was not Moses' great resolve that caused him to refuse great temporal reward, but it was God's amazing grace, even present in the Old Testament (contrary to what some believe).

Arneomai means to state that something is not true. E.g., the Jewish council seeking to punish Peter and John, said "What shall we do with these men? For the fact that a noteworthy miracle has taken place through them is apparent to all who live in Jerusalem and we cannot deny it." (Acts 4:16).

Arneomai means to disclaim association with a person or event (repudiate, disown, verbally or non-verbally). E.g., John asks the rhetorical question "Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies (present tense = continual, habitual denial, not just a momentary lapse) the Father and the Son." (1Jn 2:22)

Arneomai means to say "no" to oneself in order to live wholly for Christ. Luke records Jesus' declaration that "If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me." (Lk 9:23)

John MacArthur remarks that "to deny carries the idea of a conscious, purposeful action of the will. It means to say "no". It is to confess and consciously turn away from that which is sinful and destructive and to move toward that which is good and godly. It includes the commitment a believer makes when he first acknowledges his sin and receives Christ as Savior and Lord as well as the countless other decisions he makes to deny and forsake the ungodliness and worldly desires that continue to find their way back into his life. (MacArthur. Titus: Moody Press)

Moses the servant of God (1Chr 6:49, 2Chr 24:9, Da 9:11) was a man of faith who used his eyes of faith (2Cor 5:7) to “see the invisible, to choose the imperishable (cp 1Pe 1:4-note), and do the impossible (cp Php 4:13-note Lk 1:37).” What was true for Moses centuries ago can be true for all of God’s children (cp He 11:6-note) today, but men and women of faith like Moses seem to be in short supply. Whatever our churches may be known for today, they’re not especially known for glorifying God by great exploits of faith. Someone is recorded as jesting that “The church used to be known for its good deeds, but today it’s better known for its bad mortgages.” (bad joke)

Moses worked out his salvation (Php 2:12-note which is only possible because of Php 2:13-note) by rejecting his right to inherit earthly fame and fortune. Why? Because he knew the temporal "treasure" would rot and was of no comparison to what the world would call foolishness...the reproach of Christ.

Moses denied the old self (his fallen flesh - remove the "h" and spell it backwards!) (cp Mk 8:34, 35, 36, 37, 38) Why? Because he was looking to the reward.

Vine - Moses decided to leave the court and visit his downtrodden brethren; he knew that his recognition of them meant the renunciation of his position and the prospects involved in his adoption by Pharaoh’s daughter. The step he took that day, as recorded in Exodus 2:11, was the refusal mentioned, as is shown by the statement in both passages, “when he was grown up.” That decision was an act of faith, with the assurance that God would fulfill His promises.

Spurgeon - The faith of Moses was what ours must be: a faith that worked by love—love to God, and love to His people. It was no mere belief of a fact, but that fact had an overpowering influence upon his life. Moses believed, believed firmly and intensely, believed for himself, so that he took fast hold of that which is invisible. Moses showed the reality of his faith in his life, by what he refused to do, and by what he chose to do. Both the negative and the positive poles were made right by his faith. Everything about Moses proved the truth and the vigor of his faith in God.

Cyril Barber writes...

In He 11:24, 25, 26 the writer gives us a very clear picture of temptation. Temptation can only come to a believer through three channels. These channels are (1) the lust of the flesh—what I want to do, (2) the lust of the eyes—what I want to have, and (3) the pride of life—what I want to be.15

When Moses chose to endure ill-treatment with the people of God, he faced and overcame the “lusts of the flesh”—what he wanted to do. He did this with the clear realization that he was choosing the eternal rather than the temporal and committing himself to the path of duty rather than to all the pleasures which may have been his in the palace of the king.

Secondly, when Moses reckoned the reproach of the Messiah a greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, he overcame “the lust of the eyes”—what he wanted to have. Archaeologists have given us some idea of the wealth and treasure of Egypt. Moses was perfectly conscious of what he was doing. He was turning his back on the “Fort Knox” of his day, and spurning all the influence and power which money could have obtained for him.

Lastly, his faith and foresight helped him to set his mind upon future rewards and rise above any personal desires which he may have had for his own temporal advancement. In so doing he overcame the pride of life”—what he wanted to be.

What reason is given for these actions? The inspired writer attributes it solely to faith. By faith, Moses could see that the temporal things were going to pass away and that only that which was eternal would last. He overcame the temptation of selfish ambition, worldly pleasure and carnal possession because he did everything in life with a view to receiving God’s approval. (Moses A Study of Hebrews 1123–29a -- By Cyril J. Barber)

Perhaps you are convicted by the faith in action of this great servant of God (I am so don't feel alone!). If your faith is on low ebb, consider Paul's words in Romans 10:17 (note) and compare (Luke 17:5). Dr John Piper in one of his "Taste and See" articles (Recommended - periodic messages via email Sign Up Here) comments (Aug 21, 2001) on Luke 17:5 explaining how Jesus helped His Disciples Increase Their Faith (see Lk 17:5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10):

In Lk 17:5 the apostles ask Jesus to increase their faith. How does Jesus help them? In two ways, both of which are by telling them truth. So even in the way he responds he shows us that faith comes by hearing. Knowing certain things should increase our faith.

1. First, He strengthens our faith by telling us in Lk 17:6 that the crucial issue in accomplishing great things to advance the kingdom of God is not the quantity of our faith, but the power of God.

He says, "If you had faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and be planted in the sea'; and it would obey you." By referring to the tiny mustard seed after being asked about increased faith, He deflects attention away from the quantity of faith to the object of faith. God moves mulberry trees. And it does not depend decisively on the quantity of our faith, but on His power and wisdom and love. In knowing this we are helped not to worry about our faith and are inspired to trust God's free initiative and power.

2. Second, he helps their faith grow by telling them in Lk 17:7, 8, 9, 10 that when they have done all they are commanded to do, they are still radically dependent on grace.

Jesus gives an illustration. You might want to read it again in Lk 17:7, 8, 9, 10. The gist of it is that the owner of a slave does not become a debtor to the slave no matter how much work the slave does. The meaning is that God is never our debtor. V10 sums it up: "So you too, when you do all the things which are commanded you, say, 'We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done.'" We are always his debtor. And we will never be able to pay this debt, nor are we ever meant to. We will always be dependent on grace. We will never work our way up out of debt to a place where God is in our debt. "Who has ever given a gift to him that he should be repaid?" (Ro 11:35-note). When it says in Lk 17:9 that the owner does not "thank" the slave, the idiom for "thank" is provocative. I think the idea is that "thanks" is a response to grace. The reason the owner does not thank the slave is that the servant is not giving the owner more than what the owner deserves. He is not treating the owner with grace. Grace is being treated better than you deserve. So it is with us in relation to God. We never treat God with grace. We never give him more than he deserves. Which means that he never owes us thanks. God never says "Thank you" to us. Instead he is always giving us more than what we deserve and we are always owing him thanks. So the lesson for us is that when we have done all we should do - when we have solved all our pastoral care problems and fixed the attitudes of all our people and mobilized the most missions and loved the poor and saved marriages and reared godly children and boldly proclaimed Christ - God owes us no thanks. Instead we will at that moment relate to him as debtors to grace just as we do now. This is a great encouragement to faith. Why? Because it means that God is just as free to bless us before we get our act together as he is after. Since we are "unworthy" slaves before we have done what we should, and "unworthy" slaves afterwards as well, it is only grace that would prompt God to help us. Therefore he is free to help us before and after. This is a great incentive to trust him for help when we feel like our act is not together.

So two things increase our faith:

1) that God Himself and not the quantity of our faith is the decisive factor in flinging mulberry trees out of the way; and

2) free grace is decisive in how God treats us before and after we have done all we ought to do. We never move beyond the need for grace. Therefore let us trust God for great things in our little faith, and let us not be paralyzed by what is left to be done in our lives and in our church. (How Jesus Helped His Disciples Increase Their Faith)

What Are The Odds? - The problem of compulsive gambling may seem foreign to most of us. Yet experts believe that millions of Americans are psychologically addicted to gambling. It gives them the excitement of hope and risk, but it usually ends in defeat. It is indeed a temporary pleasure. For those who engage in it, losing is the name of the game; winning means not losing everything.

Some Christians have a similar problem--spiritual gambling. It's a way of living that involves taking chances by seeing how far we can stretch God's patience. Although we know there is no such thing as "luck," too often we gamble away our time or dabble in sinful pleasures. We live as if it were possible to ignore the will of God and still come out ahead. We seem to be addicted to the excitement of risk.

There's not one chance in five that God won't keep His word. There's not even one chance in a thousand. We can be absolutely sure that what He's promised will come true. That's why it makes so much sense to be like Moses and believe God. He was willing to trust in the reliable word of the Lord rather than take his chances with the temporary excitement of sin (Heb. 11:24, 25, 26). He believed that God was 100-percent trustworthy. Do you? — Mart De Haan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Just one little sin, what harm can it do:
But give it free rein and soon there are two,
And then sinful deeds and habits ensue;
So guard well your acts, or they'll enslave you. --DJD

God always performs what He promises.

The Cost - The letters stop me cold every time. Each month we receive another poignant prayer letter from missionary friends who serve in an African country where disease, especially AIDS, is killing people by the thousands. When these friends tell us about the ongoing tragedy, they are talking about people they know and love.

Our friends don't complain about the danger they are in or their struggle to raise a family amid hardship. Instead, they remind us of the souls of these people, some of whom literally die in their arms.

Their letters make me consider Christ's suffering and our need to be willing to sacrifice for Him. How often we worry about the wrong things! How extravagantly many of us live! How difficult it is for us to deny ourselves for the sake of others!

The writer of Hebrews pointed to Moses as an example of self-denial. Moses chose to identify with God and His chosen people, though he could have enjoyed the "passing pleasures of sin" and "the treasures in Egypt" (He 11:25, 26).

Our lives should be taken up with serving the Lord—no matter what the cost. We may have to make a costly sacrifice if people are to meet Jesus. What are we willing to give up for those who need to know Him? — Dave Branon (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

So send I you to labor unrewarded,
To serve unpaid, unloved, unsought, unknown,
To bear rebuke, to suffer scorn and scoffing--
So send I you to toil for Me alone. —Clarkson
© 1966 Singspiration, Inc.

Love never asks, "How much will this cost me?"

Hebrews 11:25 choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: mallon elomenos (AMPMSN) sugkakoucheisthai (PMN) to lao tou theou e proskairon echein (PAN) amartias apolausin,

Amplified: Because he preferred to share the oppression [suffer the hardships] and bear the shame of the people of God rather than to have the fleeting enjoyment of a sinful life. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)

KJV: Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;

NLT: He chose to share the oppression of God's people instead of enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin. (NLT - Tyndale House)

Phillips: He preferred sharing the burden of God's people to enjoying the temporary advantages of alliance with a sinful nation. (Phillips: Touchstone)

Wuest: having chosen for himself rather to be suffering affliction with the people of God than to be having sin's enjoyments temporarily 

Young's Literal: having chosen rather to be afflicted with the people of God, than to have sin's pleasure for a season,

CHOOSING RATHER TO ENDURE ILL-TREATMENT WITH THE PEOPLE OF GOD: mallon elomenos (AMPMSN: haireomai) sugkakoucheisthai (PMN) to lao tou theou:

  • He 10:32; Job 36:21; Ps 84:10; Matthew 5:10, 11, 12; 13:21; Acts 7:24,25; 20:23,24; Romans 5:3; 8:17,18,35, 36, 37, 38, 39; 2Corinthians 5:17; Colossians 1:24; 2Thessalonians 1:3, 4, 5, 6; 2Timothy 1:8; 2Timothy 2:3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10; 3:11,12; James 1:20; 1Peter 1:6,7; 4:12, 13, 14, 15, 16) (He 4:9; Ps 47:9; 1Peter 2:10
  • Hebrews 11 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Spurgeon - Moses believed that the Israelites were the chosen people of God. This, of course, he had learned from his parents, and he heartily believed it, though it certainly did not look to be true. It was the solemn conviction of Moses that the living and true God had chosen the seed of Abraham to be his people, and had taken them into covenant with himself. They were the election of grace. For this cause Moses loved them, and desired to be numbered with them. Certainly, they were not in themselves a very lovable people: there was much about them that must have saddened the heart of Moses. They were ignorant, while he was educated. They had been debased by slavery, while he was of that brave disposition which is nourished in freedom. When he himself attempted to be their champion, they did not receive him.

Choosing (138) (haireomai from haireo = to take a particular position for oneself) means to make a choice of one or more possible alternatives and so to choose, select or prefer. The middle voice could be read more literally "having chosen for himself". English = ''heresy'' (an opinion, doctrine, or practice contrary to the truth or to generally accepted beliefs or standards). Moses' "heresy" was a good choice! Note also that the use of the aorist tense here marks it as a single and definite act.

Haireo in the active voice means to take (Secular use "and whose fruit you pick [haireo]), in the middle voice (which is the only way it is used in the NT) to choose (Josephus uses in describing Elisha the prophets who sent one of his disciples to anoint Jehu and tell him "that God had chosen him to be their king")

Vine says that haireomai's "special significance is to select rather by the act of taking, than by showing preference or favor...(Moses)viewed both prospects, the voluptuous life of an Egyptian prince, and what his public recognition of his Hebrew descent involved, and he made his immediate choice."

Haireomai is used 3 times in the NT...

Philippians 1:22 But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose.

2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.

Hebrews 11:25 choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God, than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin

Haireomai is used 8 times in the Deut. 26:17f; Jos. 24:15; 1 Sam. 19:1; 2 Sam. 15:15; Job 34:4; Isa. 38:17; Jer. 8:3. For example...

Deuteronomy 26:18 "And the LORD has today declared (Lxx = haireomai = chosen) you to be His people, a treasured possession, as He promised you, and that you should keep all His commandments;

Joshua 24:15 "And if it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose (Hebrew = bachar = to choose; Lxx = haireomai - a command in both Hebrew and Greek) for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."

Endure ill treatment with (4778) (sugkakoucheo from sun/syn = with, speaks of an intimate association + kakoucheo = to maltreat, torment, cause to suffer, this root verb used in He 11:37, He 13:3 > NB: being faithful to God does not exempt believers from suffering!) means suffer with another or to be mistreated with someone else. Share hardship with another. Note the present tense which indicates this was not a passing fad with Moses but was the way he lived, his continual practice. Once again we see how genuine faith affects one's attitudes and actions.

The people of God - In context refers specifically to the chosen people (Israel), not just any group. Compare Peter's encouraging words in the face of suffering and persecution for the faith...

But resist (command to stand against the devil - note that before we "stand", we must bow! Bow to Jesus so you can stand against forces of evil) him (the devil 1Pe 5:8), firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world (So like Heb 11:25 when we suffer for Christ, we do not suffer alone. cp Acts 9:1, 2, 3, 4,5, 6 - esp Acts 9:5 - Who was Paul literally persecuting? When believers are persecuted for Christ, He identifies with us, for He is in an immutable new covenant bond of oneness with every believer). And after you have suffered for a little while (if you are suffering for your faith, read that phrase again - that is God's word), the God of all grace (What a great name for God! Why do we worry so often that our grace account will go bankrupt! Perhaps because we aren't leaning on His everlasting arms but our own machinations!), who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. (1Pe 5:9, 10)

THAN TO ENJOY THE PASSING PLEASURES OF SIN: proskairon echein (PAF) hamartias apolausin:

  • Job 20:5; 21:11, 12, 13; Ps 73:18, 19, 20; Isaiah 21:4; 47:8,9; Luke 12:19,20; Luke 16:25; James 5:5; Revelation 18:7
  • Hebrews 11 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

What a person really believes is shown by what he or she does or how he or she acts. Here we see evidence of Moses belief in and appreciation for the promises of God, specifically the future and eternal reward of Jehovah to all faithful men and women. This motivated and energized him to choose for God rather than the temporary material wealth offered to him. And don't read over this too quickly, because it was not as if Moses turned down some a few grocery coupons, but quite likely an unspeakable amount of earthly wealth. Assuming that to be the case, it is obvious that not only did Moses hold a strong belief (faith) but even more significant that strong belief held him. Moses had "2Co 4:18 Vision"!

Spurgeon - He perceived the pleasures of sin to be but for a season. He said to himself, “I may have but a short time to live, and even if I live to a good old age, life at the longest is still short. When I come to the close of life, what a miserable reflection it will be that I have had all my pleasure, it is all over, and now I have to appear before God as a traitorous Israelite who threw up his birthright for the sake of enjoying the pleasures of Egypt.”

Warren Wiersbe - As with Abraham and Moses of old, the decisions we make today will determine the rewards tomorrow. More than this, our decisions should be motivated by the expectation of receiving rewards (Ed: which is clearly what motivated Moses' decision to defer)...The emphasis in the Epistle to the Hebrews is: ‘Don’t live for what the world will promise you today! Live for what God has promised you in the future!”

Jesus present two powerful examples of any who would seek to enjoy the passing pleasures of what this world has to offer...

Luke 12:19 (Parable of a certain rich man who says) 'And I will say to my soul, "Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry."' 20 "But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?'

Disciple's Study Bible comments that "The present is not permanent. People make plans for the future based on present achievements. Such plans should not be totally self-centered. We need to remember God controls the future. Our plans must include Him, His will, and His work on earth. Our largest building project is His kingdom. Ryrie succinctly puts it "Man proposes; God disposes."

Luke 16:25 (Context Lk 16:19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24) "But Abraham said (to the rich man), 'Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony. (Context: Lk 16:26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31)

James speaks strongly to the rich who have made it their pastime (pun intended for it will indeed one day be "past"!) to seek the passing pleasures of this world...

Jas 5:5 (Read the context Jas 5:1, 2, 3, 4, 6) You have lived luxuriously on the earth and led a life of wanton pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter.

Enjoy...pleasures (619) (apolausis from the verb apolauo = to take of or to enjoy) (only here and in 1Ti 6:17) means to have enjoyment of something, to have the benefit of something and so enjoying it.

Zodhiates says apolausis "denotes the cleaving or adherence of the mind or affection to an object." (Ref)

In 1Ti 6:17 Paul uses apolausis to describe the act of enjoying and here in Hebrews the meaning is more the source of enjoyment.

In secular Greek we find the phrase "eis apolausis" meaning "for enjoyment".

In the Didache we read "You, almighty Master, created all things for your name’s sake, and gave food and drink to men to enjoy."

Papias uses apolausis to describe "the enjoyment of foods in the (endtime) resurrection."

Josephus uses apolausis in this sentence "but that she might have the enjoyment of her husband's company without any danger" (Ant 2.52)

Clement (2Clement) uses apolausis in this sentence "This is the reason why a man is unable to find peace: they instill human apprehensions, preferring the pleasure of the present to the promise of the future."

Paul writes Timothy, commanding him to "Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. (1 Ti 6:17)

Passing (4340) (proskairos from pros = for, toward + kairos = an opportune time) means literally for a season and just like a season comes and goes, so proskairos conveys that sense (passing). The idea is that something lasts for only for a short or limited time (= temporary, transient). Proskairos is essentially the diametric opposite of eternal or everlasting.

In a secular religious writing we read "behold, all the property of my father P. is transitory and evanescent (tending to vanish like vapor - proskairos), but the bounties of your inheritance, Lord, are incorruptible and eternal’" In the letter of Diogenes proskairos is used to described the fire of persecution as proskairos or only for a short time. In another secular use proskairos was used to describe a person as one who "lasts only a little while (proskairos)". This latter meaning is especially poignant to those who have been redeemed and now have a divine purpose for their life (cp Eph 2:10-note), the brevity of our life serving to spur us on to make every effort to redeem every moment (cp Ep 5:16-note).

In another non-Biblical use we read "the present world (kosmos - created things) is transitory (proskairos) but the coming is everlasting

Proskairos is used 4 times in the NT (no uses in the non-apocryphal Septuagint)...

Matthew 13:21 yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away.

Mark 4:17 and they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary; then, when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they fall away.

2 Corinthians 4:18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Hebrews 11:25 choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God, than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin;

Sin (266) (hamartia) in simple terms is missing the mark, specifically missing God's will for us, a will which is good and acceptable and perfect (Ro 12:2b-note). Sin is what you do when you obey your fallen flesh, instead of obeying the Holy Spirit (cp Gal 5:16-note, Gal 5:17-note). The apostle John has a good "working" definition of sin writing that sin is lawlessness (anomia > a = without + nomos = law - behaving as if one had no supreme, divine law ruling their flesh, cp Jdg 21:25-note) (1John 3:4). In Romans 5 and 6 Paul explains that Sin refers to the inherent propensity to commit specific sins a propensity that entered the human heart of Adam and as a result constituted or made him a sinner by nature. Adam then passed the inherent sinful nature (the "sin virus") he possessed to all of his offspring (which is every person ever born) (Ro 5:12-note, Ge 5:3 = "in his own likeness", not God's as in Ge 1:26!). This same "Adamic" nature which always seeks to satisfy self will (cp "lovers of self" -2Ti 3:2-note) rather than God's will is present in every person at the moment of conception when the "sin virus" is passed to the fertilized ovum (Ps 51:5-note, Ps 58:3-note, Job 25:4).

Sin appears to be fair ("you deserve this little treat"!), but is in fact filthy. It appears pleasant ("it will make you feel so good"), but belies its pernicious character and finally it promises much pleasure ("you'll be better for having done this", cp "passing pleasures" He 11:25), but performs nothing good, in the end bringing only death (to our fellowship with God if we are believers, eternal death/separation if unbelievers).

Pleasure Versus Joy - The world offers "passing pleasures" (Hebrews 11:25), but the Lord Jesus offers to give us full and lasting joy (John 15:11). Pleasure is dependent on circumstances, but joy is inward and is not disturbed by one's environment.

Pleasure is always changing, but joy is constant! Worldly delights are often followed by depression. True joy is grounded in Jesus Christ, who is "the same yesterday, today, and forever" (Hebrews 13:8).

To keep experiencing pleasure, we must run from one stimulus to another, for it refuses to be permanently grasped. Joy is just the opposite. It is a gift we receive from God.

Pleasure is built on self-seeking, but joy is based on self-sacrifice. The more we pursue self-gratification, the more empty we feel. If a pint of pleasure gives momentary happiness today, a gallon of excitement and thrills is necessary for the same effect tomorrow. Joy, however, is based on the sacrificial giving of ourselves. As we learn what it means to focus on the needs of others, we find greater fulfillment in God Himself, who meets our every need.

Only when you seek the things of Christ can you find abiding joy. — Henry G. Bosch (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

There is joy beyond all measure
In abiding in the Lord;
It is promised most abundant
And enduring in His Word. —McQuat

For joy that will last, always put Christ first.

An ark of safety in the flood of vanities? (Henry Law, "The Burning Bush")

"It was by faith that Moses, when he grew up, refused to be treated as the son of Pharaoh's daughter. He chose to share the oppression of God's people instead of enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin. He thought it was better to suffer for the sake of the Messiah than to own the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking ahead to the great reward that God would give him." Hebrews 11:24-26

Worldly pomp is very dazzling!

Worldly luxury is very entrancing!

Worldly pleasures are very ensnaring!

But there is an ark of safety in the flood of vanities, as in the flood of waters.

Moses is neither dazzled, nor entranced, nor ensnared. He looks above, and sees a splendor far more bright. He deliberately chooses scorn and affliction and loss and poverty, with the people of God. And he finds . . .

such scorn to be the truest honor;

such affliction to be the purest joy;

such loss to be the richest gain;

such poverty to be the most enduring wealth.

Reader! it is an important principle, that none can tread the world beneath their feet until they see a fairer world above their heads!

When the Lord is set before you, your eyes are dim to lower objects. The beauty of the all beauteous One, makes other loveliness unlovely!

Moses proves the mighty energy of soul elevating, soul purifying faith. This stirring principle turns his whole course from ease and affluence and self, into one stream of daring activities for God.

Octavius Winslow - Daily Walking with God

"Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season." Hebrews 11:25.

THE believer should never fail to remember that the present is, by the appointment of God, the afflicted state to him. It is God's ordained, revealed will, that His covenant children here should be in an afflicted condition. When called by grace, they should never take into their account any other state. They become the disciples of the religion of the cross—they become the followers of a crucified Lord—they put on a yoke, and assume a burden: they must, then, expect the cross inward and the cross outward. To escape it is impossible. To pass to glory without it, is to go by another way than God's ordering, and in the end to fail of arriving there. The gate is strait, and the way is narrow, which leads unto life; and a man must become nothing, if he would enter and be saved. He must deny himself—he must become a fool that he may be wise—he must receive the sentence of death in himself, that he should not trust in himself. The wise man must cease to glory in his wisdom, the mighty man must cease to glory in his might, the rich man must cease to glory in his riches, and their only ground of glory in themselves must be their insufficiency, infirmity, poverty, and weakness; and their only ground of glory out of themselves must be, that "God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

The believer in Jesus, then, must not forget that if the path he treads is rough and thorny, if the sky is wintry, if the storm is severe, and the cross He bears is heavy, that yet this is the road to heaven. He is but in the wilderness, why should He expect more than belongs to the wilderness state? He is on a journey, why should he look for more than a traveler's fare? He is far from home, why should He murmur and repine that he has not all the rest, the comfort, and the luxuries of his Father's house? If your covenant God and Father has allotted to you poverty, be satisfied that it should be your state, yes, rejoice in it. If bitter adversity, if deep affliction, if the daily and the heavy cross, be your portion, yet, breathe not one murmur, but rather rejoice that you are led into the path that Jesus Himself walked in, to "go forth by the footsteps of the flock," and that you are counted worthy thus to be one in circumstance with Christ and his people.

Hebrews 11:26 considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward. (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: meizona plouton egesamenos (AMPMSN) ton Aiguptou thesauron ton oneidismon tou Christou, apeblepen (3SIAI) gar eis ten misthapodosian.

Amplified: He considered the contempt and abuse and shame [borne for] the Christ (the Messiah Who was to come) to be greater wealth than all the treasures of Egypt, for he looked forward and away to the reward (recompense). (Amplified Bible - Lockman)

KJV: Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.

NLT: He thought it was better to suffer for the sake of the Messiah than to own the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking ahead to the great reward that God would give him. (NLT - Tyndale House)

Phillips: He considered the "reproach of Christ" more precious than all the wealth of Egypt, for he looked steadily at the ultimate, not the immediate, reward. By faith he led the exodus from Egypt; he defied the king's anger with the strength that came from obedience to the invisible king. (Phillips: Touchstone)

Wuest: he considered the reproach of the Messiah greater wealth than Egypt's treasures, for he looked away to the recompense. 

Young's Literal: having chosen rather to be afflicted with the people of God, than to have sin's pleasure for a season,

26 greater wealth having reckoned the reproach of the Christ than the treasures in Egypt, for he did look to the recompense of reward;

CONSIDERING THE REPROACH OF CHRIST GREATER RICHES THAN THE TREASURES OF EGYPT: hegesamenos (AMPMSN) ... ton oneidismon tou Christou meizona plouton hegesamenos (AMPMSN) tôn Aiguptou thêsaurôn:

  • He 10:33; 13:13; Ps 69:7,20; 89:50,51; Isaiah 51:7; Acts 5:41; 2Corinthians 12:10; 2Corinthians 12:10; 1Peter 1:11; 4:14
  • Ps 37:16; Jeremiah 9:23,24; 2Corinthians 6:10; Ephesians 1:18; 3:8; Revelation 2:9; 3:18
  • Hebrews 11 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Spurgeon - Adding all things up and making a deliberate calculation of the whole business, he believed that it must be right and wise to stand on that side that was in agreement with the living God. He made up his mind that he would be where the Lord was. These days you have read or heard the plausible arguments of the deceivableness of unrighteousness, which in these last days teaches men to do evil that good may come. Moses cared for none of these things. He knew his duty, and did it, whatever might be the consequences. Every Christian man’s duty is to believe the truth, and follow the truth, and leave results with God.

Considering (2233) (hegeomai from ago = to lead, carry, bring) has two basic meanings in the NT. One is to lead as one would do in a supervisory capacity as when describing men in any leading position - ruler, leader, governor (Ac 7:10) and stands opposite of a diakonos or servant in (Lk 22:26). In the apocryphal writings hegeomai was used of military commanders. It was also used to describe leaders of religious bodies, both pagan and Christian (latter in Heb 13:7, 17, 24, "leading men" in Acts 15:22, "chief speaker" in Acts 14:12). In secular Greek hegeomai was used to describe the pagan god Hermes as "the leader of the word"

The second meaning means to engage in an intellectual process (2Co 9:5, Php 2:25, Php 3:8, 2Pe 1:13. In this latter sense, hegeomai conveys the picture of leading out (note the root verb of origin = ago = to lead) before the mind, and thus to regard, esteem, count, reckon. This latter meaning is found in the present verse. In this sense, hegeomai pictures one giving careful thought to something and not making a quick decision. In the present verse it pictures Moses carefully thinking through his decision, weighing out the pros and cons. He weighed what Egypt had to offer in time against what God offered in both time and eternity. In secular Greek hegeomai was a mathematical term which meant "Think about it and come to a conclusion."

Hegeomai is in the aorist tense, which speaks of a single and resolute act as the result of a decisive esteeming or reckoning (by Moses).

Thayer says that hegeomai denotes "a belief resting not on one's inner feeling or sentiment, but on the due consideration of external grounds, the weighing and comparing of facts . . . deliberate and careful judgment.

Wuest writes that hegeomai "speaks of a belief or appraisal that does not rest upon one’s emotions, but upon the due consideration of external grounds, upon the weighing and comparing of facts. It refers to a deliberate and careful judgment.

The NAS renders hegeomai as chief(1), consider(3), considered(2), considering(1), count(4), counted(1), esteem(1),governor(1), leader(1), leaders(3), leading(1), led(1), regard(5), regarded(1), Ruler(1), thought(2).

Hegeomai is used 28 times in the NT...

Matthew 2:6 'And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah, Are by no means least among the leaders of Judah; For out of you shall come forth a Ruler, Who will shepherd My people Israel.'"

Luke 22:26 "But not so with you, but let him who is the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as the servant.

Acts 7:10 and rescued him from all his afflictions, and granted him favor and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh, king of Egypt; and he made him governor over Egypt and all his household.

Acts 14:12 And they began calling Barnabas, Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker.

Acts 15:22 Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, to choose men from among them to send to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas-- Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas, leading men among the brethren,

Acts 26:2 "In regard to all the things of which I am accused by the Jews, I consider myself fortunate, King Agrippa, that I am about to make my defense before you today;

2Corinthians 9:5 So I thought it necessary to urge the brethren that they would go on ahead to you and arrange beforehand your previously promised bountiful gift, that the same might be ready as a bountiful gift, and not affected by covetousness.

Philippians 2:3-note Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself;

Philippians 2:6-note who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,

Philippians 2:25-note But I thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger and minister to my need;

Philippians 3:7-note But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ.

Philippians 3:8-note More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ,

1Thessalonians 5:13-note and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another.

2 Thessalonians 3:15 And yet do not regard him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.

1 Timothy 1:12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service;

1 Timothy 6:1 Let all who are under the yoke as slaves regard their own masters as worthy of all honor so that the name of God and our doctrine may not be spoken against.

Hebrews 10:29-note How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?

Hebrews 11:11-note By faith even Sarah herself received ability to conceive, even beyond the proper time of life, since she considered Him faithful who had promised;

Hebrews 11:26-note considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward.

Hebrews 13:7-note Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith.

Hebrews 13:17-note Obey your leaders, and submit to them; for they keep watch over your souls, as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.

Hebrews 13:24-note Greet all of your leaders and all the saints. Those from Italy greet you.

James 1:2-note Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,

2 Peter 1:13-note And I consider it right, as long as I am in this earthly dwelling, to stir you up by way of reminder,

2 Peter 2:13-note suffering wrong as the wages of doing wrong. They count it a pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are stains and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, as they carouse with you,

2 Peter 3:9-note The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

2 Peter 3:15-note and regard the patience of our Lord to be salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you,

Hegeomai is used in 101 verses in the Septuagint (LXX) -

Ge 49:10, 26; Exod. 13:21; 23:23, 27; Deut. 1:13, 15; 5:23; Jos. 13:21; 1 Sam. 15:17; 22:2; 25:30; 2 Sam. 2:5; 3:38; 4:2; 5:2; 6:21; 7:8; 1 Ki. 1:35; 4:21; 9:5; 12:24; 14:27; 15:13; 16:2, 16; 2 Ki. 1:9, 13; 20:5; 1 Chr. 5:2; 7:40; 9:11, 20; 11:2; 12:21, 27; 13:1; 16:5; 17:7; 26:24; 27:8, 16; 2 Chr. 5:2; 6:5; 7:18; 9:26; 11:11, 22; 17:2, 7, 15; 18:16; 19:11; 20:27; 28:7; 31:13; Est. 1:16; 5:11; Job 13:24; 19:11; 30:1, 19; 33:10; 35:2; 41:27f, 31; 42:6; Ps. 104:17; Prov. 5:19; 16:18; 29:26; 30:31; Jer. 4:22; 20:1; 51:28; Ezek. 17:13; 19:11; 20:46; 23:6, 12; 43:7, 9; 44:3; 45:7; Dan. 2:48; 3:2f, 30; 4:8; 6:2; 9:25f; 11:22; Mic. 2:9, 13; 3:9, 11; 7:5; Nah. 3:4; Hab. 1:14; Mal. 1:8;

Moses' act of faith teaches us not to sacrifice the future rewards in glory on the altar of present passions and pleasures.

Morris on reproach of Christ - Moses lived about 1500 years before Christ, but even at this early date, he knew about the promised Messiah (see, for example, his prophecy in Deuteronomy 18:15-19), and knew God’s eternal promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were worth far more than temporal riches. (Defender's Study Bible)

Reproach (3680) (oneidismos from oneidizo = to defame, find fault in a way that demeans another [Mt 5:11] <> from oneidos = disgrace, insult, Lk 1:25) is a noun which means reproach, which is an expression of rebuke or disapproval. It means to insult, abuse, disgrace. The idea in some context (Ro 15:3, He 10:33, 11:26, 13:13) is that the insult or reviling represents unjustifiable verbal abuse inflicted on someone. In other contexts it describes justifiable disgrace or reproach (1Ti 3:7). Look at some of the uses of oneidismos in the Septuagint (see verse list below) to see other saints who suffered reproach (e.g., Neh 1:3, 4:4, etc; see also what suffered reproach in Jer 6:10!). The narrow "way of the Cross" has always been the way of reproach, even before the Cross!

BDAG says oneidismos is an "act of disparagement that results in disgrace, reproach, reviling, disgrace, insult".

Oneidismos - 5x in NT -

Romans 15:3-note For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, "The reproaches of those who reproached Thee fell upon Me."

1Timothy 3:7 And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he may not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

Hebrews 10:33-note partly, by being made a public spectacle through reproaches and tribulations, and partly by becoming sharers with those who were so treated.

Hebrews 11:26-note considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward.

Hebrews 13:13-note Hence, let us go out to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach.

Oneidismos - 49v in the Septuagint -

Josh 5:9; 1Sa 25:39; Neh 1:3; 4:4; 5:9; Ps 15:3; 69:7, 9f, 19f; 74:22; 79:12; 89:50; 119:39; Isa 4:1; 37:3; 43:28; 47:3; 51:7; Jer 6:10; 12:13; 15:15; 20:8; 23:40; 24:9; 25:9; 31:19; 42:18; 44:8, 12; 49:13; 51:51; Lam 3:30, 61; 5:1; Ezek 21:28; 34:29; 36:6, 15, 30; Dan 9:2, 16; 11:18; 12:2; Hos 12:14; Joel 2:19; Zeph 2:8; 3:18;

Vine - The “reproach of Christ” (not “reproach for Christ”) means Christ’s reproach. That scoffing and mockery which Christ endured, and which His faithful followers still endure, was anticipated by the godly long before Christ became manifested, though they may have dimly foreseen Him. Cp. 1Cor 10:4, “the Rock was Christ.” The Lord said of Moses, “He wrote of Me.” (Jn 6:46 - e.g., read Jn 1:45 Ge 3:15 Ge 12:3 Ge 18:18 Ge 22:18 [see Gal 3:16 for identification of the "Seed" of which Moses wrote] Ge 28:14 Ge 49:10 Nu 21:8,9 [see Jn 3:14-15] Nu 24:17 Dt 18:15,18,19 Acts 26:22 Ro 10:4) Such reproach was wealth to Moses, far greater than anything Egypt and its royalty could supply. What a lesson for believers today! (Vine, W. Collected writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson)

Greater riches than the treasures of Egypt - Henry Morris writes that "As the adopted son of Pharaoh’s daughter, Moses quite possibly could have eventually become king of Egypt, but he knew by faith that God’s promises were far greater, and he believed them." (Defender's Study Bible)

Riches (wealth) (4149)(ploutos) from pletho = to fill) properly denotes abundance, plentitude, and literally is used to refer to material wealth or prosperity (abundance of earthly, temporal goods) which is the meaning in the parable of the seed and the soils (Mt 13:22, Mk 4:19, Lk 8:14 = Material riches are deceitful and choke out reception of the Word of God. Be careful all you wealthy readers! Contrast spiritual riches - Ep 3:8) Indeed, think of the people who know whose whole lives glow with the glory of God for they are rich in spiritual possessions, albeit often poor in material possessions!

Take my silver and my gold,
Not a mite would I withhold;
Take my intellect, and use
Every power as Thou shalt choose.
-Francis Havergal
Take My Life

Treasures (2344)(thesauros) from títhemi = put, set) refers to the place where goods and precious things are stored for safekeeping (Think about the glorious Gospel every disciple of Christ possesses!) and thus a repository (place, room, or container where something is deposited or stored), a treasure chest, a storehouse, a treasury. The second sense of thesauros refers to that which is stored up in the treasury or repository (Mt 2:11 Mt 6:19 20 21 Lk 12:33).

Figuratively thesauros can refer to the heart, as the repository of thoughts, feelings, purposes, etc (Lk 6:45, Mt 12:35). In 2Co 4:7 (Note) thesauros clearly refers to the priceless Gospel with which all believers have been entrusted. Remember that when Jesus entrusted the stewards with valuables, He expected them to use them wisely (cp 2Ti 1:14-note), which is so convicting, for how infrequently I give out this priceless treasure to those who are spiritually destitute! Moses knew something (how much we do not know) of the Messiah (cp 1Pe 1:10-12-note) and of the Gospel (because of Gal 3:8 - see also Jn 6:46 - e.g., read Jn 1:45 Ge 3:15 Ge 12:3 Ge 18:18 Ge 22:18 [see Gal 3:16 for identification of the "Seed" of which Moses wrote] Ge 28:14 Ge 49:10 Nu 21:8,9 [see Jn 3:14-15] Nu 24:17 Dt 18:15,18,19 Acts 26:22 Ro 10:4), and so he looked at the sparkling treasures of Egypt and compared them with the inestimably glorious treasures of and in Christ and His glorious Gospel and he choose the latter. Look at your checkbook and your credit card and your giving to world missions -- who do they say you choose beloved? Remember from the next phrase (see "For he was looking..."), you will be rewarded for your "eternal vision" in time!

English definitions of treasure - Derived from Latin "thesaurus" = anything hoarded, treasure, storehouse, collection. Something of great worth or value. Gives us our English word "thesaurus" (a treasury of words). A great quantity of any thing collected for future use. Something or someone very much valued or highly prized. Wealth and riches, usually hoarded, esp. in the form of money, precious metals, or gems.

FOR HE WAS LOOKING TO THE REWARD: apeblepen gar eis tên misthapodosian: RAI:

  • Regarding rewards study the following passages interrogating with the 5W'S & H - He 11:6-note, Boaz speaking to Ruth the Moabitess = Ruth 2:12-note, Pr 11:18, Mt 5:11, 12-note Mt 5:46-note Mt 6:1-note Mt 10:41, 42 Mk 9:41, Lk 6:22, 23, 35, Luke 14:13, 14, 2Jn 1:8,1Cor 3:11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 2Cor 5:9, 10, 1Co 4:5, Mt 25:35,40; Heb 6:10-note
  • Hebrews 11 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

For (gar) is a strategic term of explanation which should always prompt a pause to prayerfully ponder what the author is saying in a given section. This pause that refreshes will give your Teacher, the Spirit, an opportunity to speak to your heart (so that what you read is more than just head knowledge), not only illuminating the text (see The Bible and Illumination) but applying the text practically to your personal life (Application). Therefore, energized by the Spirit, let us discipline ourselves for godliness and frequently "P & P" (pause and ponder) the Word -- we are sure to be richly rewarded by our Father in Heaven, for "godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come!" (1Ti 4:7-8-note, 1Ti 4:9-10-note)

And so in context, "for" explains that Moses had 20/20 "eternal vision," which kept him from becoming captivated by the empty treasures of this world which is passing away and also its lusts! (1Jn 2:17-note). Are you becoming enamored with the "treasures of Egypt?" If so, the divine antidote is to look to the reward! (Frequently alluded to in the NT - e.g., 1Jn 3:2-note, 1Jn 3:3-note, Col 3:1-note, Col 3:2-note, 1Pe 1:13-note).

Looking to the reward - He could not yet see the reward, but he believed God was true to His Word. And so Moses looked with eyes of faith at the faithfulness of God and His immutable promises and he acted accordingly for as Lawrence Richards says "Faith transforms our values and shapes our choices."

This "faith chapter" in Moses' life reminds one of Jesus' words for how to live faithfully in this life as we await the life to come "Do not lay up for yourselves (present imperative + a negative = Command to stop doing this or do not start doing this!) treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But lay up (present imperative = Command to make this your lifestyle, not just at the end of the tax year!!! Remember the commands are to be carried out under grace, energized by the Spirit, and not by self-effort which will ultimately place you under the burdensome law! Grace, grace, amazing grace is forever our cry and song!) for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 21 for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Mt 6:19, 20, 21-note)

Paul had this "future focus" mindset as evidenced by his reminder to the Corinthian saints "Therefore also we have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. (2Co 5:9-note; 2Co 5:10-note)

Looking for (578) (apoblepo from apo = an intensive or as a marker indicating any separation of one thing from another + blepo = see, look) means to look off or to look away from everything else and thus by "default" to fix one's eyes earnestly or attentively upon one single object (very similar to aphorao [word study]), in this case the eternal divine prize! This verb conveys the nuances of to carefully think about, to concentrate on, to pay attention to, to pay regard to. The tense in Heb 11:26 is imperfect which depicts Moses as carrying out his "looking for" over and over and over.

Apoblepo presents us with an excellent (motivating) picture of one who has his eyes fixed on eternity (2Co 4:18-note) and not this passing world (1Jn 2:17-note). This godly example is one that every saint should seek diligently to imitate and emulate (Heb 6:11, 12-note).

In the secular world, apoblepo was used to describe one keeping their attention fixed upon something, as an artist fixes his attention on the object or model that he is reproducing in painting or sculpture.

The writer uses the perfect tense which pictures Moses as having "looked away and kept on looking away." Moses had determined at some point in time to keep his eyes on, attention to the prize and was still doing so. This tense thus speaks of a permanence regarding Moses' spiritual vision, which again is a powerful example to the saints of all ages regarding how we can be empowered to live as aliens and strangers in this present evil age (Gal 1:4-note).

This is the only NT use of apoblepo but there are 5 uses in the Septuagint (LXX) - Ps 10:8; 11:4; Song 6:1; Hos 3:1; Mal 3:9. In Malachi Jehovah says to Israel "You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, the whole nation of you!" The Septuagint renders the first clause using apoblepo with the English translation "ye do surely look off from (you surely turn away your attention, you surely disregard or you surely do look from) me".

In Psalm 11 the use of apoblepo is somewhat more understandable...

The LORD is in His holy temple; the LORD'S throne is in heaven; His eyes behold (Lxx = apoblepo in present tense = continually!), His eyelids test the sons of men. (Ps 11:4)

Spurgeon comments: The eternal Watcher never slumbers; his eyes never know a sleep. His eyelids try the children of men: he narrowly inspects their actions, words, and thoughts. As men, when intently and narrowly inspecting some very minute object, almost close their eyelids to exclude every other object, so will the Lord look all men through and through. God sees each man as much and as perfectly as if there were no other creature in the universe. He sees us always; he never removes his eye from us; he sees us entirely, reading the recesses of the soul as readily as the glancings of the eye. Is not this a sufficient ground of confidence, and an abundant answer to the solicitations of despondency? My danger is not hid from him; he knows my extremity, and I may rest assured that he will not suffer me to perish while I rely alone on him. Wherefore, then, should I take wings of a timid bird, and flee from the dangers which beset me?

NET Bible note: The anthropomorphic language draws attention to God's awareness of and interest in the situation on earth. Though the enemies are hidden by the darkness (Ps 11:2), the Lord sees all....imperfect verbal forms in this verse describe the LORD's characteristic activity.

Lauersdorf writes that "Faith’s eye sees not only the present but especially the future. Faith’s wisdom calculates not only the beginning but especially the ending. By faith Moses looked for the same heavenly city as Abraham (Heb 11:10) and the other patriarchs (Heb 11:16). Their example reminds us of Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 4:18, “ (Lauersdorf, R. E.. Hebrews. The People's Bible. Milwaukee, Wis.: Northwestern Pub. House)

Wiersbe - To be “spiritually minded” simply means to look at earth from heaven’s point of view. “Give your heart to the heavenly things, not to the passing things of earth” (Col. 3:2 Phillips-note). “Practice occupying your minds with the things above, not with the things on earth” (Col. 3:2, Williams). D. L. Moody used to scold Christians for being “so heavenly minded they were no earthly good,” and that exhortation still needs to be heeded. Christians have a dual citizenship—on earth and in heaven—and our citizenship in heaven ought to make us better people here on earth. The spiritually minded believer is not attracted by the “things” of this world. He makes his decisions on the basis of eternal values and not the passing fads of society. Lot chose the well-watered plain of Jordan because his values were worldly, and ultimately he lost everything (Ge 13:11, 19:15, 23-24, 26, Lk 17:31-32, Pr 14:14). Moses refused the pleasures and treasures of Egypt because he had something infinitely more wonderful to live for (Heb. 11:24–26). “What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36) “For our citizenship is in heaven” (Phil. 3:20-note). The Greek word translated “citizenship” (politeuma) is the word from which we get the English word “politics.” It has to do with one’s behavior as a citizen of a nation. Paul is encouraging us to have the spiritual mind, and he does this by pointing out the characteristics of the Christian whose citizenship is in heaven. Just as Philippi was a colony of Rome on foreign soil, so the church is a “colony of heaven” on earth. (Bible Exposition Commentary. 1989. Victor)

The reward (3405) (misthapodosia from misthos [word study] = wages, reward + apodidomi = to give out, to fulfill an obligation, divine or human retribution, recompense or repayment) (also in He 2:2-note, He 10:35-note) literally refers to the paying of wages and thus conveys the sense of a recompense, whether in the form of a reward (Heb10:35;11:26) or a punishment (Heb 2:2-note)

Here are the only 3 uses in Scripture, all in Hebrews...

Hebrews 2:2-note For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense,

Hebrews 10:35 Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.

Hebrews 11:26 considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward.

Moses was looking toward something, fixing his eyes earnestly, attentively on the unseen, the eternal. The question for all of us dear reader, is what are we looking at today? what are we looking for? what are we expecting? what are we focused upon? are we looking at temporal things with eternal vision? are we remembering that only two things we see now are eternal - people (their souls) and God's Word? We all need to "hit the reset button" on our heart from time to time so that we do the things we did when we first fell in love with Christ (Who even gave us the desire and power to love Him passionately and purely, 1Jn 4:19). (cp Re 2:4, 5). Be careful that you don't begin to slowly, subtly drift away from your first love.

Wiersbe makes a good point that "God always rewards true faith—if not immediately, at least ultimately. Over against “the treasures in Egypt” Moses saw the “recompense of the reward.” As Dr. Vance Havner said, “Moses chose the imperishable, saw the invisible, and did the impossible.” (Wiersbe, W: Bible Exposition Commentary. 1989. Victor)

John MacArthur tells story - 'There once was an old church in England. A sign on the front of the building read ''We preach Christ crucified.'' After a time, ivy grew up and obscured the last word...''We preach Christ.'' The ivy grew some more, and motto read, "We preach.'' Finally, ivy covered the entire sign, and the church died. Such is the fate of any church that fails to carry out its mission in the world.'' The church continued and was later the scene of a major church council, but after the 5th century both the church and the city declined. The immediate area has been uninhabited since the 14th century.

O Lord, return to me Your power
That once by grace I knew;
Forgive the sin that grieved Your heart,
And help me to be true.

Hebrews 11:23-26 Faith's Choice

by Steven Cole

We all have to make choices in life, and often those choices result in significant consequences. In 1920, the management of the Boston Red Sox made the bad choice to sell Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees. After joining the Yankees, in 10 out of the next 12 seasons Ruth hit more home runs than the entire Red Sox team! Boston had not won a World Series since 1918, when Ruth was on the team, until this week!

In 1938, Joe Schuster and Jerry Siegel sold all their rights for a comic book character that they had invented for $130. The character’s name? Superman! In 1955, Sam Phillips sold to RCA Victor Records his exclusive contract with a young singer named Elvis Presley, thus forfeiting royalties on more than a billion records (Reader's Digest [7/85], p. 173). Bad choices!

Our text tells us about two good choices that greatly affected world history. The first choice was relatively routine at the time. Two slaves in ancient Egypt chose to defy the king’s edict to kill all male Hebrew babies by hiding their son. That son turned out to be Moses, the great deliverer of his people. The second choice was that of Moses himself, and it was more difficult. He chose to give up his position of influence and wealth in the Egyptian court in order to side with the enslaved people of God. Both choices were motivated by faith and their lessons have eternal consequences for us. Both choices teach that…

The choice to obey God by faith will result in short-term suffering, but also in eternal blessings.

1. The choice of Moses’ parents to obey God by faith resulted in short-term suffering, but also in eternal blessing (Heb 11:23).

Moses’ parents are not named in Hebrews or in the original story in Exodus 2. Exodus 6:20 names Amram as the father and Jochebed as the mother of Moses and Aaron, his older brother by three years. But since the Jews often called ancestors from many generations back, “father” or “mother,” we can’t be certain that these were the immediate parents (Walter Kaiser, Expositor's Bible Commentary, ed. by Frank Gaebelein [Zondervan], 2:308). The oldest child in the family was a sister, Miriam.

The Jews had gone from the privileged position they enjoyed in Egypt under Joseph to the despised position as hard labor slaves. Because of his fear that the Jews were multiplying too rapidly, Pharaoh had issued the command to throw all newborn Jewish boys into the Nile River.

In such dire circumstances, this Jewish couple had a “beautiful” son (Heb. 11:23 is based on Ex 2:2, Septuagint - LXX). Since most parents would think that every child they have is “beautiful,” there must have been something exceptional about Moses. Stephen (Acts 7:20) calls him “beautiful to God” (literal translation). John Calvin points out that since Scripture forbids us from making judgments based on external appearance, Moses’ parents must have seen something in this baby boy to make them hope that he would be the promised deliverer of his people (Calvin's Commentaries [Baker], on Heb. 11:23, p. 292). Because they thought that God had destined him for such a great role, they defied the king’s edict and hid him for three months. That choice, based on faith, entailed short-term suffering, but eternal blessings.

A. The choice of Moses’ parents to obey God by faith resulted in short-term suffering.

Heb 11:23 says, “they were not afraid of the king’s edict.” So why did they hide their son if they were not afraid? Why not just take him out in public view, if they were trusting in God? Faith is not opposed to using prudence. Trusting God does not mean taking reckless chances. While they did not fear the king’s edict in the sense that they defied it, they no doubt did fear not only for the life of their baby boy, but for all their lives. If Pharaoh’s guards had caught them, they would have executed the entire family for insubordination to the king. So their “by faith” choice to hide their son exposed the entire family to the risk of death.

Imagine how carefully they had to live! If the baby cried at any time of the day or night, they had to muffle him while they tried to calm him down. They couldn’t risk having their children play with other children in the neighborhood, for fear that they would let something slip about their baby brother. If Pharaoh’s police roamed the neighborhood looking for newborn baby boys, the family sat in silent terror.

The choice to obey God by faith always involves a certain amount of up-front risk. Remember, this couple did not know the end of the story when they made their decision! They all could have been slaughtered because of what they did. Although it would have been agonizing to throw their baby boy into the river, they could have rationalized it by saying, “What else could we have done? We probably would have been caught and our whole family would have died. He would have lived a miserable life as a slave, like the rest of us. We just have to submit to the government authorities!”

But instead, they chose to obey God and risk the consequences. They feared the unseen God, who is the author of life, more than they feared the king’s edict of death. If someday our government mandates, as the Chinese government does, that we must abort all babies beyond one per family, as God’s people, we would have to risk obeying God by defying the government. It could result in imprisonment, loss of income, or other hardships, as many Chinese Christians can testify. The choice to obey God by faith often results in short-term suffering.

B. The choice of Moses’ parents to obey God by faith resulted in eternal blessings.

Their son grew up to be the greatest leader in Jewish history. He delivered the Jews from slavery. Under divine inspiration, he wrote the first five books of the Bible. The seemingly small choice to save this one little life had huge consequences for world history! We may never know what eternal blessings will flow from our choice to obey God by faith. But His blessings flow through such choices.

C. The choice of Moses’ parents was to obey God by faith.

The author states that faith was at the heart of this important decision. God often works through the faith of unknown parents or grandparents to raise up an unusually gifted leader to accomplish great things for God. Except for their well-known son, this couple would have lived in obscurity as lowly slaves. But God used their courageous faith in a mighty way. Zacharias and his wife, Elizabeth, were childless, elderly, but faithful people. God used them to bear John the Baptist and to rear him to be bold in faith. Mary was an obscure Jewish girl who was willing to believe God’s word, even though it meant ridicule for her to conceive a son without a husband. God used her to bring forth the Savior.

Years ago, I was reading the autobiography of the great British preacher, Charles Spurgeon. As I was jogging in the woods one day, I prayed a “go-for-broke” prayer: I asked God to bless my ministry as He had blessed Spurgeon’s ministry. Spurgeon was the most phenomenal of the 19th century. Thousands packed his church each week. They measured attendance by how many were turned away! Thousands came to faith in Christ under his preaching. Hundreds of pastors were trained at his pastor’s college. Orphans were cared for at his orphanages. He has more books in print by volume than any other author in history, and God still uses them greatly. So my prayer was no small prayer!

But right after I prayed, the question popped into my mind, “What about John Spurgeon?” He was Charles’ father. He was a faithful in a small English town. If he had not been the father of a famous son, John Spurgeon would be unknown in history. There have been thousands of godly, faithful pastors like him, but only a few like his son. The Lord was saying, “Be as faithful as John Spurgeon in shepherding My flock and in leading your family. I’ll determine whether to use you as I used Charles Spurgeon.”

As parents, we should live by faith and ask God to make our children “beautiful for Him.” At first, like Moses’ parents, we have to protect them from this evil world. We teach them His ways and pray for their salvation. Eventually, we have to launch them, trusting God to take care of them. Even after Pharaoh’s daughter rescued Moses from the river, his parents must have prayed for many years, “Lord, keep him from the many spiritual dangers in Pharaoh’s court and teach him to follow You!” Obey God by faith and entrust your children to His care. He may use them mightily for His kingdom!

2. Moses’ choice to obey God by faith resulted in short-term suffering, but also in eternal blessing (Heb 11:24, 25, 26).

There’s a lot of history packed into these three verses! I can only touch on some of the lessons.

A. Moses’ choice to obey God by faith resulted in short-term suffering.

When Moses refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter and chose to be identified with God’s people, he chose to suffer in at least four ways.

(1) Moses chose to suffer the pain of alienation and misunderstanding from his adoptive family.

Pharaoh’s daughter had rescued Moses from death, adopted him as her own son, and raised him in the splendor of the palace. If he had even survived in his natural family, he would have been doomed to a difficult life as a slave. Instead, he grew up enjoying the most luxurious living conditions imaginable. Acts 7:22 says that he “was educated in all the learning of the Egyptians, and he was a man of power in words and deeds.”

Imagine the hurt feelings and misunderstanding that must have swept over Pharaoh’s daughter when Moses chose to walk away from everything that she had provided and identify himself with these slave laborers! Pharaoh must have been outraged when he heard about it: “The ungrateful wretch! After all that we’ve done for him!” When you choose to follow Jesus Christ, which may involve walking away from the education and comfortable lifestyle that your family has provided for you, you will suffer the pain of alienation and being misunderstood.

(2) Moses chose to suffer the loss of the world’s honors, pleasures, and wealth.

As the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, Moses enjoyed a position of honor higher than almost anyone else in Egypt. When he identified himself with the Jewish slaves, he became the object of con-tempt and scorn. As a family member in Pharaoh’s court, Moses enjoyed whatever pleasures anyone could seek. He lived in luxury (picture the splendor of King Tut’s tomb!). He ate the best food available. He wore the nicest, newest clothes. If he had wanted, he could have enjoyed the pleasures of the most beautiful women in Egypt. He had wealth to buy anything he wanted or to live without working for the rest of his life. But when Moses chose to obey God by faith, he instantly lost it all!

It’s not necessarily sin to enjoy a position of honor and the comfortable life that wealth provides. Joseph enjoyed both while following God. But when God called Moses to give it up and lead Israel out of bondage, at that point it would have been sin for him to continue living as he was. Also, the Bible does not deny that sin brings passing pleasure. If it didn’t, we would not be tempted by it! But finally, it brings eternal misery. Don’t be deceived!

(3) Moses chose to suffer being identified with a despised bunch of slaves.

As the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, Moses ran in the top circles of Egyptian society. He knew everybody who was anybody. He frequently ate at the king’s table. People sought out Moses as an influential man. But he chose to give up all that status and live among these wretched slave-laborers!

(4) Moses chose to suffer the world’s reproach.

Imagine the gossip in Egyptian high society! “He did what? Unbelievable! What an idiot!” Ridicule is a powerful thing. People go to great lengths to cover up embarrassing mistakes that would cause them shame (e.g. Watergate, or Bill Clinton’s lies about his private life). But Moses chose a course that he knew would bring him the world’s reproach!

Why would a man knowingly choose such suffering? Was he a masochist? Was he insane? No, actually he was quite shrewd. Like the man who sold everything he had to buy the pearl of great price (Matt. 13:45-46), Moses gained something better:

B. Moses’ choice to obey God by faith resulted in eternal blessing.

Note briefly three blessings that Moses’ choice gained:

(1) Moses’ choice gained the blessing of the company of God’s people.

He chose “to endure ill-treatment with the people of God.” They weren’t much to look at-a sweaty bunch of raggedly dressed slaves. They would later give him a lot of trouble, grumbling about

the conditions that he led them into. Some would challenge his leadership. Eventually their grumbling frustrated Moses so much that he sinned by striking the rock in anger, so that the Lord kept him from entering the promised land. But in spite of all the problems he experienced with them, they were the people of God. It was a far greater blessing to endure ill-treatment with them than to live in the worldly, superficial society of Pharaoh’s court. Even though the church has some difficult people in it, it’s far better to journey to-ward heaven with God’s people than to live among the self-seeking people of the world!

(2) Moses’ choice gained the blessing of the greater riches of Christ.

He considered “the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt.” The reproach of Christ is a startling phrase! It probably means, “reproach similar to what Christ endured when He was despised and rejected by the world.” How much Moses knew about the promised Anointed One, we cannot know for sure. But Abraham rejoiced to see Jesus’ day (John 8:56). Moses knew that God promised to raise up a prophet like him, who would speak His word (Deut. 18:15). He knew of God’s promise to Eve, that one from her seed would bruise the serpent’s head (Gen. 3:15). He also no doubt knew that the sacrificial system pointed ahead to a Redeemer. And so Moses considered that any reproach that he endured for identifying himself with God’s Messiah was far more valuable than the worldly treasures he could amass in Egypt.

The major way to combat the temptations of “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life” (1 John 2:16) is to see the infinite value of possessing Jesus Christ. When you see what a treasure Christ is, everything else fades away.

(3) Moses’ choice gained the blessing of the eternal re-ward in heaven.

Moses “was looking to the reward” (Heb 11:26). If this refers to some earthly reward, Moses was badly mistaken. His earthly “re-ward” after he gave up the treasures of Egypt was to wander in the barren wilderness for 40 years with a bunch of complaining people. The reward that he looked for was, “the better country, that is, a heavenly one” (Heb 11:16). When Moses appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration with Elijah and Jesus, it was his first time to set foot in the promised land. But I have a hunch that he was thinking, “Okay, nice place. Now, can we get back to heaven?” The rewards of being with Jesus in heaven are far greater than any earthly re-wards. What enabled Moses to let go of all the glitter of Egypt and to endure ill-treatment with the people of God was that he was looking to the reward of heaven. Are you?

How did Moses do what he did? What is the essential thing?

C. Moses’ choice was to obey God by faith.

Faith was the only thing that enabled Moses to choose God and heaven above the treasures of Egypt. He believed God and His promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. But, we would be mistaken if we thought that he just closed his eyes, shut off his brain, and took a giant leap of faith.

(1) Moses’ choice of faith was carefully considered.

He made this choice after “he had grown up” (Heb 11:24; Ex 2:11). Stephen tells us that he was 40 (Acts 7:23). Perhaps he had lived in Pharaoh’s court long enough to become thoroughly nauseated with the superficiality that he saw every day. The word considering (Heb 11:26) refers to “belief resting on external proof,” especially, “careful judgment” (G. Abbott-Smith, A Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament [Charles Scribners’ Sons], p. 119). Moses carefully weighed in the balance what the world had to offer on one side and what God had to offer on the other side. The world’s side was momentarily attractive, but lightweight. God’s side was momentarily difficult, but satisfying in the long haul. Moses chose to believe God and reject the world. So must everyone who wants to go to heaven (1John 2:15).

(2) Moses’ choice of faith was a critical choice with far-reaching consequences.

The crisis that pushed Moses over the line to renounce Egypt and choose ill-treatment with God’s people was when he saw the Egyptian beating one of the Hebrew slaves (Ex 2:11). Moses’ response was not an impulsive reaction that he later regretted. He had been considering, weighing, the greater riches of Christ against the lightweight treasures of Egypt. So when the moment came, he acted decisively by killing the Egyptian and taking his stand with God and His people. That critical choice affected not only Moses, but many generations of Jews after him.

In Common Sense Christian Living ([Thomas Nelson], p. 161), Edith Schaeffer tells how her husband, Fran, came from an unbelieving home. His parents did not want him to go to college or to become a pastor. But at age 19, he tearfully chose what he believed God was leading him to do, in opposition to his parents. Years later, his parents became Christians. Fran felt that they never would have believed if his choice had been the opposite one. And, his choice led to his children becoming Christians, not to mention the thousands of people that have benefited from his many books. Your choice to trust Jesus Christ affects your eternal destiny, but it also has far-reaching consequences for your children and their children, as well as for many with whom you will have contact.

(3) Moses’ choice of faith required weighing the short-term against the long-term.

“He was looking to the reward.” Faith banks on eternity. In the short-term, Moses had to endure ill-treatment with a bunch of refugee slaves in the wilderness. But in light of eternity, as Paul put it (Ro 8:18-note), “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” He also wrote (2Co 4:17), “For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison.” If you want to believe the gospel, you must weigh the passing, momentary pleasures of sin against eternal punishment in hell. Weigh momentary affliction against eternal joy in heaven. Then choose!


In an excellent sermon on this text (“Faith’s Choice,” in Home Truths [Triangle Press], 2:169-192), 19th century Anglican J. C. Ryle lamented that there were so many worldly and ungodly per-sons in the church. They go through the rituals and they say that they believe, but in practice, they daily prefer the world to God. He asks why they live as they do. His answer (p. 189, his italics) is, ´They do not believe«. They have no faith. µ He explains further (ibid.),

In short they do not put implicit confidence in the words that God has written and spoken, and so do not act upon them. They do not thoroughly believe in hell, and so do not flee from it; nor heaven, and so do not seek it; nor the guilt of sin, and so do not turn from it; nor the holiness of God, and so do not fear Him; nor their need of Christ, and so do not trust in Him, nor love Him. They do not feel confidence in God, and so venture nothing for Him.

What about you? Have you made faith’s choice? Do you believe what God has said about sin and about the Savior? Have you weighed in the balance the treasures of Egypt against the greater riches of Christ, and chosen to renounce the world and trust Christ?

Discussion Questions

How would you answer someone who said, “I want to enjoy the things of this world for a while; then I’ll trust in Christ”?

How can we keep the greater riches of Christ in view when the world’s treasures parade by us daily?

When is it right to defy governmental or parental authority?

Could Moses have had more influence by remaining in Pharaoh’s court?

When is it time to separate from worldly friends?

(Index to Pastor Steven Cole's sermons by Bible book - Highly Recommended - They read much like a verse by verse commentary)