Four of the five books of the Pentateuch (or a total of 137 chapters) record the life and times of Moses. By contrast, the Book of Hebrews provides a succinct biography of Moses in just seven verses. For us, it distills a picture of what God values in a life of faith. It is interesting to note in this biography the relative absence of most of the dramatic portions of Moses’ mature ministry—things that make for exciting biography—focusing more on the preparatory and foundational phase of his life. The biography begins with his parents: “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” (Heb. 11:23).
Two things strike us here. First, we are told that the parents of Moses recognized that he was a “proper” child. In a sermon recorded in the seventh chapter of Acts, Stephen makes a similar observation, saying that Moses was “fair unto God” (literal interpretation). Whether this might mean that there was something about the child that suggested God’s favor, that God had revealed that fact to them in some way, or that they realized that the birth of a child, any child, was God’s work, the fact is that they were convinced that destroying the child according to the edict of Pharaoh would be wrong. As wonderful and powerful as is parental love, it was not that that motivated their determination to preserve their son. It was the valid realization that the child belonged to God and that they must preserve him.
Second, we are told that their realization encouraged them to disobey Pharaoh’s edict in order that they might obey God. Scripture is careful to point out that their motivation was not parental love, but faith. They saved their son as an act of obedience and belief. As powerful and wonderful as is parental love, it can sometimes go awry. But faith—a response to the Word of God—always does the right thing for the right reason. And here that faith is commended. Ignoring for the moment, God’s providence, there would have been no Moses, had his parents not had faith in God and have acted in accord with that faith.
This little verse suggests several lessons concerning faith for all of us, and specifically for parents. (1) Parental love is not a valid alternative to faithful obedience to God’s Word. (2) Faith that obeys God’s Word is essential to the successful raising of a child. (3) True faith spurs obedience even when the probability of success seems negligible. (4) Faith reminds us that we ought to obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29). In practical terms, that means that Christian parents must discipline their children according to Scripture even when it is frowned on by society. It means that Christian parents must keep their children from worldly associations and activities even when that means that their children will be less popular. It means that Christian parents must teach their children the value of eternity even when the world encourages them to try to get everything right here and right now. It means that Christian parents must discourage self-esteem and all the other egocentric values of this age and encourage their children to live for the Lord. (5) This verse suggests that parents should do the right thing even at the risk of difficulty or suffering. (6) This verse suggests (and faith assures us) that God notes and blesses parents who yield to Him in all things, including the raising of their children. Moses was chosen and gifted by God, but Hebrews makes clear that his parents, Amram and Jochabed, played a vital role in the preparation and development of the deliverer of Israel. Parent, God would have you raise a Moses. Will you yield to the blandishments of the world and the flesh, or will you by faith raise a child who will stand for the Lord?
Previous Page | Next Page