Ebenezer Baptist Church Ebenezer Baptist Church
Ebenezer Baptist Church is live
Noon Day Bible Study
Rev. Dr. Howard L. Woods, Jr.
Rev. Dr. Howard L. Woods, Jr.
Tuesday, November 16, 2021
Loading chat...

How Can I Strengthen My Church?
(Positive Attitudes Lead To Positive Actions)

The Great Faith of God’s People

Hebrews 11:23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s command.

It is really the faith of his parents and not of Moses himself that is in view here. As they looked on their baby, they saw he was a beautiful child—but it was more than physical beauty. They saw that he was a child of destiny, one whom God had marked out for a special work. Their faith that God’s purposes would be worked out gave them courage to defy the king’s command and to hide the child for three months. What can we learn from this?

Hebrews 11:24 By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter,

By faith Moses himself was able to make several noble renunciations. Though reared in the luxury of Egypt’s palace and assured of all the things that men strive for, he learned that “it is not the possession of things but the forsaking of them that brings rest” (J. Gregory Mantle).

First of all, he refused Egypt’s fame. He was the adopted son of Pharaoh’s daughter and therefore assured of a place in the social elite, perhaps even as Pharaoh’s successor. But he had been born of better blood—a member of God’s chosen earthly people.

From this nobility he could not step down to Egypt’s royalty. In his adult years he made his choice; he would not hide his true nationality to win a few short years of earthly fame. The result? Instead of occupying a line or two of hieroglyphics on some obscure tomb, he is memorialized in God’s eternal Book. Instead of being found in a museum as an Egyptian mummy, he is famous as a man of God.

Hebrews 11:25 choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin,

Second, he repudiated the pleasures of Egypt. Humble association with the suffering people of God meant more to him than the transient gratification of his appetites.

The privileges of sharing ill-treatment with his own people was greater pleasure to him than dissipation in Pharaoh’s court.

Hebrews 11:26 esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.

Third, he turned his back on the treasures in Egypt. Faith enabled him to see that the fabulous treasure houses of Egypt were worthless in the light of eternity.

So he chose to suffer the same kind of reproach as the Messiah would later suffer. Loyalty to God and love for His people were valued by him more that the combined wealth of Pharaoh. He knew that these were the things that would count one minute after he died.

Hebrews 11:27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible.

Then, he also renounced Egypt’s monarch. Emboldened by faith, he made his exit from the land of bondage, careless of the wrath of the king. It was a clear break from the politics of this world.

He feared Pharaoh so little because he feared God so much.

He kept his eyes on “the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen” (1 Tim. 6:15, 16).

Hebrews 11:28 By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them. 

Finally, he rejected Egypt’s religion. By instituting the Passover and by sprinkling the blood, he emphatically separated himself from Egyptian idolatry forever.

He flung down the gauntlet in defiance of the religious establishment. For him, salvation was through the blood of the lamb, not through the waters of the Nile. As a result, the firstborn of Israel were spared while the firstborn of Egypt were slain by the destroyer.

Hebrews 11:29 By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned.

At first the Red Sea seemed to spell disaster to the Hebrew refugees. With the enemy in hot pursuit, they seemed to be trapped. But in obedience to God’s word, they moved forward and the waters parted: “The Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea into dry land, and the waters were divided” (Ex. 14:21).

When the Egyptians tried to follow, their chariot wheels became clogged, the waters returned to their usual place, and Pharaoh’s armies were drowned.

Thus the Red Sea became a causeway of deliverance to Israel but a dead end of doom to the Egyptians.

Hebrews 11:30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days.

The walled city of Jericho was the first military objective in the conquest of Canaan. Reason would claim that such an impregnable fortress could be taken only by superior forces. But faith’s methods are different.

God uses strategies that appear foolish to men in order to accomplish His purposes.

He told the people to encircle the city for seven days. On the seventh day they were to march around it seven times. The priests were to give a loud blast on their trumpets, the people were to shout, and the walls would fall. Military experts would write off the method as ludicrous.

But it worked! The weapons of the spiritual warfare are not worldly but have divine power to destroy strongholds (2 Cor. 10:4).

Hebrews 11:31 By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace.

We do not know when the harlot Rahab became a worshiper of Jehovah, but it is clear that she did. She abandoned the false religion of Canaan to become a Jewish proselyte.

Her faith received a rigorous test when the spies came to her home. Would she be loyal to her country and her fellow countrymen, or would she be true to the Lord? She decided to stand on the Lord’s side, even if it meant betraying her country.

By giving friendly welcome to the spies, she and her family were spared, while her disobedient neighbors perished.

Hebrews 11:32 And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets:

At this point the writer asks a rhetorical question: And what more shall I say? He has given an imposing list of men and women who demonstrated faith and endurance in OT times. How many more must he give in order to make his point?

He has not run out of examples, but only out of time. It would take too long to go into details so he will satisfy himself to name a few and catalog some triumphs and testings of faith.

There was Gideon whose army was reduced from 32,000 to 300. First the timid were sent home, then those who thought too much of their own comfort. With a hard core of true disciples, Gideon routed the Midianites.

Macdonald, Farstad Grady Scott, Hindson, E.E.