“By faith Moses, when grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.”—HEB. 11:24.
1, 2. (a) At the age of 40, what decision did Moses make? (See opening image.) (b) Why did Moses choose to be ill-treated with God’s people?
MOSES knew what Egypt had to offer. He saw the spacious villas of the wealthy. He belonged to the royal household. He “was instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians,” likely including the arts, astronomy, mathematics, and other sciences. (Acts 7:22) Within his grasp were the wealth, power, and privilege that a common Egyptian could only dream of!
2 Yet, when he was 40 years of age, Moses made a decision that must have baffled the royal Egyptian family who had adopted him. He chose, not even the “normal” life of a common Egyptian, but a life among slaves! Why? Moses had faith. (Read Hebrews 11:24-26.) By faith, Moses saw far more than the physical world around him. As a spiritual man, Moses had faith in “the One who is invisible,” Jehovah, and in the fulfillment of God’s promises.—Heb. 11:27.
3. What three questions will be answered in this article?
3 We too need to see more than what appears to our physical eyes. We must be “the sort who have faith.” (Heb. 10:38, 39) To help us strengthen our faith, let us examine what is written about Moses at Hebrews 11:24-26. As we do so, look for the answers to these questions: How did faith motivate Moses to reject fleshly desires? When he was reproached, how did faith help him to appreciate his privileges of service? And why did Moses look “intently toward the payment of the reward”?
HE REJECTED FLESHLY DESIRES
4. What did Moses recognize about the “enjoyment of sin”?
4 With eyes of faith, Moses recognized that the “enjoyment of sin” was temporary. Others might have reasoned that even though Egypt was steeped in idolatry and spiritism, it had risen to become a world power, while Jehovah’s people suffered as slaves! Yet, Moses knew that God could change matters. Although self-indulgent ones seemed to be thriving, Moses had faith that the wicked would shrivel away. As a result, he was not enticed by “the temporary enjoyment of sin.”
5. What will help us to resist “the temporary enjoyment of sin”?
5 How can you resist “the temporary enjoyment of sin”? Never forget that sinful pleasure is fleeting. With eyes of faith, see that “the world is passing away and so is its desire.” (1 John 2:15-17) Meditate on the future of unrepentant sinners. They are “on slippery ground . . . as they come to a terrible end!” (Ps. 73:18, 19) When tempted to engage in sinful conduct, ask, ‘What future do I want for myself?’
6. (a) Why did Moses refuse “to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter”? (b) Why do you think that Moses made the right decision?
6 Moses’ faith also shaped his choice of career. “By faith Moses, when grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.” (Heb. 11:24) Moses did not reason that he could serve God as a member of the royal court and then use his wealth and privilege to help his Israelite brothers. Rather, Moses was determined to love Jehovah with all his heart, soul, and strength. (Deut. 6:5) Moses’ decision saved him much heartache. Many of the treasures of Egypt that he gave up were soon plundered—by the Israelites themselves! (Ex. 12:35, 36) Pharaoh was humiliated and executed. (Ps. 136:15) Conversely, Moses was spared and was used by God to lead an entire nation to safety. His life had real meaning.
7. (a) According to Matthew 6:19-21, why should we look beyond the immediate future? (b) Relate an experience that highlights the difference between material and spiritual treasures.
7 If you are a young servant of Jehovah, how can faith help you to choose a career? You are wise if you plan for the future. But will faith in God’s promises move you to store up for a temporary future or an everlasting one? (Read Matthew 6:19-21.) That question faced a talented ballet dancer named Sophie. She was offered scholarships and coveted positions at ballet companies across the United States. “It was thrilling to be adored. In fact, I felt superior to my peers,” she admits. “But I was unhappy.” Then Sophie watched the video Young People Ask—What Will I Do With My Life? “I realized that the world had given me success and the adoration of fans in exchange for my wholehearted worship of Jehovah,” she says. “I prayed fervently to him. Then I quit my dancing career.” How does she feel about her decision? “I don’t miss my old life. Today, I am 100 percent happy. I pioneer with my husband. We’re not famous, and we have very little materially. But we have Jehovah, Bible students, and spiritual goals. I don’t have any regrets.”
8. What Bible counsel can help a young person to decide what to do with his life?
8 Jehovah knows what is best for you. Moses said: “What is Jehovah your God asking of you? Only this: to fear Jehovah your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve Jehovah your God with all your heart and all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of Jehovah that I am commanding you today for your own good.” (Deut. 10:12, 13) While you are young, choose a career that will enable you to love Jehovah and serve him “with all your heart and all your soul.” You can be confident that such a course will be “for your own good.”
HE APPRECIATED HIS PRIVILEGES OF SERVICE
9. Explain why it may have been difficult for Moses to carry out his assignment.
9 Moses “considered the reproach of the Christ to be riches greater than the treasures of Egypt.” (Heb. 11:26) Moses was commissioned as “the Christ,” or “Anointed One,” in that he was selected by Jehovah to lead Israel out of Egypt. Moses knew that carrying out this commission would be difficult, even a “reproach.” One of the Israelites had earlier sneered: “Who appointed you as a prince and a judge over us?” (Ex. 2:13, 14) Later, Moses himself asked Jehovah: “How will Pharaoh ever listen to me?” (Ex. 6:12) To prepare for and deal with reproach, Moses shared his fears and concerns with Jehovah. How did Jehovah help Moses to fulfill his difficult assignment?
10. How did Jehovah equip Moses for his assignment?
10 First, Jehovah assured Moses: “I will prove to be with you.” (Ex. 3:12) Second, Jehovah inspired confidence by explaining one aspect of the meaning of his name: “I Will Become What I Choose to Become.”* (Ex. 3:14) Third, he endowed Moses with miraculous power that proved that Moses was indeed sent by God. (Ex. 4:2-5) Fourth, Jehovah gave Moses a partner and spokesman, Aaron, to help him carry out his assignment. (Ex. 4:14-16) By the end of his life, Moses was so convinced that God equips His servants to fulfill any assignment He gives them that he could confidently tell his successor, Joshua: “Jehovah is the one marching before you, and he will continue with you. He will neither desert you nor abandon you. Do not be afraid or be terrified.”—Deut. 31:8.
11. Why did Moses highly esteem his assignment?
11 With Jehovah’s backing, Moses highly esteemed his daunting assignment, viewing it as “greater than the treasures of Egypt.” After all, what was serving Pharaoh compared with serving Almighty God? Of what value was being a prince in Egypt compared with being “the Christ,” or anointed of Jehovah? Moses was rewarded for his appreciative attitude. He enjoyed special intimacy with Jehovah, who enabled him to display “awesome power” as he led the Israelites to the Promised Land.—Deut. 34:10-12.
12. What privileges from Jehovah should we appreciate?
12 We likewise have a commission. Through his Son, Jehovah has assigned us to a ministry, as he did the apostle Paul and others. (Read 1 Timothy 1:12-14.) All of us have the privilege of declaring the good news. (Matt. 24:14; 28:19, 20) Some serve as full-time ministers. Mature baptized brothers serve others in the congregation as ministerial servants and elders. However, your unbelieving family and others may question the value of these privileges or even reproach you for your self-sacrifice. (Matt. 10:34-37) If they succeed in discouraging you, you could begin to wonder whether your sacrifices are worthwhile or if you can really carry out your assignment. If that happens to you, how will faith help you to persevere?
13. How does Jehovah equip us to fulfill theocratic assignments?
13 In faith, beg Jehovah for his support. Share your fears and concerns with him. After all, it is Jehovah who commissioned you, and he will help you to succeed. How? In the same ways that he helped Moses. First, Jehovah reassures you: “I will fortify you, yes, I will help you, I will really hold on to you with my right hand of righteousness.” (Isa. 41:10) Second, he reminds you that his promises are trustworthy: “I have spoken, and I will bring it about. I have purposed it, and I will also carry it out.” (Isa. 46:11) Third, Jehovah endows you with “power beyond what is normal” to accomplish your ministry. (2 Cor. 4:7) Fourth, to help you endure in your assignment, our caring Father gives you a global brotherhood of true worshippers who “keep encouraging one another and building one another up.” (1 Thess. 5:11) As Jehovah equips you to fulfill your assignments, your faith in him will grow and you will appreciate that your privileges in his service are riches greater than any earthly treasure.
“HE LOOKED INTENTLY TOWARD THE PAYMENT OF THE REWARD”
14. Why was Moses certain that he would be rewarded?
14 Moses “looked intently toward the payment of the reward.” (Heb. 11:26) Yes, Moses allowed his knowledge of the future, though such knowledge was then limited, to shape his outlook. Like his forefather Abraham, Moses was confident that Jehovah can resurrect the dead. (Luke 20:37, 38; Heb. 11:17-19) The prospect of future blessings helped Moses not to view his 40 years as a fugitive and his 40 years in the wilderness as a wasted life. Although he did not have all the details regarding the outworking of God’s promises, his eyes of faith could see the unseen reward.
15, 16. (a) Why do we need to focus on our reward? (b) What blessings under Kingdom rule are you eager to enjoy?
15 Do you look “intently toward the payment of” your reward? Like Moses, we still do not have all the details regarding God’s promises. For example, we “do not know when the appointed time is” for the great tribulation. (Mark 13:32, 33) Yet, we know far more about the future Paradise than Moses knew. Even without all the details, we have enough divine promises about life under God’s Kingdom to look “intently” toward it. A clear mental image of the new world will move us to seek that Kingdom first. How so? Consider: Would you purchase a house if you knew very little about it? Of course not! Similarly, we would not invest our lives in pursuit of a vague hope. By faith, we must see a clear, focused picture of life under Kingdom rule.
16 To sharpen your mental image of God’s Kingdom, look “intently” toward your life in Paradise. Use your imagination. For example, when you study the lives of pre-Christian Bible characters, consider what you might ask them when they are resurrected. Imagine what they might ask you about your life during the last days. Envision how excited you will be to meet your ancestors from centuries ago and to teach them about all that God has done for them. Picture your delight as you learn about many wild animals by observing them in peaceful surroundings. Reflect on how much closer you will feel to Jehovah as you progress to perfection.
17. How can a clear picture of our unseen reward help us today?
17 A clear picture of our unseen reward helps us to keep going, to have joy, and to make decisions based on a secure eternal future. Paul wrote to anointed Christians: “If we hope for what we do not see, we keep eagerly waiting for it with endurance.” (Rom. 8:25) That applies in principle to all Christians with the hope of everlasting life. Although we have not yet received our reward, our faith is so strong that we keep on waiting patiently for “the payment of the reward.” Like Moses, we do not view any years in Jehovah’s service as wasted time. Rather, we are convinced that “the things seen are temporary, but the things unseen are everlasting.”—Read 2 Corinthians 4:16-18.
18, 19. (a) Why must we fight to maintain our faith? (b) What will we consider in the next article?
18 Faith allows us to discern “the convincing evidence of realities that are not seen.” (Heb. 11:1; ftn.) A physical person does not see the precious value of serving Jehovah. To such a person, spiritual treasures “are foolishness.” (1 Cor. 2:14) We, however, hope to enjoy everlasting life and witness the resurrection, things unseen by the world. Like the philosophers of Paul’s day who called him an ignorant “chatterer,” most people today think that the hope we preach is sheer nonsense.—Acts 17:18.
19 Since we are surrounded by a faithless world, we must fight to maintain our faith. Supplicate Jehovah that “your faith may not give out.” (Luke 22:32) Keep your eyes open to the consequences of sin, the excelling value of serving Jehovah, and your hope of eternal life. Yet, Moses’ faith enabled him to see far more than those things. In the next article, we will examine how faith helped Moses to see “the One who is invisible.”—Heb. 11:27.
Regarding God’s words found at Exodus 3:14, one Bible scholar wrote: “Nothing can hinder him from performing his will . . . This name [Jehovah] was to be Israel’s fortress, an infinite storehouse of hopes and consolations.”