“By faith Moses, when grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.”—HEBREWS 11:24.
1, 2. (a) What decision did Moses make when he was 40 years old? (See opening picture.) (b) Why did Moses choose to suffer with the Israelites?
MOSES knew the kind of future that Egypt could offer him. He saw the large, beautiful houses of the wealthy. He had been adopted by the king’s family. He “was instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians,” which probably included the arts, astronomy, mathematics, and other sciences. (Acts 7:22) It would have been very easy for him to have the money, power, and privileges that a common Egyptian could never have.
2 Despite all the opportunities Moses had, he made a decision when he was 40 years old that must have been impossible for Pharaoh and his family to understand. He chose to give up his future in Egypt. Did he want the life of a common Egyptian? No, not even that! He chose to suffer with slaves. Why? Moses had faith. (Read Hebrews 11:24-26.) Because of his faith, it was as if Moses could see Jehovah. He had faith in “the One who is invisible” and in the fulfillment of God’s promises.—Hebrews 11:27.
3. What three questions will be answered in this article?
3 Like Moses, we need to have eyes of faith to see more than what the world has to offer and to see Jehovah. We must be “the sort who have faith.” (Hebrews 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, try to answer these questions: How did faith help Moses to reject fleshly desires? When he faced opposition, how did faith help him to value his privilege of serving Jehovah? And why did Moses look “intently toward the payment of the reward”?
HE REJECTED FLESHLY DESIRES
4. What did Moses understand about the “enjoyment of sin”?
4 With eyes of faith, Moses was able to understand that the “enjoyment of sin” was only temporary. Others might have seen things differently. Why? They had seen Egypt, a place where idolatry and spiritism were common, become a world power, while Jehovah’s people suffered as slaves. But Moses knew that God could change the situation. Although those who focused on satisfying their own desires seemed to be successful, Moses had faith that the wicked would be destroyed. As a result, he was not tempted 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 the pleasure that comes from sinning lasts for only a short time. Faith will help you to 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!” (Psalm 73:18, 19) When you are tempted to sin, 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 guided his choice of career. “By faith Moses, when grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.” (Hebrews 11:24) Moses did not reason that he could have an important position in the royal court and then serve God by using his money and power to help his Israelite brothers. Moses was determined to love Jehovah with all his heart, soul, and strength. (Deuteronomy 6:5) Moses’ decision saved him much suffering. In the end, the Israelites took many of the treasures of Egypt. (Exodus 12:35, 36) Pharaoh was humiliated and he was drowned. (Psalm 136:15) But what about Moses? He was used by God to lead the entire nation of Israel to safety. His life was truly successful.
7. (a) According to Matthew 6:19-21, why should we plan for an everlasting future? (b) What experience shows the difference between planning for a temporary future and planning for an everlasting one?
7 If you are a young servant of Jehovah, how can faith help you to choose a career? Plan for the future. Have faith in God’s promises and “store up,” or plan, for an everlasting future, not a temporary one. (Read Matthew 6:19-21.) This is a decision that Sophie, a talented ballet dancer, had to make. Ballet companies across the United States offered her scholarships and desirable career opportunities. She says that “it was thrilling to be adored.” She even admits that she felt that she was better than the other dancers. But she was unhappy. Then Sophie watched the video Young People Ask—What Will I Do With My Life? She says: “I realized that the world had given me success and the adoration of fans in exchange for my wholehearted worship of Jehovah.” So she prayed intensely to Jehovah and then gave up her 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.” (Deuteronomy 10:12, 13) While you are young, choose a career that will make it possible for you to serve and love Jehovah “with all your heart and all your soul.” You can be confident that such a choice will be “for your own good.”
HE VALUED HIS PRIVILEGES OF SERVICE
9. Explain why it may have been difficult for Moses to fulfill his assignment.
9 Moses “considered the reproach of the Christ to be riches greater than the treasures of Egypt.” (Hebrews 11:26) In this scripture, Moses is referred to as “the Christ,” or “Anointed One.” This means that he was selected by Jehovah to lead Israel out of Egypt. Moses knew that doing this would be difficult. He would even face “reproach,” that is, opposition. Earlier, one of the Israelites had mocked Moses by saying: “Who appointed you as a prince and a judge over us?” (Exodus 2:13, 14) Later, Moses himself asked Jehovah: “How will Pharaoh ever listen to me?” (Exodus 6:12) To prepare for the opposition, Moses prayed to Jehovah about his fears and worries. How did Jehovah help Moses to succeed in his difficult assignment?
10. How did Jehovah give Moses what he needed to fulfill his assignment?
10 First, Jehovah promised Moses: “I will prove to be with you.” (Exodus 3:12) Second, Jehovah gave him hope and courage by explaining one aspect of the meaning of His own name: “I Will Become What I Choose to Become.”* (See footnote.) (Exodus 3:14) Third, he gave Moses the power to perform miracles, and this proved that Moses was truly sent by God. (Exodus 4:2-5) Fourth, Jehovah selected Aaron to speak for Moses and to help him fulfill his assignment. (Exodus 4:14-16) By the end of his life, Moses was absolutely sure that God helps His servants fulfill any assignment He gives them. Moses was so confident in Jehovah that he could tell 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.”—Deuteronomy 31:8.
11. Why did Moses value his assignment?
11 With Jehovah’s support, Moses valued his difficult assignment even more than “the treasures of Egypt.” There is nothing like serving the almighty God. Of what value was being a prince in Egypt compared with being selected by Jehovah to lead Israel? Moses was rewarded for having the right attitude. He enjoyed a close relationship with Jehovah, who gave him “awesome power” to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land.—Deuteronomy 34:10-12.
12. What privileges has Jehovah given us?
12 We too have an assignment. 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 to preach the good news. (Matthew 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 the privileges you have. They may even criticize you for the sacrifices you make for Jehovah. (Matthew 10:34-37) If they discourage you, you could begin to think that these sacrifices are not worthwhile or that you cannot fulfill your assignment. If that happens to you, how will faith help you to endure?
13. How does Jehovah help us to fulfill the assignments he gives us?
13 Beg Jehovah for his support, having faith that he will help you. Tell him your fears and worries. After all, it is Jehovah who gave you this assignment, and you can be sure that he will help you to succeed. How? In the same ways that he helped Moses. First, Jehovah promises: “I will fortify you, yes, I will help you, I will really hold on to you with my right hand of righteousness.” (Isaiah 41:10) Second, he reminds you that you can trust his promises: “I have spoken, and I will bring it about. I have purposed it, and I will also carry it out.” (Isaiah 46:11) Third, Jehovah gives you “the power beyond what is normal” to succeed in your assignment. (2 Corinthians 4:7) Fourth, to help you endure in your assignment, our caring Father gives you a worldwide brotherhood of true worshippers who “keep encouraging one another and building one another up.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11) When Jehovah gives you what you need to succeed in your assignments, your faith in him will become stronger. As a result, you will value the assignments you receive more than anything the world could offer you.
“HE LOOKED INTENTLY TOWARD THE PAYMENT OF THE REWARD”
14. Why was Moses sure that he would be rewarded?
14 Moses “looked intently toward the payment of the reward.” (Hebrews 11:26) Even though there were many details about the future that Moses did not know, he allowed the little he did know to guide his decisions. Like his forefather Abraham, Moses was confident that Jehovah can resurrect the dead. (Luke 20:37, 38; Hebrews 11:17-19) His confidence in God’s promises helped Moses not to feel that his 40 years as a fugitive and his 40 years in the wilderness were a wasted life. Although he did not know exactly how Jehovah would keep all of His promises, he had so much faith in Jehovah that it was as if Moses could see his future reward.
15, 16. (a) Why do we need to focus on our reward? (b) What blessings are you looking forward to under God’s Kingdom rule?
15 Do you look “intently toward the payment of” your reward? Like Moses, we still do not know exactly how God’s promises will come true. For example, we “do not know when the appointed time is” for the great tribulation. (Mark 13:32, 33) Even though we do not know everything, we know much more about the future Paradise than Moses knew. Jehovah has given us enough promises about what life will be like under his Kingdom rule that we can look “intently” toward it, that is, we can form a clear picture of the new world in our minds. If we have this clear picture, we will really want to seek the Kingdom first. Why so? Think about this: Would you buy a house if you knew very little about it? Of course not! In the same way, we would not use our lives to pursue a hope that is not real to us. Our faith should help us see a clear, focused picture of our life under Kingdom rule.
16 To have a clear picture of God’s Kingdom in your mind, look “intently,” that is, imagine your life in Paradise. For example, when you study the lives of Bible characters who lived before Jesus, think about what you might ask them when they are resurrected. Imagine what they might ask you about your life during the last days. Imagine how excited you will be to meet your relatives from hundreds of years ago and to teach them about all that God has done for them. Imagine your joy as you learn about many wild animals by watching them on a peaceful earth. Meditate on how much closer you will feel to Jehovah as you gradually become perfect.
17. How can a clear picture of our future reward help us today?
17 Having a clear picture in our mind of our future reward helps us to endure, to have joy, and to make decisions. Paul wrote to anointed Christians: “If we hope for what we do not see, we keep eagerly waiting for it with endurance.” (Romans 8:25) But this does not only apply to the anointed. It applies 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 feel that the years we spend serving Jehovah are a waste of time. Rather, we are sure 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 keep our faith strong? (b) What will we discuss in the next article?
18 Faith allows us to see “the convincing evidence of realities that are not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1; footnote) A physical person does not have eyes of faith, so he does not understand the value of serving Jehovah. To such a person, this privilege is “foolishness.” (1 Corinthians 2:14) We hope to live forever and to see the resurrection, things that people in this world cannot even imagine. Like some men of Paul’s day who called him an ignorant “chatterer,” most people today think that the hope we preach is complete nonsense.—Acts 17:18.
19 Because we are surrounded by a world that has no faith, we must fight to keep our faith strong. Beg Jehovah that “your faith may not give out.” (Luke 22:32) Like Moses, have clearly in mind the consequences of sin, the honor of serving Jehovah, and the hope of eternal life. Is that all we learn from Moses’ example? No. In the next article, we will discuss how faith helped Moses to see “the One who is invisible.”—Hebrews 11:27.
One Bible scholar explained the words found at Exodus 3:14 and said that nothing can stop Jehovah from performing His will. He wrote: “This name [Jehovah] was to be Israel’s fortress.” It would provide them with all the hope and comfort they needed.