Hebrews 11:27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.
28 Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them.
29 By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.
I listened to an interview yesterday between a reporter and an avowed conservative senior. Both were lost men. The conservative senior had a very different understanding of our “Charter or Rights and Freedoms” than Brian Peckford has. It was interesting to listen to. During the interview, the conservative was asked the question of how to make conservatism more inviting. The response was that many people look at liberals as bad people, but he said they are good people with bad ideas. He stated that conservatives need to present a better way of doing things and hope that the liberal side will see that. He also talked of how difficult it is to get a liberal/socialist to see any other side but their own.
Why do I bring this up? In the book of Hebrews God is presenting the fact that Jesus Christ is better. He carefully and deliberately shows how Jesus Christ is better than the angels. He is also better than the apostles and even than the Old Testament Levitical system. Contrary to the views of our conservative commentator above, the Bible does declare that man is born a lost sinner. We are not good people with bad ideas. We are wicked people that act out our wickedness.
Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
10 I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.
If it were not for the work of God in the hearts of all people, none would ever be saved. The majority are so entrenched in their ungodly ways, that they refuse to humble themselves and repent toward God and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation.
Hebrews chapter 11 shows us there were some in Old Testament times who listened to God and He chose some of them to demonstrate to us the importance and the blessing of true faith. Those who have that faith that hath substance will make wise decisions. They will not be seen as wise to the ungodly, but they are wise decisions, none the less. Those who trust in the true God, learn not to hold their finger to the wind in order to determine their course in life. They look to the God Who is true and Who is real and they submit to His will even when they cannot “rationalize” it with their finite minds. They know that God is right and He will not lead them astray.
Moses was 40 years old when God called him to lead the nation of Israel. It took some time for Pharaoh to be broken so that he would allow the nation of Israel to leave. Pharaoh was one of the many who stubbornly and foolishly resist all evidence of truth and they perish. There was no civil war between the Egyptians and the nation of Israel. The nation of Israel did not gather together and protest against the Pharaoh. They did not get their camel caravans and their placards and try to disrupt the economy of Egypt. They cried out to God. They did this even though the majority of the nation did not truly believe in God. It was due to their cry, that God raised up Moses to be His representative before the Pharaoh.
God knew the hard-heartedness of the Pharaoh. He was not surprised by the stubbornness of the Pharaoh. He methodically broke down all the supports that Pharaoh and the Egyptians were taught to believe in. It was not until the death of the firstborn of all the Egyptian people and even their livestock, that Pharaoh relented for a short time. We see that Pharaoh did not intend to hold to his moment of sorrow and shock. He soon went back to his old ways and forced his army to go with him after the Israelis. After all, he had free labour and he was able to develop his land for relative little expense. Not only that, but we know that God blessed Israel with wisdom that was lacking among many other nations. Pharaoh was getting a real bargain in having Israel as his servants.
God took care of Pharaoh and his armies without the nation of Israel using any spears or bows and arrows. All that Israel needed to do was trust in God. The nation did not do that, but Moses did. God worked in the lives of the nation of Israel to cause them to put their trust in Moses because they saw how he used different signs to break Pharaoh and many within Egypt. God had told Moses that He would make him like a god:
Exodus 7:1 And the LORD said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.
Sadly, most of the nation of Israel did not recognize the hand of God at work, but they saw how during those 10 plagues, the land of Goshen was separated rom the rest of the land of Egypt and the Israelites did not suffer from all the plagues that Egypt faced.
God worked in a mighty way to cause the people of Israel to trust Moses in a reluctant manner. The sad reality is that they did not realize that it was God Who was in charge and it was God Who brought them out and He would provide for them all the way into the land flowing with milk and honey.
We see in verse 27 of our text that Moses acted upon the faith that hath substance and because his faith was in God, he did not need to fear the king. He could stand before Pharaoh and he became more bold as he learned the power of God and the weakness of a human leader.
As we see there, Moses saw “him who is invisible” by faith. He did not need to see a vision. He had been given a spectacular sign while looking after his father-in-law’s sheep. He saw the burning bush that was not consumed. God spoke to him from that bush and Moses learned to trust in the true God. It was a blessing for him and for the nation of Israel.
In verse 28 we see that Moses taught the nation of Israel to keep the Passover, even though they had never done such a thing before. Moses led by example. He told the nation what God had commanded. He also did what God had commanded. It was as the people obediently followed God’s command and put that blood upon the doorposts and lintel of their houses that God spared their firstborn. The lamb each household chose for the sacrifice needed to be eaten in haste. That is a picture of salvation.
In John 6 Jesus taught the need to eat His flesh and drink His blood. The Jews revolted at that thought because they did not accept the spiritual teaching given. Jesus was not teaching that they needed to literally eat Him. He taught they needed to depend upon Him for their spiritual and physical needs. The entire Passover was a picture of the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, Who would be “the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29).
The nation of Israel was commanded to keep that Passover yearly as a reminder of God’s mighty hand of deliverance from Egyptian bondage. Egypt is a real place, but it was also used as a symbol of sin, in the Bible. The nation of Israel was brought out of that land as a picture of the liberty that the true saint has when he or she is born again. We are set at liberty from sin. There is no sin that is so powerful that God cannot deliver the true saint from it. Moses acted on true Biblical faith and that is what every true child of God must do.
In verse 29 we see a reference to another test that Moses and the nation of Israel faced. Moses led the people along the route that God directed him on. They did not know that the Pharaoh would be storming after them and that they would be cornered at the Red Sea. They also did not know the power of God to deliver them from this seemingly impossible dilemma. Moses pleaded with God for help. Moses was under great pressure from an unbelieving nation who could have killed him with ease. However, Moses cried out to God and God told him exactly what to do and Moses did that.
That must have been quite the scene to see those waters parting and a wall of water on either side, and a dry path in the midst of the sea for them to walk on. How could that path become dry so quickly? This was the hand of God. We can see through all of this how hard-hearted people can be. God did such mighty deeds before their eyes. Yet the majority never trusted in Him.
Pharaoh was also extremely hard hearted. He assumed he could travel on the same blessing that God provided for Israel. He and his men found out that what was a blessing for Israel was a curse for him. He rejected the true God and thus God brought those waters crashing back down after Israel had crossed and Pharaoh and his armies did not have a chance. They and their horses drowned in the Red Sea. There have been nay-sayers who have said that the Red Sea is far too shallow for this to have happened. They are fools and will find out just how foolish they were. Many of have already discovered that.
As we look at these examples of faith, we who are saved, need to understand that God still works in mighty ways to show Himself strong in the behalf of those who put their trust in Him. He does not join hands with those who want to curse and party. He wants people to know Him. He is a holy God. He provides salvation for lost sinners and works in their hearts so that they can show others a picture of what heaven is like. We have sickness and disease on this earth. People die from different things. However, spiritually we can live righteous lives in this sin-cursed world. We can have a peace that is unknown to the lost. We can show them the power of God as we humbly submit to Him. Those who are saved have eternal life! That is a great blessing!
As we see in all of the examples God gives us in Hebrews 11, the true child of God does not live by experience. He or she lives by faith. God still does things today that seem impossible. We hear of lawyers’ groups and of men like Brian Peckford who believe they have a fool-proof case against what the government has been doing. God may use them to slow down the evil plans of the government. However, those who are saved know better than to think that these ungodly men and women are going to give man what his soul is longing for. The hope of man is in God, not in man. Any gains that men make today are taken away by men tomorrow. Any gains that God makes in a person today are there for eternity. Salvation can never be lost. God’s peace is available all the time to those who walk by faith. Forgiveness of sin is available for every true child of God so that they can be restored to that peace and fellowship that God designed them to have. The world cannot give any of that. The world wants to rob you of that. Turn to God and trust Him and get excited about the blessings He will shower upon you.