In the long-distance walk of faith, we need real encouragement—not generic, fluffy, simplistic platitudes. We need courage in our hearts to give us strength, motivate our lives, and move us along.
In the witness of Moses, we find deep, gritty, life-and-death encouragement. The message of Moses for us today is, “Keep looking ahead!”
Moses was an Israelite, but he was abandoned as a baby to avoid certain death. Taken in by Pharaoh’s daughter in Egypt, he grew up privileged. But to be clear, Moses was not a shining example of faith and self-control early in life. He killed an Egyptian who was being rough with an Israelite, so Pharaoh sought to capture him and put him to death.
Moses is definitively not the sort of fellow we expect to become the leader of God’s people and a hero in the faith. But God appeared to him, and the transformation began.
While on the mountain of Horeb, Moses came upon a bush on fire. Immediately, a voice cried out to him, “Moses! Moses!” (Exodus 3:4). God was speaking audibly to Moses through the burning bush. What could God possibly want with an ordinary, unimpressive shepherd like Moses?
The LORD said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey. ... So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.” (Exodus 3:7–10)
Moses responds how most of us would, "Who, me? Certainly not! You must have the wrong guy. I’m a murderer, in fact. Surely there’s been some mistake!"
God insists, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain” (Exodus 3:12).
Moses had a speech impediment; he was not a good fit for the vocal leadership of two million Israelites and several appearances in front of the king of Egypt. He also had a good, safe life now. He had a wife, kids, and a small flock to tend. Why rush into such a dangerous mission?
Moses may have thought all these things—but he still obeyed. And that’s why the author of Hebrews includes him in the Faith Hall of Fame.
Moses chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. (Hebrews 11:25–26)