Summary: Moses had it all - power, prestige and position. He was the son of Pharaoh's daughter and was destined to be a man of prominence. But then he said no to all that. Why did he do that, and what can that mean to us?
CHILDREN’S STORY – Years ago, there was a very bad King in Egypt who hated the Israelites. In fact, he hated them so much that he commanded that all their baby boys should be thrown into the river and drowned. He was a bad king. But there was a mother who loved her baby very much and she hid him from the King as long as she could. And when she couldn’t hide him anymore, she made a basket and placed him in it … and put it in the river near where the King’s daughter would come to wash herself. When the King’s daughter came to river, she heard the baby cry, and immediately loved him and wanted to make him her her own little boy. She named him Moses. Well, it just so happened that Moses’ sister Miriam was watching over her brother, and when she saw that the King’s daughter loved Moses, she asked the King’s daughter if she wanted someone to take care of her new child. “Yes,” she responded. And Miriam went and got Moses’ mother to be his nurse.
SERMON: Henry Ward Beecher was a well known preacher and evangelist during the 2nd Great Awakening – a religious revival in the early 1800s that shaped America’s morality for decades.
They say that when Beecher was a boy, one of his teachers asked one of the other students in the class a question. The student stood and answered but the teacher became angry and said he was wrong… then commanded the boy to “Sit down!” Shocked, the boy sat down. Several students were asked the same question – they all gave the same answer and were rebuked in the same way. Then the teacher called on Beecher … and the boy stood up and gave exactly the same answer as the other children had gotten. When the teacher shouted at him to “Sit Down!” Beecher said “NO, I am not going sit down” and insisted he was right. Even when the teacher kept criticizing and even shouting at him, Beecher held his ground and insisted his answer was correct.
Finally, the teacher smiled and said: “Well, boys, you were all correct. But Beecher was the only one sure enough to stand up for it.”
Henry Ward Beecher said “NO!” ... to a teacher. I’m sure he did so respectfully, but he still said “NO” Why would he do that? Well, he did that because he was he had FAITH in the RIGHTNESS of his answer.
Our text this morning tells us that there came a day when Moses said “No!” “By faith Moses, when he was grown up, REFUSED (he said “no”) to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward.” Hebrews 11:24-26
From the children’s story I told you this morning we know how Moses got to grow up in Pharaoh’s home. As the adopted son of Pharaoh’s daughter he would have been trained in the religion of Egypt and learned of their many gods… including the Pharaoh. Moses would have been taught to worship his step grandfather as if he were the son of the gods who brought favor to Egypt. In fact, it’s possible that Moses was being groomed to be the next Pharaoh, and to be a god himself. But, even if he wasn’t going to be the next Pharaoh, then unquestionably, he would have become a man of prominence and power.
Josephus (a Jewish historian) speculated that Moses was a very handsome and educated prince and a mighty warrior in Egypt. He tells us about Moses leading Egyptians against the Ethiopians in taking one of their major cities. Of course that’s all pure speculation because the Bible doesn’t tell us that, and even history is a bit sketchy on this. But the one thing we can be sure of: Moses was destined to be a leader in Egypt.
But then (one day) Moses said “No!... I’m not doing that!” There came a day, when he refused to be called THE SON of Pharaoh’s daughter. Exodus 2:11 says “One day, when Moses had grown up, he went out to HIS PEOPLE and looked on their burdens, and he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of HIS PEOPLE.”
One of HIS people? Where did he get that idea?
Well, more than likely – he knew that ALL THE TIME. Exodus 2:5-9 tells us “the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river, while her young women walked beside the river. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her servant woman, and she took it. When she opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the baby was crying. She took pity on him and said, ‘This is one of the Hebrews’ children.’ Then HIS SISTER (Miriam) said to Pharaoh’s daughter, ‘Shall I go and call you a nurse from the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?’ And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, ‘Go.’ So the girl went and called the child’s mother. And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, ‘Take this child away and nurse him for me, and I will give you your wages.’ So THE WOMAN (Moses’ mother) took the child and nursed him.”