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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Hebrews 11

Verses 1-7

  1. Slide#11,12 Intro:
    1. For centuries the islands of New Zealand were unpopulated. No human had ever set foot on them. Then the first settlers arrived. They were Polynesians from other Pacific islands who had sailed a thousand miles in outrigger canoes [Maori/orig.frm Taiwain/Melanesia(Vanuatu, Fiji)].
      The Polynesians came with the purpose of settling in New Zealand. How did they know the land was there? How did they know they would not simply sail across empty seas until food and water ran out and they perished?The Polynesians had known for generations that land was there because their voyagers had seen a long white cloud on the distant horizon. They knew that when a cloud stayed in one place over a very long period of time, there was land beneath it. They called New Zealand the Land of the Long White Cloud. (Mark Robert C. Shannon, 1000 Windows, (Cincinnati, Ohio: Standard Publishing Company, 1997).) (Aotearoa/ou-tay-rOa)
      1. Faith is like that. It is voyaging to an unseen land, journeying to an unknown future. But it is not mere guesswork, or chance, or superstition. There are facts behind faith, facts that suggest conclusions.
  2. FAITH DESCRIBED (1-3) [Then Faith Demonstrated: by Abel, Enoch, Noah]
    1. Some Atheists like to throw around the quote...Christianity is the belief that some cosmic Jewish zombie, can make you Live forever, if you symbolically Eat his flesh, and telepathically Tell him that you accept him As your master, so he can Remove an evil force from your soul, That is present in humanity, because A rib-woman was convinced, by a Talking snake with legs, to eat from a magical tree. Makes perfect sense.
    2. Christianity is a faith that is based on a body of knowledge revealed by God.
      1. Faith is not a blind leap into darkness, but a trust in God that moves us out of darkness into light.
      2. Faith is simple, but not simplistic.
      3. Faith is not credulity [A tendency to believe too readily/gullible]. It is based on sound reason and historical evidence.
      4. Faith provides the substance for our future hope.
      5. Faith involves trusting in what is not seen.
      6. Faith means more than believing in God; it means believing God. (Essential Truths of the Christian Faith, R.C.Sproul)
    3. Faith is…the evidence of things not seen - For we walk by faith, not by sight. 2Cor.5:7
      1. Some see faith contrasted by sight, or contrasted with empirical evidence (something based on experiment or experience).
        1. We have a saying, Seeing is...what?...believing.
      2. Don’t see faith as the opposite of sight, or in contrast to it. Then what’s he saying here?
        1. It is dealing with future issues. What we have seen in the past gives us faith to believe in the future, though we haven’t seen it.
        2. Example: How visible was God to the children of Israel? God showed Himself visible through: the 10 plagues, the parting of the red Sea, the drowning of Pharaoh’s men, the manna, earth opening, the shining face of Moses, etc.
      3. Now, all that happened yesterday...now, here’s what’s going to happen tomorrow. “You will posses the land, it will be flowing with milk & honey, it will be your inheritance, etc.”
        1. I know you saw giants but have giant faith.
        2. Could any Jew see tomorrow, look into the future? Can you?
      4. So, true biblical faith is believing what has already been shown in the past; which causes us to have faith in His future promises, though we haven’t seen them yet. [my quote]
    4. (3) Not made of things which were visible (i.e. to the naked eye)
      1. We have atoms, electrons, energy, particle physics, & different waves that we cannot see w/the naked eye. Like… Gamma Ray – X-Ray – Ultraviolet – Visible – Infrared – Radar – Radio Waves.
      2. The OT writers knew the worlds were framed by simply His spoken Word – Ps.33:6-9
      3. Faith is learning to live by insight rather than by sight.
  3. FAITH DEMONSTRATED (4-7)
    1. Faith is confidence in God that leads to obedience to God, as seen in the rest of the chapter.
      1. To illustrate true faith, the writer points to some Old & NT believers, showing how they trusted God to: bless, provide, protect, lead, conquer, & give life…even in the most dire circumstances.
    2. Outline: Abel’s Sacrifice of Faith. Enoch’s Walk of Faith. Noah’s Work of Faith.
    3. ABEL’S SACRIFICE OF FAITH (4) AUTHENTIC FAITH
    4. Adam & Eve had 2 sons:
      1. Their firstborn Cain, started with favorable beginnings. He was the child of Hope being their firstborn. He received his AG degree at Eden Univ.(well just outside of) so agriculture was his thing. Their 2nd-born Abel, He went into animal husbandry.
    5. Here we have an important contrast of 2 ways of faith: Man’s way & God’s way.
      1. Abel’s faith produced: [1] Authentic Worship [2] Authentic Righteousness [3] Authentic Testimony.
      2. Both were religious men. And when it came time to worship each brought an offering appropriate to his profession (Cain from the field, & Abel from the flock)
        1. Abel’s was received, Cain’s was not.
        2. Abel went out of his way to please God, Cain was simply discharging a duty.
      3. Best we can tell, this was not a sin offering or a trespass offering but a Love offering
      4. Abel’s sacrifice was more excellent (greater, more important) because it came from a heart made righteous by faith.
      5. Many speculate on why Abel’s sacrifice was received & Cain’s wasn’t.
        1. This wasn’t a cattle vs. corn problem (both were required later in Levitical law for sacrificing)
        2. Throughout scripture it isn’t so much about what you give, so much as to how you give it. [i.e. attitude of heart]
        3. It doesn’t say He loves the giver, but that He loves the cheerful giver. [the heart he gives from]
      6. He being dead still speaks – This is a direct allusion to Gen.4:10 And He said, What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood cries out to Me from the ground.
        1. We have not 1 word of Abel Preaching, yet his life is still speaking…
        2. St. Francis once called to 1 of his young monks, “Let’s go down to the town & preach.” The novice, delighted at being singled out to be the companion of Francis, quickly obeyed. They passed through the principal streets, turned down many of the byways & alleys, made their way out to some of the suburbs, & at length returned by a winding route to the monastery gate. As they approached it, the younger man reminded Francis of his original intention. “You have forgotten, father,” he said, “that we went down to the town to preach!” “My son,” Francis replied, “we have preached. We were preaching while we were walking. We have been seen by many; our behavior has been closely watched; it was thus that we preached our morning sermon. It is no use, my son, to walk anywhere to preach unless we preach everywhere as we walk!
    6. ENOCH’S WALK OF FAITH (5,6) FAITH GROWING IN INTIMACY
    7. (5) The 7th from Adam comes next…he was the man who pleased God, & maintained a daily walk w/God.
      1. Read Gen.5:21-24. It indicates for the 1st 65 years of his life, he didn’t walk w/God. Then the birth of his son seemed to change things with him. [witnessing a birth will do that!]
      2. What we do know from the 8 vss. about Enoch...is that he walked with God.
      3. Walk is the biblical expression for fellowship & obedience that results in divine favor. (Bible Knowledge Commentary, Genesis 5:21-24.)
        1. This was not an event but a lifestyle. A long lifestyle, a 300 year long lifestyle.
      4. This walk was one of deepening intimacy. A walk implies a journey in a certain direction, and at a measured and regular pace. (Ray Stedman; pg.120)
        1. ​​​​​​​Enoch enjoyed the continuous presence of an unseen Person, & related his daily life to that person.
      5. When was the last time you took a walk with God...just you & Him?
      6. When do you sense the smile of God on your life?
    8. (6) He Exists & He Rewards.
    9. Spurgeon said, Virtues w/o faith are white-washed sins.
      1. W/o faith/belief it is impossible to please Him.
    10. God does Exist – He has revealed Himself in many ways: Yes through His Son. Yes through​​​​​​​ Holy Scripture. But also through nature itself. The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork.
      1. Elizabeth Barret Browning (the British Poet) put it well: Earth’s crammed with heaven, And every common bush aflame with God.But only those who see take off their shoes, The rest sit around & pluck blackberries
    11. God does Reward - Jesus said in the last chapter of the bible, behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.
    12. We learn from Enoch that faith means turning from human wisdom to God’s revelation & walking in daily obedience to it until it leads to a fellowship which death cannot interrupt.
    13. NOAH’S WORK OF FAITH (7) FAITH PERSISTING
    14. Noah believed what He couldn’t see (i.e. rain/flood)
      1. He invested everything in that boat: wife, family, reputation [he was 100 miles from the nearest ocean] This boat was WAY too big for his family. And to top it off, he filled it with animals???
      2. He knew it was going to rain because…what? Because God told him it was going to rain 120 years before the flood came.
    15. Slide#22 Practically, how does faith help me day by day? It gives me the ability to endure when others are giving up. Faith is not a luxury; it is a necessity. (Warren Wiersbe, pg. 820.)
    16. Where does this faith come from? Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Rom.10:17)
    17. An old writer said that Faith and Reason may be compared to 2 travelers.
      Faith is like a man in full health, who can walk his 20 or 30 miles at a time without suffering. Reason is like a little child, who can only, with difficulty, accomplish 3 or 4 miles.Well, says the old writer, on a given day Reason says to Faith, O good Faith, let me walk with you. Faith replies, O Reason, you could never walk with me! However, to try their paces, they set out together, but they soon find it hard to stay together. When they come to a deep river, Reason says, I can never ford this, but Faith wades through it singing. When they reach a lofty mountain, there is the same exclamation of despair; and in such cases, Faith, in order not to leave Reason behind, is obliged to carry him on his back. Oh, what luggage is Reason to Faith. (Charles Haddon Spurgeon, The Quotable Spurgeon, (Wheaton: Harold Shaw Publishers, Inc, 1990))
    18. Noah lived in a time when all had turned their backs on God. He alone remained faithful.
      1. Faith enabled Noah to, when warned of a coming flood, devote 120 years to the building of a great boat about 100 miles from any sea.
      2. Faith enabled Noah to cut through the contrary views of his contemporaries.
      3. Faith enabled Noah to accept the warning of impending disaster as fact.
        1. And Faith enables us to withstand social pressures and respond with reverence, obeying the command to build.
        2. Living by faith, or accepting as fact the truths that we cannot touch or feel or see, and then acting on them, seems such a simple prescription for life. (The Teachers Commentary, Heb.11.)
    19. Without faith it is impossible to please Him.

Verses 8-22

  1. Intro:
    1. When John Bunyan was in jail (after the restoration of Charles II in 1660, it was illegal to conduct divine service except in accordance with the forms of the Church of England. Bunyan, who persisted in his unlicensed preaching, was confined to Bedford county jail from 1660 to 1672) He was thinking of what must happen to his family if he was executed. Especially the thought of his little blind daughter, who was so dear to him, haunted him: “O,” he said, “I saw in this condition I was a man who was pulling down his house upon the head of his wife & children; yet, thought I, I must do it, I must do it.”
      1. “The dearest idol I have known, Whate’er that idol be, Help me to tear it from thy throne, And worship only thee.”
    2. The writer to Hebrews takes faith out of religious theory & clothes it w/flesh & blood.
      1. James said faith without works is dead? or, Faith w/o deeds is useless(NIV). 2:20
      2. Meaning, if there is true faith, there will be consequent actions.
      3. Inward faith always leads to outward evidence.
      4. Faith assumes, presumes, supposes, & presupposes obedience.
      5. Let’s look at the next section of Faith’s Role Models.
    3. One thing that you will notice w/each of the characters that we talk about, each is unusual.
      1. ie. it is not the normal reaction ordinarily expected of those who face such situations.
        1. Faith makes some people act differently than others.
        2. I also want to say, it wasn’t perfect faith. With each of these characters & examples, they all lacked faith at other times. So don’t be disheartened.
    4. Outline: Having Faith when you don’t know where. Having Faith when you don’t know how. Having Faith when you don’t know when. Having Faith when you don’t know why. And, Having Faith when you can’t see.
  2. HAVING FAITH WHEN YOU DON’T KNOW WHERE (8-10) Abraham
    1. Abraham is one of the greatest examples of faith in the bible.
      1. He is honored in at least 3 major religions of the world: Judaism, Islam & Christianity.
      2. Even our NT starts the 1st verse w/his name in it.
      3. Paul tells us to Consider Abraham: He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness. Gal.3:6 (NIV)
      4. James said that he was the friend of God.
      5. The writer here takes us back all the way to Abraham’s beginning, 19th century B.C. To the city of Ur, located on the Euphrates River (southern Iraq).
    2. Abraham was promised by God: a land, a posterity, a great name & universal influence.
      1. Get out of your country, From your family And from your father's house, To a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed. Gen.12:1-3
    3. Picture military information being disseminated from the Joint Chiefs of Staff (the decision makers) all the way down to the tactical level...under sealed orders.
      1. Whoever is “boots on the ground” may receive their orders only when they need them, or in route, as they go. So, they open their orders, and they are told where to go next. And that's the way Abraham lived.
        1. ​​​​​​​Are you addicted to detail??? Can you trust when you can’t trace?
    4. Take a risk...Having Faith When You Don’t Know Where.
    5. Abraham reminds us, faith frees us to venture confidently into the unknown.
      1. Risk, for the purpose of serving God.
      2. Are you too fearful to pray aloud? To express your opinion on a subject? To witness to someone because you’re anxious about how you might be received? To leave your old job?
        1. Faith frees us to step out, like Abraham, even when we don’t know where we are going.
    6. How does faith help us? Faith reminds us that God, who guides & directs us, also goes with us.
      1. No need to fear risks when faith tells us that the Lord is by our side.
    7. (9) God had promised the land of Canaan to Abraham, but during his life time (& Isaac’s & Jacob’s) God gave him no inheritance.
      1. The only thing Abraham owned was a little cave in Machpelah in Hebron where he buried his wife.
    8. (10) Here is 4000 years, or 40 centuries of faith…so far.
      1. Abraham saw what John did, Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. Rev.21:2
        1. He saw & believed the last 2 ch’s of the bible, 2000 yrs before they were even written.
    9. Kent Hughes said, To get a feel for what this was like, imagine God promising you & your descendants the land of Guatemala, & then in obedience traveling there & living the rest of your life in your camper, along with your sons’ families in their campers families, moving from place to place. You remain alien for the remainder of your sojourn, without full citizenship rights, a perpetual outsider.
    10. Abraham never fit in. His religion was different (monotheism vs. polytheism). His standards of morality were different. His worldview was continually colliding with the inhabitant’s worldview.
      1. 3 main ingredients make up one’s worldview: 1] Your understanding of God 2] Your understanding of mankind 3] Your understanding of the world.
      2. A life of faith is not anti-cultural, but countercultural.
      3. Abraham was not separate from his culture; in fact he was deeply involved in politics of the land. Yet, he was never at home.
    11. There are many parallels w/Abraham’s experience & the Christians.
      1. Do we feel at home here? or, do we feel like our missionaries, as ExPat’s? [expatriates = live outside your native country]
      2. Would someone describe you as: [a] A pilgrim, a sojourner, a camper, or an alien? Or, [b] A citizen, a permanent resident, an occupant, 1 who’s perfectly at home here.
    12. Let us live, as Martin Luther used to say, with one foot in the air.
  3. HAVING FAITH WHEN YOU DON’T KNOW HOW (11,12) Sarah
    1. ​​​​​​​He as good as dead (reproductively) – refers to Abraham’s advanced age (99) when Isaac was conceived. (Sarah 90 yrs. young) [2 nonagenarians]
      1. Parents trying to get pregnant…trust God for this.
      2. I believe it is still God who opens & closes the womb. God is in control of every child birth.
    2. (11,12) Sarah - Yep, she laughed at 1st, but God countered her skepticism w/a question, Is anything too hard for the LORD?
      1. Here is a most encouraging example of faith. When Sarah 1st heard the promise, she doubted and laughed. But first doubts were overcome.
      2. Remember, she heard this inside the tent door, & laughed. When God confronted her She denied it saying, I didn’t laugh, for she was afraid, But Sarah denied it, saying, I did not laugh, for she was afraid. And He said, No, but you did laugh (Gen.18:15)
        1. Ultimately God had the last laugh…for Isaac’s name meant laughter.
        2. Gen.21:6 And Sarah declared, God has brought me laughter. All who hear about this will laugh with me.
        3. She must of thought long & hard on God’s words, for it says, And the Lord visited Sarah as He had said, & the Lord did for Sarah as He had spoken.Gen21:1
        4. To fulfill a promise, God seems to awaken faith 1st in the recipient.
      3. “Abraham must have weighed the human impossibility of becoming a father against the divine impossibility of God being able to break His word & decided that since God is God, nothing is impossible.” Kent Hughes
  4. HAVING FAITH WHEN YOU DON’T KNOW WHEN(13-16) Unnamed People
    1. ​​​​​​​These all died in faith – What an epitaph.
      1. It really doesn’t matter then if they died...of natural causes, or of violent deaths; of old age or in their prime of life…they all died in faith.
      2. They didn’t die resting in their own accomplishments or attainments, but in faith.
        1. Faith is as precious to die by as to live by. Spurgeon May 2, Evening.
      3. God makes his dying people to be like the sun, which never seems so large as when it sets. Spurgeon
    2. Abraham & his descendants didn’t turn back as the Hebrew leaders were tempted to do, but they kept their eyes on God & pressed on to victory.
      1. In what area is the Lord challenging you to keep your eyes on Him & press on to victory?
      2. How does the promise of a heavenly country help us to keep our faith, even when we don’t see our hopes fulfilled immediately?
    3. (16) He has prepared a city for them - I go to prepare a place for you.
      1. This City (vs.10) is designed in God’s mind & is built w/His hands.
        1. It’s difficult planning a futuristic city. Walt Disney said, "right when we build Tomorrowland, it will be outdated."
      2. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
        1. Picture a utopian city of peace & intimate fellowship with God & all His family.
        2. It is a city...thus it is social, communal, community, shared.
  5. HAVING FAITH WHEN YOU DON’T KNOW WHY (17-19) Abraham
    1. ​​​​​​​Here is the severest test of Abraham’s faith.
      1. Be honest…have you ever wondered why God would do something so cruel?
      2. And Abraham did it the very next day, he saddled the donkey & left to Mnt Moriah.
        1. How do you sacrifice the embodiment (Isaac) of all your hopes & dreams?
        2. And yet, Abraham took out the knife & was ready when...he was stopped by a voice from heaven. The same voice that remained silent 2000 yrs later on the same hill called Calvary.
      3. But here finally in vs.19 we find out that Abraham’s faith, was in the loving character of God, which enabled him to solve this crisis by reasoning that God was in full control of both death & life; He could restore as well as take.
        1. This is Resurrection faith!
      4. Key: Concluding/λογίζομαι (19) - a mathematical term where we get our english word logarithm, it means to calculate or reckon upon the basis of firm evidence. (Linguistic Key to the Greek New Testament, pg.709.)
        1. Abraham was mathematical in his deliberation, not faith w/o reason...Abraham simply calculated GOD into the equation. [It’s like having a God key on your calculator]
    2. There comes a time in each of our lives when God will test us.
      1. This is a test of full surrender. A test to maybe give up your heart’s desire, simply because God asks us to.
      2. Maybe it’s moving to a distant land...away from family & friends; away from the creature comforts you are use to.
    3. This takes a unique faith - A faith like when Abraham said to his young men, Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.
      1. God has promised us HIS very best – He has assured us that, all things work together for good to them that love Him.
      2. Elisabeth Elliot, True faith goes into operation when there are no answers.
        1. How close Abraham must have been to the Lord, to trust Him so.
        2. Let us stay close to the Lord also, that we too might have a faith that surrenders all.
  6. HAVING FAITH WHEN YOU CAN’T SEE (20-22) Isaac, Jacob, Joseph
    1. ​​​​​​​All 3 of these guys exercised their faith by seeing off into the future what wasn’t quite visible at the time.
      1. They all were convinced that death would not frustrate God’s purposes.
    2. Slide#25 ISAAC’S FAITH (20) FAITH IN BLESSING
    3. Isaac understood by faith the program of God for both of the boys. (Jacob & Esau)
    4. Isaac believed the word, passed on to him from Abraham, & then conferred the blessing on Jacob.
      1. Even though Jacob tricked his brother for the birthright, Esau knew it was binding & that God would not let it fail.
    5. JACOB’S FAITH (21) FAITH IN WORSHIPING​​​​​​​
    6. In spite of his failures, Jacob had faith in God’s Word & blessed Ephraim & Manasseh before he died.
      1. He dared by faith, to transfer (hand switch) the birthright from Manasseh, the 1stborn, to Ephraim the younger.
    7. JOSEPH’S FAITH (22) FAITH IN THE RESURRECTION
    8. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Joseph knew that Israel would one day be delivered from Egypt. For this is what God promised Abraham.
    9. It is amazing Joseph had any faith at all. He had so many trials in his life.
      1. ​​​​​​​He had family problems: His father rebuked him for his dreams. His brothers envied him, hated him, & despised him. Then his brothers trafficked him into slavery. He was then re-exploited/trafficked again into Egypt. He had to live away from his homeland security, in a pagan land. He was framed with rape charges by Mrs. Potiphar which landed him in jail for 2 years. And, he was forgotten by the butler to whom he interpreted his dream.
        1. Yet in all this Joseph says to his brothers after dad died, Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones. And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them. Gen.50:19-21
    10. He gave instructions to carry his bones into the Promised Land. Moses did over 2 centuries later.
      1. By faith we believe in the final resurrection of our bodies also.
    11. Our tomorrow is unknown by us, yet our future guaranteed by God. me :)
    12. Christian faith does not rest on either our sincerity or our fervency.
      Christian faith stands or falls on the truth that the Word of God reveals.
    13. Do you like yourself at this point of your pilgrimage?
    14. Faith is to believe what we do not see; and the reward of this faith is to see what we believe.

Verses 23-40

  1. Intro:
    1. We continue on in the gallery of O.T. heroes of faith…our next runner up is Moses.
      1. 1. Moses was Israel’s greatest lawgiver (Moses synonymous w/Lawgiver), historian (writer of Pent, Israel’s history), & deliverer (story of Exodus).
      2. In every critical stage in Moses’ life, faith shaped him for his ultimate ministry.
      3. And listen to this unparalleled epitaph written in Deut. 34:10-12 NLT There has never been another prophet in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face. The Lord sent him to perform all the miraculous signs and wonders in the land of Egypt against Pharaoh, and all his servants, and his entire land. With mighty power, Moses performed terrifying acts in the sight of all Israel.
    2. Title: Moses’ life of Faith
      Outline: Faith Does. Faith Chooses. Faith Waits. Faith Obey’s. Faith Moves
  2. [1] FAITH DOES...THE RIGHT THING (23)
    1. This story is told in Ex.2:1-10. This actually has to do with the faith of Moses parents.
      1. Their names were Amram & Jochebed. Both of the tribe of Levi. They had 2 other children whom we know: Aaron, the oldest; Miriam, Moses’ older sister; & Moses.
      2. It was at a very dark time for Israel. When Pharaoh commanded the Hebrew midwives to murder all the males immediately upon birth.
    2. A beautiful child What parent doesn’t look at their child & think their child’s the cutest child ever?
      1. ​​​​​​​It means: fine, healthy, no ordinary child (NIV) which is what is implied.
      2. Obviously there was something about him that made him more beautiful.
        1. He was not only beautiful, but a gifted & unusually promising one.
    3. Moses parent’s came up w/this creative plan to float him right into Pharaoh’s palace.
      1. ​​​​​​​Now, he wasn’t shootin the rapids as in some coloring books.
      2. She laid the lil ark in the reeds, by the rivers bank.
    4. Jochebed’s Faith paid immediate dividends, as she got paid to nurse her own child. And to raise him during the early & most formative years of his life.
      1. Do you realize while Pharaoh was trying his best to murder the Hebrew babies; his daughter was using royal funds keeping one alive. [That’s so like our God]
      2. So, Amram(friend of Jehovah) & Jochebed(Jehovah is her Glory) were the molders & shapers of Moses faith during the early years (Ex.2:9,10).
        1. Moses became aware of his own origins; was taught to fear God; made conscious of his call to deliver his people. As Acts 7:25 attests to this, For he supposed that his brethren would have understood that God would deliver them by his hand, but they did not understand)
        2. Their faith, prayers, bravery, & their creativity saved their son.
        3. What an encouragement for those of us who are attempting to raise a godly family in today’s secular desert. (Kent Hughes) [Great reminder to: quit whining about how bad our world is & start being creative on how to pour into our children]
    5. Slide#9 Personal Lesson: Don’t Fear the Pharaoh’s.
      1. ​​​​​​​Entrust your children into God’s care.
      2. New mom’s & dad’s, since your children are only yours “on loan”...Entrust God with your child & show your faith, by making a little ark, and floating your child in the reeds of God’s Nile when asked.
      3. Of course you can come up with a 100 reasons why you can’t [what if waves come, what if it’s not-waterproof, what if he’s found, taken, or drowned by the Egyptians, what if…) Don’t Fear the worlds Pharaoh’s.
  3. [2] FAITH CHOOSES...AFFLICTION OVER AFFLUENCE (24-26)
    1. ​​​​​​​This story is told in Ex.2:11-15. Moses is now a 40yr old man.
    2. (24) The son of the Pharaoh – was a title, a royal designation.
      1. Living during this 19th Egyptian Dynasty would’ve meant prestige & wealth.
      2. Giving this life up must have been a blow to Pharaoh. Faith is courageous.
    3. (25) Erma Bombeck, Don't confuse fame with success. Madonna is one, & Helen Keller is the other. [I told you I was sick.(requested epitaph) I didn't fight my way to the top of the food chain to be a vegetarian]
    4. Sin is pleasurable - “…the pleasures of sin for a season”(KJV). “…rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time.”(NIV). “passing pleasure of sin”(NASB).
      1. ​​​​​​​Faith must choose between the attractive…but temporary & affliction…but eternal.
      2. It is wrong to teach your children that sin isn’t pleasurable, when the bible says it is.
        1. What we need to teach them is that it’s a temporary pleasure w/devastating consequences.
        2. I didn’t stop drinking, going to parties, & doing drugs because I didn’t enjoy it any longer. No, I learned where that road leads to...There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.
      3. So, how did Moses say no to those Egyptians delights? (see 26)
    5. (26) He looked to the reward
      1. ​​​​​​​Looked = “to keep one’s attention fixed on something, as an artist fixes his attention on the object or model that he is reproducing in painting or sculpture.” (LKGNT)
      2. Apollo 13, to conserve power, shut down the onboard computer that steered the craft. Yet the astronauts needed to conduct a 39 second burn of the main engines. How to steer? Astronaut Jim Lovell determined that if they could keep a fixed point in space in view through their tiny window, they could steer the craft manually.
        That focal point turned out to be their destination - Earth.
    6. Personal Lessons: Don’t Fear Missing out on Worldly Fun.
  4. [3] FAITH WAITS...IN MIDIAN (27)
    1. ​​​​​​​This story is told in Ex.2:14-22. Moses withdraws to Midian.
    2. Admittedly he fled to save his life (Ex.2:14,15) because he feared the anger of the king/ Pharaoh; but the writer of Hebrews goes deeper into the story.
      1. For Moses to withdraw to Midian was not an act of fear; it was an act of courage. How? It showed the courage of the man who has learned to wait.
        1. How long did he wait in Midian? (40 years)
      2. During this time he continued to see the unseen, the invisible realities.
        1. Faith’s eye saw, what the physical eye is incapable of seeing. (Kent Hughes, pg.120)
        2. Christianity is to be lived supernaturally. Remember when Elisha prayed for his servant, O Lord, open his eyes so he may see (see horses & see chariots of the Lord’s army surrounding & protecting them)
    1. Slide#16 Personal Lessons: Don’t Fear Missing Your Opportunity.
      1. This is what David’s friends were saying to him in the cave. David, this is your opportunity to take Saul’s life & become king…like God told you you were.
      2. Are you big enough to wait until God says, now is the time/hour?
        1. A. S. Peake said, “The courage to abandon work on which one’s heart is set & accept inaction cheerfully as the will of God, is of the rarest & highest kind, & can be created & sustained only by the clearest spiritual vision.”
      3. “It is human to fear to miss the chance; but it is great to wait for the time of God – even when it seems like throwing a chance away.” [William Barclay]
  5. [4] FAITH OBEYS...GOD’S WORD (28)
    1. ​​​​​​​This story is told in Ex.12. We leap frog over many years: Past Moses’ confrontation with the new Pharaoh; past 9 plagues, to the 10th one; to the final & fateful night in Egypt, when Pharaoh finally, let God’s people go.
      1. The sprinkling of the blood at Passover was upon the door posts of each Israelites household. “The instructions strange; the demands costly; the ritual unprecedented.” (Raymond Brown (Adapted))
      2. This act of faith broke the back of Pharaoh’s resistance & the Egyptians begged the Israelites to leave.
    2. Personal Lessons: Don’t Fear Looking Foolish.
      1. ​​​​​​​This week, Lar/Tony/Michelle/Jen & I took a course on Oral Inductive Bible Study. Using Bible stories & targeted questions to discover as a group the bibles original intent. Any ways, Michelle told what an African pastor said, We don’t fear looking silly in Africa. Only in the West do they care what they look like. Don’t Fear Looking Foolish
  6. [5] FAITH MOVES...FORWARD (29)
    1. ​​​​​​​This story is told in Ex.14. This recounts the story of faith exercised by Moses & Israel when the Egyptians changed their minds & pursued Israel w/an army of chariots & soldiers.
    2. Faith? Moses had to tell them to stand still (14:13), hold your peace (14) & go forward (15).
      1. ​​​​​​​But so often when we talk about faith, God refuses to remember our lapses of faith & chooses only see only where our faith landed.
      2. It still took took faith for the Israelites to move forward.
        1. An Arabian prince received a new sword, he exclaimed, “This is too short!” to which came the reply, “To a brave man no sword is too short. If it seems too short, simply take one step forward & it will be long enough.” - It will also take faith for you to move forward.
    3. Moses faith was shown when he lifted his staff & held his hand over the sea for it to part.
    4. Israel’s faith wasn’t until they passed through the walls of water & arrived safely on the other shore. - When does your faith kick in?
      1. Faith dares to obey despite apparent obstacles & difficulties.
      2. “It pays no attention to impossibilities when God has spoken.” [Ray Stedman, pg.130]
    5. Personal Lessons: Don’t Fear The Enemy.
      1. ​​​​​​​“The business of life, the way of life, consists in getting over fences, not lying down & moaning on the other side!”
    6. Wrap up: In every critical stage in Moses’ life, faith shaped him for his ultimate ministry.

      His parents’ initial faith saved his life (23). Growing up, faith led him to throw in his lot with the slave people of Israel rather than his adoptive royal family (24-26). Faith enabled him to defy rather than give into Pharaoh, remaining obedient to the heavenly King (26-27).

      Faith led Moses to command the people to keep the first Passover (28). And Faith led Moses to walk boldly into the Red Sea (29).
      1. ​​​​​​​Faith Does the Right Thing. Faith Chooses Affliction over Affluence. Faith Waits in Midian. Faith Obey’s God’s Word. Faith Moves Forward.
    7. So what was the key to Moses faith? Ex.33:11 So the LORD spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.
      1. ​​​​​​​The Key? was the close intimacy of his relationship w/God. Moses knew God personally & intimately. To every task Moses came out from God’s presence.
        1. It is told that before a great battle Napoleon would stand in his tent alone. He would send for his commanders to come to him, one by one. When they came in, he would say no word but look them in the eye & shake their hand. And they would go out ready to die for the general they loved.
      2. The secret of victorious living is to face God before we face men.
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Hebrews 11". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/hebrews-11.html. 2017.