The course of a person’s life is determined much more by their decisions than by their circumstances. Faithful living demands that we make the right choices. No one ever stumbles into faith accidentally. The decision of faith is always intentional, always involving the will. Since the dawn of creation, God has given men choices that determine the direction of their lives. Each of the heroes of faith mentioned in Hebrews 11 made the intentional choice of faith. And nowhere is this more clearly seen than in the life of Moses. The writer of Hebrews calls our attention to three major characteristics of his faith, beginning with its example. Before Moses became a man of faith, the Bible says that his parents, Amram and Jochebed, were people of faith. Verse 23 mentions how faith was on display in their lives.
First, notice the CHOICE they made.
According to the biblical account, the rapid growth of the Hebrews in Egypt resulted in a decree by the Pharaoh that all male babies be drowned in the Nile River. Thus, Moses’ parents, Amram and Jochebed, had to make a choice. Would they go along with the wicked decree of a pagan king, or would they trust God with the life of their son? Disobeying the king could have meant have death; disobeying God would have meant destruction. They faced a crisis of faith. The choice that Amram and Jochebed made was a difficult one. They chose to go against the Pharaoh’s order and hid baby Moses for three months.
God never said that faithful living would be easy. A song says, “He never promised that the cross would not get heavy, or that the hill would not be hard to climb. He never offered victory without fighting, but He said help would always come in time!” It is often at the crossroads of difficulty that we are given the opportunity to make the choice of faith. When faced with a difficult decision, faith always takes the road less traveled. Instead of going along with the rest of the crowd, faith believes and obeys God no matter what consequences may follow.
Second, notice the CONVICTION they held.
Verse 23 says that they made their decision “because they saw he was a beautiful child.” This statement speaks of both physical and moral attribute. It means that they knew that there was something special about this child, that God had something special in mind for
him. In fact, this is indicated in the New Testament. In Acts 7:20, the Bible says, “At this time Moses was born, and was well pleasing to God.” Literally, it means that he was lovely in the sight of God. Amram and Jochebed saw through the eyes of faith how God’s hand was on little Moses. Therefore, they chose in faith to hide their son from Pharaoh’s officers.
They were motivated to action by strong conviction of God’s truth. Faith is never stagnant, passive, or inactive. It is always spurred along to action. Believing God, faith attempts the impossible.
Third, notice the COURAGE they showed.
In making their decision, the Bible says of Amram and Jochebed, “and they were not afraid of the king’s command. Faith dispelled fear in their lives. Not fearing what might happen to them, they boldly defied Pharaoh’s order and hid Moses. When he was three months old, Jochebed made a little basket out of bulrushes and placed him in the Nile River not far from where Pharaoh’s daughter often went. It took faith to do such a thing, and to trust that God would look after him through the rest of his days. From a human perspective, Amram and Jochebed had no way of knowing of what might happen, let alone the fact that he would be given back to be nursed. Yet they willingly let him go, totally trusting that God would do with him what was right.
The Bible says that once Moses was discovered by Pharaoh’s daughter, his sister Miriam approached her and petitioned that a nurse be sought from the Hebrew midwives. And of course, Miriam takes the baby to his mother. Thus, Jochebed went on to nurse Moses and no doubt she taught him of God’s promises to His people. His mother helped build into him the faith that he would possess. The plan and purposes of God was at work behind the scenes.
Someone has well said, “Trying to improve upon God’s plan is more pretentious than taking a felt-tipped pen and trying to improve the Mona Lisa. Our scribbling would do nothing but ruin the masterpiece.” Faith fully leans on the providence of God. Though we may not see it, God is orchestrating the events of our lives in accordance with His plan. When the circumstances of our lives don’t make sense from our perspective, we can trust God who works all things together for the good of those who love Him.