Faith and Faithfulness

One of the lessons we can learn from the life of Moses is the importance of faith and God’s faithfulness. As this man of God was sent back to Egypt to lead the oppressed Israelites out of bondage, he would need to constantly exercise faith in God. This is essential for abundant living, for “we walk by faith, not by sight,” and “whatever is not of faith is sin” (2 Cor. 5:7, Rom. 14:23).

Chapter eleven of Hebrews is called “the faith chapter” for good reason. In this passage faith is traced throughout the Old Testament era and applied to New Testament believers. Concerning Moses we are reminded,

“By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible. By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them. By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned.” (Heb. 11:24-29).

Imagine the doubts which could have assailed Moses:

  • “What if that burning bush was just a dream?”
  • “What if the elders of Israel don’t believe me?”
  • “And what if that wooden rod just lays on the ground when I cast it down as a sign?!”
  • “How will mighty Pharaoh let us go?”
  • “How can we cross the Red Sea?”
  • “And how can I provide food and water for this nation in the wilderness after we are set free?…”

Yet Moses was given the wisdom to depend on God’s resources instead of his own. And so must we.

Jessie Penn-Lewis observed that as Exodus unfolded,

“God was becoming to Moses a greater reality than the ‘things that are seen,’ and bolder and bolder became his walk of faith, until the unseen grew more real and tangible to him than the visible [2 Cor. 4:18 ]. How could he fear the ‘wrath of the king,’ when he walked in fearless fellowship with the King of kings? … It was the faith of Moses that was the link with God’s power on behalf of Israel … How wonderful his faith was! It was even greater than Abraham’s. He [Abraham] had faith, first for himself and then for Isaac; but Moses had faith for the deliverance of a nation.”[1]

Moses walked by faith through the awesome episode of Israel’s deliverance from Egypt. Moses testified of the truth by faith and the elders of Israel bowed their heads in worship. He fulfilled his commission by faith and Pharaoh’s power was broken by God. He received God’s deliverance by faith and the Israelites partook of the Passover Lamb in Goshen. He exercised God’s delegated authority by faith, and the Red Sea parted when the rod was lifted up!

Bill Hybels tells of an event which the Lord used to teach him the priority of faith. He was on a missionary trip to India and was asked to preach an evangelistic message to thousands of Muslims and Hindus. He recalls his growing apprehension about the difficulties of effectively preaching cross-culturally to the vast audience which had gathered for the meeting. Just before his sermon was to begin, however, the soloist sang Great is Thy Faithfulness. He describes how the truth of this classic hymn shifted his focus and restored his confidence:

” … as the words rolled over in my mind, it suddenly dawned on me where the focus of my attention had been all day. I was focused on myself–my language barrier, my cultural confusion, my inexperience, my weakness, my fear of failing, my terror of a crowd that size. I was looking squarely at my mountain, and all I could see was my inability to move it. My prayers were pitiful because I was looking at my inadequacy instead of God’s adequacy!”

As Bill prayed, he was reassured: ” … I’m praying to a God who wants to bear fruit through me, and I am going to trust that He is going to use me tonight. Not because of who I am, but because of who He is. He is faithful.” God richly blessed the preaching of the gospel at that meeting. Amen! [2]

Moses’ faith was well-placed because of the faithfulness of the Lord.

  • It was God who performed the ten plagues and refuted the idolatrous beliefs of the Egyptians;
  • It was God who parted the Red Sea for the Israelites to safely pass through, and released the waters to wipe out the pursuing army;
  • it was God who provided the “spoils” of the Egyptian people, which were later used as building material for the Tabernacle;
  • it was God who sustained the multitude in the wilderness for forty years, providing essential water and manna.

Moses testified near the end of his journey, “And I have led you forty years in the wilderness. Your clothes have not worn out on you, and your sandals have not worn out on your feet.” (Deut. 29:5.)[3]

Faith is essential for living the Christ-life. Only by depending on God’s sufficiency moment by moment can we receive the grace for Christ to express His life through us. Like Moses, let us assuredly place our faith in the faithfulness of God.

Prayer:

O God, we will not depend upon the strength of our faith, but rather fully trust in Your faithfulness. Thank You for always being true to Your word. Amen.


Notes:

[1] Jessie Penn Lewis, Face to Face (CLC) p. 37

[2] Bill Hybels, Too Busy Not to Pray (IVP) p.65,66

[3] Another strategic miracle since there were no shopping malls in Sinai!

Copyright 1999 by John Woodward. Permission is granted to reprint this article for non-commercial use. Please credit GraceNotebook.com. Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, New King James Version © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.


Honorable Mention

Kim Francis recently published her second book, Fifty Days in His Pursuing Love devotional (Amazon KDP). An video interview about her book is at https://youtu.be/GSI3H8zSa7w

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Copyright, John Woodward. Permission is granted to reprint this article for non-commercial use. Scripture quotations (unless indicated otherwise) are from The Holy Bible, New King James Version © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

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