Hebrews 11:20-22 (NIV) 20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future. 21 By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff. 22 By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions about his bones.
On verses 20-22: When your life is empowered by God-pleasing faith, you will have a heart to encourage and help the next generation. That’s what happened in the case of Isaac, Jacob and Joseph. At the end of their lives they each spoke words to bless, protect and guide the generation coming after them. These men saw their story as being connected to and continued by those in the next generation. Likewise, may you have a heart to bless, protect and prepare the next generation, and may you see the next generation not as competition but as a continuation of the story God is writing in and through your life.
Hebrews 11:23-27 (NIV) 23 By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. 24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. 26 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. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.
On verses 23-27: Here the writer of Hebrews now focuses on the life of Moses. From these verses about Moses’ life I learn five important lessons about what living by faith looks like. When your life is empowered by God-pleasing faith…
You are no longer controlled by fear. Just as Moses’ parents courageously hid Moses despite Pharaoh’s edict (v23), just as Moses courageously left Egypt despite Pharaoh’s anger (v24), when faith empowers your life, fear steps to the side.
Your value system changes. You consider God’s eternal kingdom of greater worth than the temporary riches and pleasures that this world offers (v24-26).
Your sense of identity changes. Moses identified himself more with God’s people, even if it meant an inferior worldly status, than to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter (v24-25)
You are empowered by a different vision. Just as Moses “persevered because he saw him who is invisible” (v27), just as Moses’ parents hid Moses “becausethey saw he was no ordinary child”, people who live by faith have a vision that faithless people do not have, and that vision causes them to do things that faithless people wouldn’t consider doing.
You go out of your way to keep God’s Word, believing that it is for your protection and the protection of those you love. Just as Moses kept God’s commands concerning the Passover in the book of Exodus (v28), people of faith go out of their way to obey God’s Word, believing it will bring blessing to their lives.
Hebrews 11:29 (NIV) 29 By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned.
On verse 29: When you live by faith, you can accomplish things that people without faith cannot do.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the difference that God-pleasing faith makes. May God-pleasing faith empower every decision I make and every action I take today. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!