25 August 2023 Anno Domini, the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; 25Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; 26Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. 27By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible. 28Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them. 29 By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.” (Hebrews 11:24-29; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
Our lives on earth are punctuated by the choices we make. The earlier the right choice is made, the better the outcome. As children, we enjoyed a conscience free of the many temptations that life brings, so, those of us who gain wisdom early will forego many disappointing outcomes later.
God often places barriers and roadblocks before us to lead us to a better choice if we have been blessed to hear His still, small voice. The rich young ruler (Matt 19:16-22 & Mark 10:17-27) made a choice common to
Those of youthful immaturity and covetous disposition – he could not forsake his riches for the greater wealth of the Kingdom of God. Our Lord pointed out to him that he was not even keeping the First Commandment, much less the other Nine. God does not struggle with the obstinately self-righteous.
Sometimes, the Lord confronts us with an offer we simply cannot refuse as in the case of Saul of Tarsus. (see Acts 9:1-19) Saul (later named Paul) was an unlikely candidate for the Lord’s calling – aren’t we all! He had overseen the stoning of Stephen and now threatened the same fate for the Christians at Damascus. “And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, 2And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.” (Acts 9:1-2) But in the prescience of God, Saul never arrived at Damascus to consummate his evil plan. The Lord struck Saul down on that road and blinded him to his former plans and set him on a new path. This was an offer Saul could scarce refuse.
The choices God offers are as old as Creation week itself. He gave Adam and Eve a choice – either the things of the world, or those fruits of the Tree of Life (which symbolized our Lord Jesus Christ). The bad choices we make not only impact our own lives but those of others. Adam’s choice has adversely affected all of Creation since. The bad choices we make in our youth, though repented of, can have unfavorable consequences on our lives in future years. The distance between the upward Narrow and downward Broad Way increases over time with our sins, and sin leaves scars. But here is mercy and grace in God.
The apostles were simply invited by Christ to “…come and follow me,” (Matthew 19:21) and they did so without question. The call of God is irresistible, and He is able to enforce the call according to His will and purpose for us.
Moses might have been considered to live on ‘cloud nine’ in Egypt. He was part of the royal household. The delicacies of the world were available to him, yet, God drove home to him that he had a people in Goshen – his own flesh and blood – and nothing is stronger than blood ties, especially the blood of Christ that unites the Christian Church together in Oneness with God the Father, God the son, and God the Holy Ghost. God had other plans for Moses of which he did not know. At forty years of age, Moses defended an Israelite against a cruel Egyptian overseer resulting in the death of the overseer. Though we may look with dismay on that act, it all was used by the Lord to separate Moses from his adoptive family and reunite him with his true family in God. Moses fled Egypt and lived for another forty years in the wilderness until God revealed His plan to him.
We often get impatient waiting upon the Lord to reveal His plan for our lives, but Moses had the patience to wait until the Lord revealed to him His plans in the Burning Bush that burned, but was not consumed. Moses had forsaken luxury of the world’s spices for the bitter herbs of forty more years of wandering in the wilderness with an obnoxious and incorrigible people for whom Moses forsook all. Though his choice to do so may have been made out of duress of the Hand of God, he made the good choice nonetheless and suffered rejection, back-stabbing, and rebellion from the people over whom the Lord had given him responsibility to lead to the Promised Land. Moses was taken in sleep by the Lord on Mt. Nebo ere he crossed over Jordan to the Land of Promise. But it was the Lord’s decision to take Moses from the squalor of the world and lift him to His glorious reward with Him in Paradies, for next mention of Moses was to see him with Christ communing on the Mount of Transfiguration.
What a blessing awaits all who follow the Lord’s leading!