|Dear Visionary Leader:
In Hebrews, Chapter 11 there is a mighty listing of the heroes of the faith. We come now to two heroes that you may not know. Have you heard of Amram and Jochebed? They were the parents of Moses. Their claim to fame was not that they were the parents of Moses; it is that they believed God! It was their faith that pleased God. If you want to please God, you’d better learn how to believe God, “for without faith it is impossible to please Him.”
When we greet one another around the church, we frequently say, “Say, how are you feeling?” But I think the more important question is, “How are you faithing?” It is not according to your feeling but according to your faith, be it unto you; not according to your friends, but according to your faith be it unto you; not according to your fame, but according unto your faith be it unto you; not according to your fortune, but according unto your faith be it unto you.
Without faith, it is impossible to please God. The title of this message is “The Defiance of Faith.” There is a process of growing our faith in God.
Message Continues In Visionary Coaching
In Hebrews, Chapter 11:23 we read, “By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment.”
Amram and Jochebed were two slaves, who somehow got in touch with Almighty God by faith. They did something so marvelous and so wonderful that it is recorded forever in the annuals of God’s Word and in God’s Hall of Fame of Faith!
The Hebrews were being held slaves in the land of Egypt, and no longer was Joseph in favor. There arose another Pharaoh who knew not Joseph, and the Jews now had been made slaves. Pharaoh was a cruel, hard task master. There seemed to be a population explosion among the Hebrews, and they were growing in strength and virility and number. Pharaoh was apprehensive, and so he sent out a decree that all the little male babies were to be cast into the River Nile and drowned.
Amram and Jochebed, through prayer, were led of the Lord to do something unusual. They took their little baby boy, and they kept him for three months. There came a time when they could hide him no longer. Then, led of the Holy Spirit, they made a little boat, a little ark of bulrushes. They waterproofed it, took it down by the River Nile, and set it there in the bulrushes. The daughter of Pharaoh heard the baby crying. Her heart was moved with compassion. She took the baby into her home, and had the baby raised by Moses’ own mother! She became a nursemaid to that little baby. And then Moses became Mighty Moses who delivered the Hebrews from the land of bondage.
In this message, we are to discover why these people are listed in God’s Hall of Fame of Faith. This is about Moses’ parents! We’re not talking about the faith of Moses. We’re talking about the faith of Amram and Jochebed. Just common ordinary slaves, but they had faith in God. They show us the process of growing and going in faith.
Faith’s Vision: Our Love
I want you to notice the vision of their faith. They saw that “he was a proper child.” They had an insight that somehow, someway this child was a very special child! He was a unique child. You see, God had made a promise that the Israelites or the Hebrews were going to stay in the land of bondage, in the land of Egypt, for four hundred years.
After four hundred years, God said, “They’re coming out.” Amram and Jochebed were praying people. They were a people attuned to the Word of God. They knew that the time was getting short. It was now time for God to keep His Word, for almost four hundred years had transpired!
They were in contact with God through the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit said, “This child is the proper child to get the job done.”
We are grateful that by the providence of God the life of Moses was spared. We have a lot of little babies today who will never have a chance. People think it’s so mean, so hard, so cruel that Pharaoh put all those little babies to death. Have you ever thought about what’s happening in America today? Have you ever thought about the millions of little unborn babies who never have a chance, who never get a chance to be what they could be, what they ought to be, what God intended for them to be?
Some years ago, a professor in a medical school said:
“I want to give you a case and want you to decide what ought to be done with certain people. Here is the family history. The father has syphilis. The mother has tuberculosis. They already have had four children. The first one is blind. The second one died. The third is deaf. The fourth has tuberculosis. The mother is pregnant with her fifth child. The parents are willing to have an abortion, if you decide they should. What do you think?”
Most of the students in that class voted that the parents should have an abortion. Then, the professor said, “Congratulations. You have just murdered Beethoven because that was the situation and the home of his birth.”
We do not have the right to take a human life whether it is born or unborn. We have no right to be a Pharaoh and say, “The innocence should be slaughtered!” We have no right to be a Herod! We live in a strange day! An abortionist who destroys an eagle’s egg can be fined five hundred dollars. Yet, the same man who destroys an embryo child will be paid that much or perhaps more.
These parents, Amram and Jochebed, set about to see to it that baby Moses had a chance to be a grown Moses, and that he had an opportunity to be God’s man! They had a vision from the Lord, however, they could not have faith until God spoke. If you don’t understand anything else, you need to remember: you cannot have faith until first of all God speaks. “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”
God must speak to you either from the Bible or by the Holy Spirit. Most likely, it will be a combination of the two. But you must hear God speak! Faith is not just simply deciding you want something and then believing for it. Faith is not simply positive thinking. Faith is not wishful thinking. Faith is a response to the revealed will of God! You see “faith is the evidence of things not seen,” but those things are there and we have evidence that they’re there, because we have faith in our heart. Faith is placed in our heart that God’s will be done!
The natural eye sees natural facts and reacts naturally. The spiritual eye sees spiritual facts and reacts supernaturally. Moses’ parents were in tune with God. Have you learned with faith’s vision to walk by the sixth sense of faith? The Bible says it was “by faith” that they saw that Moses was a proper child.” God was speaking, “I have a special plan for this little baby.”
They exercised faith in spite of all of the difficulty, in spite of all of the circumstances that seemed to be to the contrary! They did not have their eye upon natural facts! They had their spiritual eyes upon supernatural facts! That is faith, and it doesn’t care about circumstances or appearances! We need to have mighty faith in God’s promises and look to God alone to fulfill those promises. Have you seen the promises?
Moses’ parents somehow who heard the Word of God, were seemingly hopeless, helpless slaves! But they believed the Word of God! “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”
How can you know where whether what you feel in your heart is the prompting of the Holy Spirit or your mere human desire? How can you tell whether you’re just wishing for something or whether God is wanting you to believe for something?”
That’s a good question, isn’t it, whether it’s really your wants or the Spirit’s desire? I cannot explain it to you for certainty; you have to experience it. Let me tell you something about praying in the Spirit. Praying in the Spirit is not an explanation; it is an experience. It is non-transferable. Yet, you’re going to have to walk so close to God and get into the Word of God, to abide in Christ and let Him abide in you, until the Holy Spirit is saying, “This is the way; walk in it. This is the promise; believe it. Always remember this: there must be the vision of faith! Here was faith’s vision. They saw that “he was a proper child.”
Faith’s Venture: Our Leap
I want you to not only notice faith’s vision, but faith’s venture. They did something about it! You see, real faith is belief with legs on it. They didn’t just say, “Oh, well, God’s going to take care of little Moses! Here is what they did: “By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents.” They put their faith into action! They didn’t just sit around and say, “Oh, well, I’m trusting God!” James tells us clearly and plainly that when we believe God, then we do something about it. In James 2:17 we read, “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” Moses would have been dead too, had these parents not put some works with their faith.
“Faith without works is dead.” When they believed God, they did something about it! They didn’t just practice fatalism. They didn’t say, “What will be, will be.” They didn’t just sit around! That’s fatalism! That’s not faith! They didn’t practice fanaticism! The opposite of fatalism is fanaticism. They didn’t take little Moses and throw him to the crocodiles and say, “Let’s see if he can swim. He’s three months old.”
They didn’t say, “Well, we’ll just trust God to take care of him,” and do something irrational. There are some people today trying to prove their faith by handling snakes. That’s not faith; that’s foolishness! Faith does something! Faith acts! By faith Moses was hid! It was their faith that got them into action!
Some of you want your children to be delivered from the Pharaoh’s of this world. No doubt, you want your children to grow up to be mighty men and women of God! Then you’d better get busy. Does your faith have legs on it? Are you praying? Are you witnessing? Are you working? Are you training? Are you a member of a Bible believing church? Do you have your children under the care and the teaching of a born-again teachers who really cares for their soul?
Bible faith gets busy! It does not just sit around and twiddle its thumbs. The Bible says in Proverbs, Chapter 22 and Verse 6: “Train up a child in the way that he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” So many people are not training their child. So many train them, but they train them the wrong way.
Now, it doesn’t say, “Teach a child the way that he should go.” It says, “Train up a child in the way that he should go.” There’s a difference in teaching a child what is right and training a child. Anything you teach him or her, somebody else can teach him or her something different. He or she may decide to believe what they teach rather than what you teach. What does it mean to “train”? The dictionary gives the meaning of training as this: to prepare for a contest. Have you ever seen people train for a football game, a basketball game, a track meet? To prepare for a contest; to instruct by exercise; to drill; to form to a proper shape; to discipline for use! Train your children! Train them up in the way that they should go!
When they’re old, they’ll not depart from it! You say, “Well, I’m giving him a good education.” Theodore Roosevelt said, “When you educate a man in mind and not in morals, you create a menace to society.” What are you doing? Are you rearing those children to know the Lord? Moses’ parents did all they could! They believed God! After they had faith’s vision, there was faith’s venture! They saw that he was “a proper child.” They had vision. They hid Moses. This is faith’s venture.
Faith’s Valor: Our Leadership
Third, I want you to learn faith’s valor. In Hebrews 11: 23, we read, “By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents because they saw that he was a proper child and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment.”
What was the king’s commandment? In Exodus 1:22: “And Pharaoh charged all his people saying, ‘Every son that is born shall ye cast alive — or shall ye cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive.”‘ The king’s commandment was all the little boy babies were to be slain. But Amram and Jochebed were not afraid. Can you imagine being helpless slaves?
If I didn’t know the Lord, I’d be afraid for myself and for my children. These are dark days in which we’re living. I don’t know whether you really realize just how dark our hour is. In spite of all of this, they were not afraid of the king’s commandment because they knew the King of kings.
Moses’ parents were not successful because they had a lot of finance. They were poor and poverty stricken. They were not successful because they had a lot of friends. There is no indication that anyone was going in their direction of defiance toward the king. They were not filled with fear but with faith. When we get in step with God, He will go before us to make crooked paths straight so we can have victory. Amram and Jochebed did all they could to be in obedience before the Lord when they hid Moses for three months. As the baby became older it became more difficult to hide him.
Can you imagine if another Hebrew slave family heard that they did not throw their baby boy in Nile? Do you think the other slave family would keep quiet? I do not think so. I am sure that Amram and Jochebed did all they could to hide him. Yet, with each passing day it was becoming harder and harder to do so. Their valor to disobey the king’s command was moving them closer to victory each day.
Faith’s Victory: Our Legacy
I would like for you to also learn faith’s victory. God honored the faith of Moses’ parents. In Hebrews 11:24, we read, “By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than all the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward. And by faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.”
How did little Moses get all of this faith? Where did it come from? He got it from Amram! He got it from Jochebed! In Exodus 2:1 we read:
“And there went a man of the house of Levi, and took a wife — and took to wife a daughter of Levi. Now the man was Amram; the wife was Jochebed. And the woman conceived and bare a son: and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months. And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes [that means a little boat, but it was a battleship. It was about to sink Pharaoh’s kingdom], and took an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags [that is, the bulrushes] by the river’s brink. And his sister stood afar off [that was Miriam, Moses’ sister], to wit what should be done to him [to see what was going to be done]. And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the river; and her maidens walked along by the river’s side; and when she saw the ark among the flags, she sent her maid to fetch it. And when she had opened it, she saw the child: and, behold, the babe wept. And she had compassion on him, and said, ‘This is one of the Hebrews’ children.’ Then said his sister to Pharaoh’s daughter, ‘Shall I go and call thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee?’ And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, Go.’ And the maid went and called the child’s mother.” Jochebed! [Miriam, said, “Mama, come quick!”] And Pharaoh’s daughter said unto her [Jochebed], ‘Take this child away, and nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages.’ And the woman took the child, and nursed it.”
Faith honors God! God honors faith! God begins to move Heaven and earth to honor the faith of these two helpless slaves! Can you imagine a royal princess bathing in the dirty Nile? She had her marbled, lavish tubs and perfumed soaps. But going along with her entourage, doubtless she remembered the old swimming hole where she used to play as a little girl and said, “Turn in here.” Then one of the servants just wandered down there by providence of God.
She found a little ark, and said, “Look what I found.” She fetched it out and just at the right time, little Moses cried. He was pinched by an angel at that right moment! You know how a baby cries, and even Pharaoh’s daughter’s heart melted within her! Who could resist that little bundle of joy! And Miriam steps forth and says, “Say, would you like me to go get one of the Hebrews to nurse it for you?” Can you imagine a royal princess taking a suggestion from a slave girl! She said, “That’s a good idea.” And so, here comes Jochebed.
Our text states: “Would you take this child and raise it for me, and I’ll pay you for it.” Do you think she haggled over wages? She said, “All right. I’ll be happy to do that.” Baby Moses had everything that he needed, he even got a scholarship to the University of Egypt. Pharaoh paid for it. It’s amazing what happened here. His room, his board, his lodging, his education, were all paid by Pharaoh! This happened by the providence of God!
God saw to it that Jochebed had that baby because God wants mothers to raise their own children. God saw to it that Jochebed had that baby, and she put something in that baby’s heart that no Egyptian university could take out!
In Acts 7:22 we read, “Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians. And he was mighty in words and deed.” Moses received a Ph.D. from the University of Egypt, but still he came out clinging to faith that would be delivered to all the saints because his mother had trained him up in the way that he should go.
We must raise our children in their formative years. We better pray over our children and love our children and train our children and put something into that child that there is no pagan university can take out of him!
Moses, “when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter”! He forsook Egypt! He cared not for the treasures of Egypt! He said, “I’m going to be a man of God.” Why? A mother and a dad had faith in God! Faith’s vision: they saw the will of God. Faith’s venture: they did the will of God. Faith’s valor: they were not afraid of the king. Faith’s victory: they raised the child that delivered a nation.
Until The Last Person Has Heard,
Dr. James. O. Davis
Global Church Network
Cochair / Global Networking