Looking to the Reward

Faith informs decision making. If there’s anything that the “Moses Exhibit” in Hebrews 11, Faith’s Hall of Fame, tells us, it’s that faith is more than just a creed. A living faith impacts our contemplations and our course-setting. When we come to that fork in the road, what we believe will influence the path we take. It did for those in the Moses Exhibit. It should for us as well.

By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaohs daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward.

(Hebrews 11:24-26 ESV)

It had been faith-based decision-making that had brought Moses into Pharaoh’s house, and it would be faith-based decision making that would result in his exit. The parents of Moses believed certain things about the nature of God, the sanctity of life, and the reality of a call. As such, they had a disposition. “They were not afraid of the king’s edict” (11:23b) that all sons born to the Israelites were to be cast into the Nile (Ex. 1:22). And so they made a decision, they hid their newborn son from the Egyptians for three months. Then they handed over their son to Pharaoh’s daughter (Ex. 2:1-10). What they believed profoundly impacted how they behaved.

Like parents, like son. Even though he was in a place of privilege because of faith driven determinations, when it came time to choose between Egypt’s world and God’s people, Moses said in effect, “I’ll take afflictions for 500, Alex.” How come? Faith. What he believed about the call of God and the promises of God permeated his pro/con analysis. So much so that he consciously decided to accept pursuing the harder life of God’s people rather than enjoying “the pleasures of sin for a season” (KJV). Sure, it would have been a blast to be a leader in the world of movers and shakers. Kind of a no-brainer when the alternative is to be a nobody in the masses of slaves and servants. But only a no-brainer if what he believed wasn’t factored in.

Faith surveys the race to be run, and realizes this leg is but for a season. It’s fleeting. Whatever pleasures it offers are for only a relatively short time. Faith factors in eternity and concludes this life is but a drop in an ocean. So if it comes down to getting all I can out of the drop, or investing now in maximizing the ocean, “I’ll take God’s ways for 1,000, Alex.”

Faith runs the numbers and concludes that the reproach of Christ is of greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt. Sure, Moses could have had power, wealth, and ease. He could have been a man of great worldly influence. Instead he chose, by faith, to heed the call of God. He determined to stand against the courts of power that he could have commanded. In effect, he embraced a cross of suffering he could have avoided. How come? By faith the riches of God’s promises far exceeded any benefit perceived from the return of having the world’s power. Offer me short term gain vs. long term returns and, “I’ll take God’s promises for 2,000, Alex.”

Refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. Electing to be mistreated with the people of God. Considering reproach of greater gain than worldly treasures. All because of faith-based decision making–“for he was looking to the reward.”

Looking to the reward. An eye on the prize. A confident assurance that what is revealed in the word of God will be realized one day in the presence of God. An abiding belief in the Promiser and His ability to deliver on the promise.

Only one life, twill soon be past,
  Only what’s done for Christ will last.   ~ C.T. Studd

Faith informs decision-making.

Father, keep me looking to the reward.

By Your grace. For Your glory.

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