The ‘MOST’ IMPORTANT CHOICE of our LIFETIME: "Now it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out to his brethren and looked at their burdens. And he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his brethren. So he looked this way and that way, and when he saw no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand." (Exodus 2:11-12)
The above passage details an incident from the life of Moses when he was 40 years old. All these years by divine providence he had the privilege to live in the royal Egyptian palace being called the ‘son of Pharaoh’s daughter’, who had undertaken the responsibility of raising him up. It is interesting to note that his mother Jochebed (Exo. 6:20) was uniquely privileged to raise his son all the while being paid by the royal palace for this service (Exo. 2:9). So, for the first 40 years of his life, Moses enjoyed a position of royalty in Pharaoh’s court as he was reared up in luxury, comfort and privileges.
During this period while he was growing up in Egypt, Moses was learning “all the wisdom of the Egyptians” and became “mighty in words and deeds” (Acts 7:22). Moses was now grown, not in age and maturity only, but in power and was renowned for his accomplishments and military prowess. Even though Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, but his knowledge did not overrule his sympathy for his own people. His godly parents may have made him aware about the promises of Jehovah God to his forefathers, and Moses may have become aware that the time was not far distant when his fellow brethren were to be delivered from their Egyptian bondage. The time was near that they should begin their journey to the land of Canaan that was promised to Abraham, and confirmed to Isaac and Jacob.
So, at the age of 40, Moses went out of his royal palace to visit his own people, and it was there that he viewed an act of injustice of an Egyptian beating up a Hebrew mercilessly. Moses could do one of two things at this moment: (1) He could turn a blind eye to this incident and return back to his comfortable palace surroundings; or, (2) He could align himself with his Hebrew brother and defend him against the Egyptian’s tyranny. Moses made the most important choice of his lifetime that is distinctly described by the writer of Hebrews with these words: "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" (Heb. 11:24-26). There are four elements to this most important choice that Moses made on that eventful day:
- First, he “refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter”: Even though Moses had a good chance to succeed the throne in Egypt, “he refused” the wealth, honor, power, prestige, and, even the chance to rule over Egypt.
- Second, he “chose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin”: He voluntarily chose hardship over comfort; shame and reproach over fame and honor; afflictions over sinful pleasures; and the wilderness over the palace court.
- Third, he “esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt”: He not only endured suffering, but he esteemed it as of more worth than all the wealth of the greatest and richest country on earth.
- Fourth, he was guided to “refuse…choose…esteem” by his faith in God: His faith must have developed through his godly mother who had taught him about Jehovah God who had promised his grandfathers the land of Canaan as an inheritance. The pleasures of sin were of brief duration in view of the eternity of God’s glory.