The Choices We Make

By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. Hebrews 11:24-25

We cannot be friends with the world and friends with God at the same time (James 4:4). Those who attempt to walk that middle course discover sooner or later how empty and futile it really is: that it makes us, in the words of Kris Kristofferson, “a walking contradiction.”

As the adopted son of Pharaoh’s daughter, Moses enjoyed social status, physical comfort, and material wealth. As an Israelite, outside the precincts of Pharaoh’s establishment there was for him only obscurity, impoverishment, and slavery. Moses knew that remaining in Pharaoh’s courts would make his life far better in every single worldly way. He could have reasoned that it would also enable him to exercise an influence on behalf of God’s people that would never be possible if he went and joined himself to them.

But Moses didn’t stay in Pharaoh’s family. Instead, he renounced the privileges of Egyptian citizenship and identified with a lowly, despised, oppressed group of people who had no political rights. Why? Why would someone give up so much to embrace so little?

The answer is that Moses realized he couldn’t identify himself with God’s people and the Egyptians simultaneously. He realized that he was either a slave with his people or a compromiser in Pharaoh’s court. He couldn’t say that he was an Israelite who believed in the God of his ancestors and also live as an Egyptian.

Moses chose ill treatment and disgrace, we’re told, “for the sake of Christ” (Hebrews 11:26, NIV)—for the sake of the one from Eve’s offspring and Abraham’s family who would fulfill all God’s promises to them (Genesis 3:16; 12:1-3). His calculation was the same as was made over a millennium later by the apostle Paul, who had exactly the “right” kind of background—the education, the sophistication, the heritage—yet said, “I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Philippians 3:8).

Moses made a radical decision—the kind of radical decision that some of us may need to make. Perhaps your background is relatively similar to that of Moses; you grew up with all your material needs being met and with great prospects in the world. Whoever we are and wherever we have come from, though, we all face the moment of choice that Moses did. Will we live as friends of the world or of God? There is no middle way. Today, are you going to live by the world’s standards, laugh at the world’s jokes, employ the world’s methodologies, and adopt the world’s priorities? Or are you going to take your stand with Jesus Christ, go absolutely against the flow, nail your colors to the mast, and confess by word and by deed that He is Lord? Perhaps today is the day when for the first time, or for the first time in a long time, you need to live “by faith” and make that radical decision.


Published by Intentional Faith

Devoted to a Faith that Thinks

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