Useful Bible Studies > Hebrews Commentary > chapter 11

Moses left Egypt in faith

Hebrews 11:27

Moses left Egypt on two occasions. The second time was when he led Godís people (the Israelites) out of Egypt. But it seems that this verse is about the first time. That was when he had to escape from Egypt alone, in Exodus 2:15. The author has been explaining that event in Hebrews 11:24-26, and he seems to continue his explanation here.

Moses understood that God wanted him to rescue the Israelites (Acts 7:25). But Moses did not know how God wanted him to do it. He tried to free his people by human effort. He killed one of the cruel masters who ruled the Israelites as slaves. Moses thought that nobody had seen that event. But he was wrong. Soon everybody knew about it.

Moses quickly realised that his plan to free the Israelites had failed. Exodus 2:14 tells us that he was afraid. But Hebrews 11:27 tells us that he was not afraid of the kingís anger. He was afraid for another reason. He was afraid because he had not served God in a proper manner. He believed that God was sending him to free the Israelites. But he did not even know the first thing that God wanted him to do.

The king became angry. Moses could not remain in Egypt because God had given him no authority to do that. Moses had acted without Godís authority once, and he must not do it again. He could not expect God to protect him in such circumstances. That would not be faith; it is the sin (evil deed) called presumption. Presumption is when we try to achieve Godís purposes, but not by his methods. Really, we are trying to control God; we are trying to force him to use our methods. And that is a very wrong thing to do.

Moses could not remain in Egypt and ask the king to excuse him. To do that would be to deny what God had shown him. So Moses left Egypt in faith. In other words, he left because he believed God. Moses had not seen God, and he did not know God properly yet. But Moses had chosen to stand firmly on Godís side. And he would wait patiently until God showed him what to do. He remained in the desert for 40 years until God spoke to him at the burning bush (Exodus chapter 3).

Next part: Faith at the Passover (Hebrews 11:28)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.