Living by Faith
Raymond Keller of Bedford, OH, USA
By faith Moses was hidden by his parents for three months after his birth, because they saw that the child was beautiful; and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called a son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to share ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin…. By faith he left Egypt, unafraid of the king’s anger; for he persevered as though he saw him who is invisible. By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel. By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as if it were dry land, but when the Egyptians attempted to do so they were drowned. -Hebrews 11:23-25, 27-29
Some biblical scholars speculate that Hebrews may have been co-authored by Aquila and Priscilla, who shared a ministry at Ephesus in Asia Minor (present-day Turkey) and were helpers to Apollos, Paul, and Timothy, as well as other evangelists, in the first-century Christian church.1
The author encourages our faith, providing many excellent examples of the faithful in action. God has many rich blessings in store for the faithful-for those who endure.
These verses deal explicitly with the faith of Moses and his true “people,” the Hebrews enslaved in the land of Goshen in Egypt. Moses, in this scenario, is very much a similitude of the Christ, leaving an exalted position from on high to count himself an equal with the common people, living and working among them, his brothers and sisters.
If Priscilla wrote the book of Hebrews, or even had a part in its production, we can thank her for highlighting the exemplary role of women of faith in Hebrews 11: Sarah, the wife of Abraham (v. 11); Rahab, a woman of pagan origins who helped the Hebrew spies (v. 31) and later turns up in the genealogy of Jesus (Matthew 1:5); and Jochebed, Moses’ mother, who together with her husband, defied the Egyptian order to destroy her son by hiding him in the reeds along the banks of the Nile (v. 23).2
Clearly, God read the intentions of Jochebed’s heart and intervened to preserve the life of Moses to live and thereby fulfill the measure of his creation, liberating his people (v. 29).
1Mary J. Evans and Catherine Clark Kroeger, eds., IVP Women’s Bible Commentary, Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 2002, 762-763.
2Evans and Kroeger, 772-773.
“…all things in God and God in all things” (Mechthild of Magdeburg).
Reflecting on Presence
Breathe deeply and become present to the Presence with you here and now. Take a few moments in the silence to reflect prayerfully on the following questions:
Where have you been aware of God’s presence in your life?
What is God’s invitation to you in this story?
How do you desire to be more open to God’s presence and invitation tomorrow?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.