A Word for Today | Hebrews 11:27
The writer of Hebrews presents Abraham and Moses as his chief Old Testament examples of faith, providing five instances from each of their lives. Hebrews 11:27 offers a third instance of Moses’ faith, which in my opinion involves Moses’ flight from Egypt forty years prior to the exodus, after he had slain an Egyptian overseer who was abusing an Israelite. Moses was forty years old, having lived all his life as a prince. Yet, “By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible” (Heb. 11:27).
How was Moses able to take a stand for the Lord that would appear to cost him everything? The answer is given at the end of this verse, “he endured as seeing him who is invisible.” Scripture provides many accounts of believers overcoming fear because they see the invisible God who is with them. Think of David standing up to Goliath, saying in answer to the giant’s taunts: “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts” (1 Sam. 17:45). Think of Daniel’s three friends standing firm before the King of Babylon, even to the point of being cast into the blazing furnace. They saw their Lord, invisible to sight but evident to faith. When the king saw them untouched amidst the flames he cried out amazed that a fourth figure who looked “like a son of the gods” was with them (Dan. 3:25). This was how Moses faced his fears, illustrating Paul’s principle: “We live by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7).
Moses not only escaped from Pharaoh by a faith that sees the invisible God, but this same faith enabled him to endure the forty long years in obscurity that followed. Moses was sure of God’s promise to deliver Israel, and he had left Egypt awaiting God’s timing for that deliverance to come. It was after forty years, when Moses was 80, that God spoke to him from the burning bush, and Moses saw with his eyes the invisible God he had followed by faith. forty years in which he waited for the Lord’s call must have seemed so very long. Did Moses’ confidence start to drain away as his years advanced without a call from God? Yet the invisible God was working with a purpose in his life that would be seen at the right time. Perhaps God is working invisibly in your life, training you to a life of faith that overcomes fear. Peter Lewis summarizes Moses’ forty years of faith amidst obscurity, using words that may be true for you as well:
Moses had to learn to be a servant not a master, a prophet not a prince, the friend of God not of Pharaoh. And so God stripped him of his advantages and began his apprenticeship in spiritual leadership. . . . Moses spent his first forty years becoming a somebody, then his second forty years becoming a nobody and then God could use him. . . . It was an apprenticeship in faith.
In Christ’s Love,
 Peter Lewis, God’s Hall of Fame (Ross-shire, UK: Christian Focus, 1999), 105.