~ by Randy Bushey
By faith [Moses] left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw Him who is invisible (Hebrews 11:27).
Dr. R.C. Sproul calls the work of the Lord Jesus, “the greatest mission ever accomplished in the history of the world.”
He then continues: “But the second most important act of redemption ever accomplished in history, and the second most difficult mission ever given by God to a human being, was the mission God gave to Moses.”1
Even a cursory read of the Exodus story demonstrates many episodes and experiences that would induce fear in any mortal man:
– being a fugitive hunted by Egyptian authorities after killing a taskmaster guilty of abusing a Hebrew slave.
– encountering Almighty God in the burning bush in the Midian wilderness and receiving instructions for that assignment that would consume the rest of his life.
– introducing himself after an absence of 4 decades to the Hebrew elders, only to find that his intervention grievously intensified the suffering of the slaves he came to deliver.
– facing the wrath of Pharaoh – the most powerful man on earth – when Moses demanded the release of the Hebrew slaves, and backing the mandate with a destructive series of 10 plagues, decimating the nation and taking the life of the emperor’s eldest son.
How many nights did Moses fight sleep, tormented by unrelenting terror as he considered the potential fallout of mission failure?
How did Moses faithfully discharge his duty to God – thereby leading one of the most historic events in human history – without succumbing to the paralysis of fear?
The burning bush episode taught Moses to dial-back his self-consideration, replacing it with a growing capacity for the grandeur and majesty of God.
In that brief encounter with the flaming bush on holy ground, the closer Moses approached, the more he experienced terror. However, when he heard the voice of God providing instruction on his historic expedition, Moses responded, Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt? (Exodus 3:11).
That’s a question that went unanswered.
Because, rather than addressing the question of Moses’ inadequate identity, the Lord assured Moses of His presence: And God said, I will be with you (Exodus 3:12).
And that was foundational to Moses’ faith in action.
Clearly the author of Hebrews 11 had Moses’ outstanding faith in mind when the words above were penned in verse 27
– By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger – Moses learned to conquer his fear;
– and he did that by focussing in worship and reverential fear on Almighty God: he persevered because he saw Him who is invisible.
Takeaway: Bible teacher and author Paul David Tripp offers this observation from personal experience: “Fear can make God look small and your circumstance loom large…These relational-situational-location fears are only ever put in their proper place and given their appropriate size by a greater fear – fear of the Lord…A functional awe of God really is the key to your heart’s not being ruled by fear.”2
Tripp continues, “How much ministry is diverted by actions, reactions, and responses that are rooted not in fear of God but in fear of man?”2
The walk of faith in Hebrews 11 demonstrates that a growing love, admiration, obedience – and reverential fear – of God is the bullet-proof way to conquer fear in our own lives.
1R.C. Sproul, Moses and the Burning Bush, Reformation Trust, 2018.
2Paul David Tripp, Dangerous Calling, Crossway, 2012.
– graphic by Lambsongs in freebibleimages.org