Moses' Education in FaithVolume 2, Number 2
Created Date: January 19, 2005
Posted Date: January 19, 2005
Vol 2 - No 2, January 19, 2005
The education in faith of Moses:
Moses was named by Pharaoh's daughter. In Egyptian, Moses means "water saved" and in Hebrew it means "drawn out of the water." After he was weaned from his own mother he became as Pharaoh's daughter,and , and lived as part of the king's household for 40 years. There he received the best education possible, learning all the wisdom of the Egyptians, which would have been even the secrets of the Egyptian religion because education was handled by the priests of Egypt (Companion Bible.) He became mighty in words and deeds, , and thus Providence provided him with the training needed to lead God's people.
In man's thinking, Moses was in a very unique, privileged and coveted position. He probably could have been king of Egypt if he had played his cards right. It could be reasoned that if he were to ascend the throne or at least occupy high office in the government he would be in a position to best serve and help his people out of their suffering. And after 40 years of practical training Moses thought he was prepared for the job. However, God's ways are not man's ways and Moses had to spend another 40 years learning the lesson of faith.
This lesson began when by his own power and ability he attempted to deliver one of his fellow countrymen. "And when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel. And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him that was oppressed, and smote the Egyptian; For he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them; but they understood not." -- see also . Moses' motive for intervening and killing the Egyptian is clear. He understood before he did this that God was going to use him to deliver the Children of Israel. This means the Word of God had come to Moses and he believed it. But the Children of Israel were not yet prepared to recognize Moses as their leader and instead of waiting on God to prepare them Moses took things into his own hands. "And the next day he (Moses) showed himself unto them as they strove, (Hebrews who were arguing) and would have set them at one again, (resolved the issue between them) saying, Sirs, ye are brethren; why do ye wrong one to another? But he that did his neighbor wrong thrust him away, saying, who made thee a ruler and a judge over us? Will thou kill me as thou didst the Egyptian yesterday? - - see also .
Pharaoh heard about what Moses had done and did not want an insurrection of the Hebrews so put out an order to kill him. -. Moses fled Egypt to save his life and went to the land of Midian (the desert of Arabia according to George Williams Student Commentary) - Exodus 2:15 and . There, he spent 40 years working as a lowly Sheppard, a huge step down from the luxury and power he had experienced in Pharaoh's household.
But Moses' departure from the king's palace was not by fluke or chance, it was a choice he made consciously. "By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing Him Who is invisible." -. Moses saw "Him Who is invisible," which is Christ, the word for Messiah, Israel's Lord and King. Christ is said here to be invisible and this because He had not as yet come, and indeed would not appear until many hundreds of years hence. But Moses "saw" Christ by faith for "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen - . And since faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God, , we know that God's Word regarding Christ had been revealed to Moses and Moses believed it.
It is easy to understand how providence provided Moses with 40 years of practical training in Pharaoh's court to prepare him for the job of leading Israel. It is difficult to reason why an additional 40 years working as a Sheppard was necessary to complete his education but the answer is found in(which quotes what was originally written in ): "And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, "My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou are rebuked of Him: For whom the Lord loveth He chasenth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth." - Hebrews 12:5 & 6. The book of Hebrews was written to Jews to explain to them the finished work of their Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, but it has application and instruction for all of us. This particular passage looks back at the example of Moses and the others borne witnesses to by their faith in the eleventh chapter in order to explain what those to whom it was written can expect."
The best way to learn what a word means in the Bible is to see how the Holy Spirit used it in other places. Our New Testament was originally written in Greek, from which it was translated into English. The English word chastening in Hebrews 12 is a translation of the Greek word "paideia." The word "paideia" is found only six (6) times in the original New Testament. The first occasion is inwhere "paideia" is translated "in the nurture." The verse reads: "And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." "Paideia" is next found in where it is translated instruction: "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." It is then found four (4) times in the passages with which we are dealing, Hebrews 12:5, 7, 8 & 11. The word is translated "chastening." In verses 5, 7 & 11 and "chastisement" in verse 8. (References to the original Greek taken from Smith's Greek-English Concordance, Strong's exhaustive Concordance and the Companion Bible.)
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, chasten means; 1) "to correct by punishment or suffering: discipline; also: purify; 2a) to prune (as a work or style of art) the excess, pretense, or falsity; refine; 2b) to cause to be more humble or restrained: subdue, etc."
Moses had 40 years of the best available training and education and he was mighty in words and deed -and by man's way of thinking this was more than enough to do the job. But the Lord had to provide 40 years of His own instruction and discipline in order for Moses to be pruned of excess pretense and thus be refined for God's work. Moses had to learn the lesson of faith, as do we.