“He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God
rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.”
Hebrews 11:25 (NIV)
In my life I have made some good choices and some bad ones. One bad choice was early in my ministry when I had to make a decision between going to work with a wonderful minister or starting my own church. I had spent two years under a senior pastor and now wanted my own church.
I chose to be my own boss and start a new church which had much more appeal than staying in a secondary position. The adventure of pioneer work called to me and I turned a deaf ear to the opportunity to gain experience under such a fine man.
My pioneer work went well for a while but I made a foolish decision that forced me to leave the new church and find another place of service. I learned the hard way that the attractive things in life—that promise adventure and excitement—can have hidden dangers.
Moses—the man described in our verse today—made the hard choice between fun, adventure, wealth and power (as the next Pharaoh), in order to work with the people of God. He paid a high price to do this. The sin of the people in rejecting the opportunity to enter the promised land—when they were right at the place of entry—caused Moses to spend forty years marching around the wilderness. Moses wanted to obey God and enter the promised land but the sin of the people meant he would pay a severe price.
Moses is an example for us in our times of sorrow. The Lord may allow you to suffer greatly—and for many years—like Moses. Are you in such a position? Perhaps your marriage partner has deserted you, or your daughter married unwisely and you suffer with her. You may have a disabled child, or your finances have been ruined and you live in poverty. Perhaps you have some other issue that you will take to your grave.
Seek to do what Moses did. Read the Scriptures that speak of heaven and what the Lord has in store for His people. Surround yourself with godly individuals. Be careful to attend the Lord’s house and listen attentively to the reading of the Bible. Pay attention to the thoughts you read in the hymns sung. Be careful to listen eagerly to the sermon preached. Talk to godly people before and after the meeting.
There are many ways to help yourself. May you have grace and determination to focus your vision on the things unseen. May your efforts to do the things I mentioned above be rewarded with great and remarkable insights of the world to come. There we shall have joy abundant and full of glory. The ultimate victory is guaranteed by Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. The sorrows of this life are not worth comparing with what we shall gain when we see Jesus.