In the New Testament book of Hebrews, we read: “By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt.” Of Hebrew origin, he was the grandson of society’s most powerful and wealthy man. Everything life had to offer was available to him.
One cannot imagine the sumptuous life-style that was his to enjoy. The wealth, the power, a life of “wine, women and song” was his for the taking. But it was not to be. By the time we find him on Mt. Sinai in personal conversation with God, producing the Ten Commandments and the law that was to guide the nation of Israel, Moses had gone through a traumatic and life-changing transition.
Moses, despite the ease and comfort available to him as an Egyptian Prince, chose instead to be identified with his Hebrew family. He was 40 years old when things finally came to a head. He killed an Egyptian who was abusing one of the Hebrews and had to flee for his life. For the next 40 years, giving up on any dreams of greatness he might have had, he became a shepherd to his father-in-law in southern Arabia. The “pleasures of sin,” the sumptuous life-style, the educational opportunities, the benefits of power – all lay behind him.
But God had not abandoned him. At 80 years of age, God called on him to lead the Hebrew people out of Egypt. A journey of but a few months turned into a 40-year journey through the wilderness of Arabia. Moses, who had spent forty years in Egypt thinking he was somebody, spent 40 years shepherding sheep thinking he was a nobody, only to discover that God can take a nobody and make somebody out of him – so long as he is willing to pay the price for his success.
But that is God’s way. He is more than able to take us as we are and where we are and help make us the best that we can be. I believe that is true whether we acknowledge Him or not. But taking Him seriously, accepting the guidelines He has laid out for us, changes everything. A godly life may demand self-discipline and surrender to His will, something that unfortunately most people do not find the least bit appetizing. But as Moses discovered for himself, it beats anything a self-centered and godless life has to offer.
God’s plan for our life, however, can only be discovered “from the inside out.” In Jesus Christ we find enough evidence to substantiate the fact that our faith in God is not misplaced. It is to our advantage, far above anything life without God has to offer, to take a step of faith, accept Jesus Christ as the Lord of our life, and discover for ourselves that the promises of God have not been exaggerated; God is as good as His word!