First Things @ First

Pastoral Perspectives,

In my journey through the Bible in D-group devotional a few weeks ago, I ran across the text in Exodus 2 where Moses was born, then hidden by his parents for fear of his being killed, then found by Pharaoh's daughter who permitted his own mother Jochebed to raise her own son without the daughter of Pharaoh knowing that important detail. Jochebed would ultimately return and release her son to the daughter of Pharaoh who named him Moses--'because I drew him out of the water'. When you read Exodus 2, you see 40 years of life unfold in 25 short verses. From Moses' birth to growing up as a Hebrew in an Egyptian culture bearing the name given by an Egyptian princess.

Hebrews 11:24-26 expands on some of what Moses experienced in those early years. The record reveals this; "By faith Moses, when he became of age, (*important phrase) refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasure of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ's greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward."

Pastor Jeremy Morton, FBC, Cartersville, GA shares this insight on that little phrase, 'when he became of age' that is worth passing along with reference to it being time to grow up.

"Like most people prior to adulthood, Moses had little opportunity to decide things for himself. It was Moses' parents who protected him in infancy from Pharaoh's genocide. It was his mother's idea to hide Moses in a basket coated with pitch and set him afloat on the Nile river while his sister, Miriam kept watch. It was Pharaoh's daughter who adopted Moses and raised him in the palace with access to all the luxuries of Egypt as part of the family of the Pharaoh. But when Moses came of age, he had to decide for himself who he was, what he believed, and how he would live." Pastor Morton continues, "That day inevitably comes for all of us. Joshua said, 'choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve" Joshua 24:15. Moses had the correct vision for his life. He knew deep in his heart that his worst day of suffering as a child of God was far better than his best day outside the will of God."

Moses demonstrated a great deal of maturity before he was called to deliver God's people from the bondage of the world system of Egypt. He was willing to walk away from what the world declared important because he exercised the wisdom necessary to follow the will of God instead. Much happened and most everything changed when Moses 'became of age' and made that life-altering decision as to whom he would serve.

Have you come to that place in your life? That time that requires one to be responsible and accountable for one's own decisions? When what God says matters more than what Dad or Mom said or what close friends and acquaintances say in the present?

Are you growing older without growing up?

What Moses decided in the first 1/3 of his life determined how the rest of his life would be lived.

(and I speak not only of his remaining years on earth but his years with God eternally)

The Bible says that the day came for Moses when he decided it better to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin for a season. Truth is that, the decision wasn't that difficult. Why, you might ask? The answer, "for he looked to the reward."

Therein is wisdom!

Has your day of decision come? Have you decided to set aside the things around you in pursuit of the One who made you, loves you and desires to know you intimately? The One who redeems, reconciles and rewards, eternally?

Where we look most attentively determines how we live both here and hereafter.

What you and I decide to focus on this week will largely determine what we follow fervently in the next should God permit it. It also determines what we find at the end of the journey.

Oh, that God might give us eyes that see beyond what presses upon us to the prize that awaits those who are willing to grow up as they grow older!

Pstr K

Hebrews 10:35-36