"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

The Great Riches of Obeying God's Call on My Life

Egyptian King Tut's Gold Death Mask
We are living in a day when most Americans are concerned about how much money they don't have, and other Americans greatly concerned about how to keep the wealth they've accumulated. 

Moses illustrates what it's like for a person to follow God and His will for our lives, deeming God and His call greater riches than all the treasures of this world.

Born 1400 years before Christ, the infant Moses was placed in a basket of bulrushes by his Hebrew parents and set afloat down the Nile River.

The Pharaoh of Egypt had ordered all Hebrew boys killed to cease the population growth of the ethnic Hebrews enslaved in Egypt. Moses' parents had sent their son down the Nile to escape certain death.

When Pharaoh's own daughter found Moses' ark floating in the River Nile, she took the Hebrew baby boy home and raised him as her own son.

Most people know that Moses became the leader of the Hebrew people in their eventual exodus from Egypt to the promised land of Canaan, but few comprehend the privileged and plush childhood and teenage years of Moses.

The writer of the New Testament book of Hebrews says:
"By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt." (Hebrews 11:24-26).
There are two important questions that arise from the Hebrews text:
1, What was the reproach of Christ, particularly since the Messiah (Jesus Christ) had not yet come?
2. What were the treasures of Egypt that paled in comparison to the greater riches of the reproach of Christ?
Answer #1: The concept of the coming Messiah was not foreign to the Hebrews in Moses' day. Oral traditions included declarative statements that Yahweh would send to the Hebrew people a deliverer. As the Hebrews worked as slaves among the Egyptians, the excitement for a coming deliverer would run high.

Moses certainly knew that Yahweh would send a deliverer to His people. The Scripture says Moses spoke with Yahweh "face to face, as one speaks to a friend" (Exodus 33:11).

Where Christians get confused when reading Hebrews 11:23-26 is that the phrase "the reproach of Christ" wrongly capitalizes the Greek word christos. In Greek, there are no capitals. The word "christos" is a title, not a name. It translates the Hebrew word messiah, and it means "savior, leader, or deliverer."
Hebrews 11:24 is not talking about Jesus from Nazareth as THE Messiah, but rather Moses from Egypt. the chosen deliverer of God's people as the messiah.
Moses deemed God's purpose for his life greater riches than the treasures of Egypt.

Answer #2:  Moses refused the treasures of Egypt as an adult and identified with God's people (Hebrews) because he deemed God's call on his life to be greater riches than the treasures of Egypt. As the adopted son of Pharaoh's daughter, Moses would have been considered a noble of Pharaoh's court, a son of the Egyptian king (pharaoh).

What were those treasures of Egypt that paled in comparison to the call of God?

To understand the immense treasures of Egypt and the riches of Egyptian nobility, one needs to look no further than the wealth of the Egyptian King Tut.

Pharaoh Tutankhamun reigned over Egypt a couple of hundred years after Moses. King Tut died when he was only eighteen, and his abbreviated reign came in the declining days of Egypt’s glory. Moses' adoptive grandfather, Pharaoh Ramses, would have been far richer than King Tut.

Explorer Howard Carter, the discoverer of King Tut's tomb, describes his initial view into the ante-chamber (just outside the burial room) which housed many of Tut’s treasures:
[A]s my eyes grew accustomed to the light, details of the room within emerged slowly from the mist, strange animals, statues, and gold—everywhere the glint of gold (Rapport and Wright 1964, 195).
Carter was the first man in thousands of years to lay his eyes on some of the treasures of Egypt in Tut's tomb. There were over 5,000 articles of pure gold, including "golden beds, gold-covered chariots, carved walking sticks and bows with inlaid gold, and a throne, encrusted with gold, silver and jewels."

In the Pharaoh's chamber, there were three coffins fashioned in Tut's likeness. The innermost sarcophagus was solid gold and over six feet long. In addition, there were six small gold coffins (fifteen inches high) containing Tut’s internal organs. Each small coffin, if melted down today for the gold, would be worth over a million dollars.

The death mask (pictured above left) weighed twenty-three pounds and was made of gold and inlaid with semiprecious stones; it covered the head and shoulders of the mummy.
The mask was fashioned by goldsmiths just after Tut died, and it represents how Tut looked when he died. The 5,000 articles in Tut's tomb illustrate the ancient Egyptian saying that in Egypt, “gold is as common as dust.”

Prof. E. M. Blaiklock writes of these vast treasures:
If the tomb of a boy king could produce the beauty, wealth, and art which has so astounded the world, what must the palace of really great pharaohs such as Ramses II have been like? (1983, 459).
Indeed. Further, the writer of Hebrews said that Moses turned his back on the riches of Pharaoh Ramses' court "for the reproach of doing what God called him to do." 

Moses deemed it more important to turn his back on the treasures of Egypt, experiencing the scorn and ridicule of his Egyptian peers because God's purpose for his life was more important than the riches of this world.

Next time you get too caught up or bent out of shape over the politics and economics of America, ask yourself if you have helped others experience and enjoy the far greater riches of the Kingdom of Christ and His reign in your life.

Be the person God has called you to be.

Be the mom or dad God has called you to be.

Be the neighbor God has called you to be.

Be...God's...imager...on...earth.

You may be the messiah (deliverer) God uses to free others from their bondage to the things of this world. You'll never regret becoming the image bearer of THE Messiah in a dark world in need of your light.

There are far greater riches in obeying God's call on your life.

That's the lesson of Moses.

15 comments:

GW said...

What a true and powerful word of the real joy of Christ’s mission and calling in our lives. I am an insignificant pastor in a small, out of the way place and I needed this message today far more than I can tell you in a blog comment. Thank you, pastor for showing truth into the life of someone you do not know, in ways you cannot tell. The greater riches, indeed.

Bob Cleveland said...

I'm beginning to grasp a little of this! At age 82, I've been in 45 states, a couple dozen foreign countries, and seen lots of things the world calls spectacular. But, when I'm going to sleep, I don't think of any of those things.

I think, rather, about events with a Spiritual connection. Having a girl I witnessed to, and she prayed, excitedly telling me she'd led her roommate (at college) to Jesus ... Telling a class of prisoners, in a boys' prison, how to be saved, with 6 praying the sinners' prayer ... witnessing to a man in the Nassau airport, when he also prayed to be saved.

Looking at my paid-for house and cars, or standing on Victoria Peak in Hong Kong, and staring the South China Sea, simply cannot hold a candle to Spiritually-related things!

Christiane said...

Moses was a 'precursor' of Christ, a 'Christ-figure', who led his people out of slavery into the light of freedom and took them 'home' to Israel

So we are called to 'follow Christ' in the way of our living.



IMAGO DEI/ IMAGO CHRISTI - living in imitation of Christ, is an ancient teaching

""As He is merciful, so should you be merciful". (The Talmud)



Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Skies, let the Just One come forth like the dew, let Him descend from the clouds like the rain. The Earth will open up and give birth to our Saviour.
The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament proclaims the work of His hands.

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpkdCQVnyvs

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

I’ll bet the Pharaoh of Egypt would have hired WHO in a heart-beat with their vaccine to make the Hebrew women infertile.

Why didn’t Pharaoh killed girl babies? I mean ten women and one man could have ten children per year, whereas ten men and one woman could have only one child per year.

But that’s not the point of your blog. Another ‘not point’ is: “…a basket made of papyrus reeds and waterproofed it with tar and pitch…” (Exodus 2:3 NLT) Many years ago, a great ‘oil field’ was found where Moses’s basket was located based on oil produces tar and pitch.

I though it heart moving and crafty that Moses’s sister watched the basket, and got Pharaoh’s daughter to hire the mother of Moses to care for him until he was older.

I believe Moses refused the treasures of Egypt and identified with God’s people because of Proverbs 22:6 NLT: “Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.”

Anonymous said...

"32 Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. 33 Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. ****34 You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions.**** 35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.

36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37 For,

“In just a little while,
he who is coming will come
and will not delay.”[f]

38 And,

“But my righteous[g] one will live by faith.
And I take no pleasure
in the one who shrinks back.”[h]

39 But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.

Hebrews 10:32-39

My wife and I were born in the 60's and have never had the luxury of "owning" property, yet realize GOV or thugs with guns can come and take our little shack and the few possessions we have away at any moment they want. But, they can't take us away from the hope that we have in Christ that he will make all things new one day. Hopefully, soon! :) Ken

Christiane said...

" they can't take us away from the hope that we have in Christ that he will make all things new one day."

KEN, this is so true, but also know that Our Lord IS 'making all things new' past, present, future tense and on into eternity . . . as the 'Kyrios', the Pantokrator, the Lord of All Creation, He holds us in 'being' and cares for us on 'the journey'. My favorite prayer is a simple one:

'Jesus Christ, I trust in You.'

In Christ, peace. He is truly the 'anchor' referenced in this description of 'hope':

"“Hope is an orientation of the spirit, an orientation of the heart;
it transcends the world that is immediately experienced,
and is anchored somewhere beyond its horizons . . . " (Vaclav Havel)

Rex Ray said...

Ken,

I’d like to point out the difference between ‘hope’ and ‘know’ we have salvation in Jesus.

My father and I were bear hunting many miles from King Cove, Alaska. We thought we had plenty of daylight, but my watch had slowed down because I’d forgotten to wind it. It got so dark you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face, and we didn’t have a flashlight. We were in a place we’d never been before.

We could see many mountain peaks against the sky. We needed to go between two of them. I picked two and HOPED it was the right ones. When we saw the lights of town, I KNEW the right decision had been made.

Some translations say John 3:16 “…should be saved.” I like the ones that say “…will be saved.”

Anonymous said...

Hebrews 6:19-20 The Message (MSG)
18-20 We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It’s an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God where Jesus, running on ahead of us, has taken up his permanent post as high priest for us, in the order of Melchizedek.

I rest in the anchor of hope in Christ. :) Ken

Rex Ray said...

Ken,

Well, friend, I see you’re hard to convince.

You may rest in the anchor of hope in Christ, but I rest in the anchor of Christ. :)

Christiane said...

Hello Rex Ray and Ken:
maybe you are both closer than you may think on 'hope' and 'salvation'. Take a look at the beautiful 'Song of Simeon' found in the Holy Gospel of St. Luke, chapter 2, where Simeon's hope is fulfilled, as was promised to him by the Holy Spirit:


"St. Luke 2:25-32:
Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel,* and the Holy Spirit was upon him.
It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Messiah of the Lord.
He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the Child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to Him, he took Him into his arms and blessed God, saying:

“Now, Master, You may let Your servant go in peace, according to Your Word, for my eyes have seen Your Salvation, which You prepared in sight of all the peoples,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.”


Maybe this helps resolve some of the word differences. At least, I 'hope' so. :)

Rex Ray said...

CHRISTIANE,

You quoted “…The Holy Spirit was upon him and had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.” (Luke 2:25-26 NLT)

Did Simeon ‘hope’ or did he ‘know’ the Holy spirit told him the truth? :)

Today, some cousins gave me a 90 mile ride to see their uncle and my cousin buried at DFW National Veteran’s Cemetery that has 41,000 crosses. We waited an hour, for their vehicle to lead us to his burial. It was late as he was already underground. We were kept on a road that was 200 yards away from his burial site. We saw three men retrieving their straps. There was a ‘back-hoe digger’ nearby.

I’ve never seen a less honorable funeral in my life.

Bob Cleveland said...


Check the dictionary. Hope seems to equate with desire and expectation. Expectation seems to do it for me.

Rex Ray said...

CHRISTIANE,

You quoted “…The Holy Spirit was upon him and had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.” (Luke 2:25-26 NLT)

Did Simeon ‘hope’ the Holy Spirit told him the truth, or did he ‘know’ the Holy spirit told him the truth? :)

BTW, do we hope we’re saved, or do we know we’re saved.

Christiane said...

Hello out there, REX RAY

in my Church, we sometimes put the answer this way if someone asks us 'if we are saved':
"we were saved, we are being saved, we will be saved"

in my own belief, I believe that I can TRUST in Christ.


I have no problem with the term 'hope' or the Bob Cleveland's term 'expectation';
but the way the term 'saved' is seen among Christian people shows up in different contexts, so that the way I might use it would have a different meaning than the way someone else might use it from a different Christian tradition. I love the way that Simeon expressed the fulfillment of his hope when Simeon first saw the Christ child: " my eyes have seen Your Salvation"






Christiane said...

Hello out there, REX RAY

in my Church, we sometimes put the answer this way if someone asks us 'if we are saved':
"we were saved, we are being saved, we will be saved"

in my own belief, I believe that I can TRUST in Christ.


I have no problem with the term 'hope' or the Bob Cleveland's term 'expectation';
but the way the term 'saved' is seen among Christian people shows up in different contexts, so that the way I might use it would have a different meaning than the way someone else might use it from a different Christian tradition. I love the way that Simeon expressed the fulfillment of his hope when Simeon first saw the Christ child: " my eyes have seen Your Salvation"