He forsook Egypt - He believed that God would fulfill the promise he had made; and he cheerfully changed an earthly for a heavenly portion.
Not fearing the wrath of the king - The apostle speaks here of the departure of Moses with the Israelites, not of his flight to Midian, Exodus 2:14, Exodus 2:15; for he was then in great fear: but when he went to Pharaoh with God's authority, to demand the dismission of the Hebrews, he was without fear, and acted in the most noble and dignified manner; he then feared nothing but God.
As seeing him who is invisible - He continued to act as one who had the judge of his heart and conduct always before his eyes. By calling the Divine Being the invisible, the apostle distinguishes him from the god's of Egypt, who were visible, corporeal, gross, and worthless. The Israelites were worshippers of the true God, and this worship was not tolerated in Egypt. His pure and spiritual worship could never comport with the adoration of oxen, goats, monkeys, leeks, and onions.
By faith he forsook Egypt - Some have understood this of the first time in which Moses forsook Egypt, when he fled into Midian, as recorded in Exodus 2:14-15. He was at that time in fear of his life; but when he left Egypt at the head of the Hebrew people, he had no such apprehensions. God conducted him out with “an high hand,” and throughout all the events connected with that remarkable deliverance, he manifested no dread of Pharaoh, and had no apprehension from what he could do. He went forth, indeed, at the head of his people when all the power of the king was excited to destroy them, but he went confiding in God: and this is the faith referred to here.
For he endured - He persevered, amidst all the trials and difficulties connected with his leading forth the people from bondage.
As seeing him who is invisible - “As if” he saw God. He had no more doubt that God had called him to this work, and that he would sustain him, than if he saw him with his physical eyes. This is a most accurate account of the nature of faith; compare notes on Hebrews 11:1.
From the humble home in Goshen the son of Jochebed passed to the palace of the Pharaohs, to the Egyptian princess, by her to be welcomed as a loved and cherished son. In the schools of Egypt, Moses received the highest civil and military training. Of great personal attractions, noble in form and stature, of cultivated mind and princely bearing, and renowned as a military leader, he became the nation's pride. The king of Egypt was also a member of the priesthood; and Moses, though refusing to participate in the heathen worship, was initiated into all the mysteries of the Egyptian religion. Egypt at this time being still the most powerful and most highly civilized of nations, Moses, as its prospective sovereign, was heir to the highest honors this world could bestow. But his was a nobler choice. For the honor of God and the deliverance of His downtrodden people, Moses sacrificed the honors of Egypt. Then, in a special sense, God undertook his training. Ed 62.1
Not yet was Moses prepared for his lifework. He had yet to learn the lesson of dependence upon divine power. He had mistaken God's purpose. It was his hope to deliver Israel by force of arms. For this he risked all, and failed. In defeat and disappointment he became a fugitive and exile in a strange land. Ed 62.2
In the wilds of Midian, Moses spent forty years as a keeper of sheep. Apparently cut off forever from his life's mission, he was receiving the discipline essential for its fulfillment. Wisdom to govern an ignorant and undisciplined multitude must be gained through self-mastery. In the care of the sheep and the tender lambs he must obtain the experience that would make him a faithful, long-suffering shepherd to Israel. That he might become a representative of God, he must learn of Him. Ed 62.3Read in context »
“Being reviled,” he said, “we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: being defamed, we entreat;” “as sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.” 1 Corinthians 4:12, 13; 2 Corinthians 6:10. Ed 68.1
In service he found his joy; and at the close of his life of toil, looking back on its struggles and triumphs, he could say, “I have fought a good fight.” 2 Timothy 4:7. Ed 68.2
These histories are of vital interest. To none are they of deeper importance than to the youth. Moses renounced a prospective kingdom, Paul the advantages of wealth and honor among his people, for a life of burden bearing in God's service. To many the life of these men appears one of renunciation and sacrifice. Was it really so? Moses counted the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt. He counted it so because it was so. Paul declared: “What things were gain to me, these have I counted loss for Christ. Yea verily, and I count all things to be loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but refuse, that I may gain Christ.” Philippians 3:7, 8, R.V., margin. He was satisfied with his choice. Ed 68.3Read in context »
For the last time Moses stood in the assembly of his people. Again the Spirit of God rested upon him, and in the most sublime and touching language he pronounced a blessing upon each of the tribes, closing with a benediction upon them all: PP 471.1
Moses turned from the congregation, and in silence and alone made his way up the mountainside. He went to “the mountain of Nebo, to the top of Pisgah.” Upon that lonely height he stood, and gazed with undimmed eye upon the scene spread out before him. Far away to the west lay the blue waters of the Great Sea; in the north, Mount Hermon stood out against the sky; to the east was the tableland of Moab, and beyond lay Bashan, the scene of Israel's triumph; and away to the south stretched the desert of their long wanderings. PP 471.3
In solitude Moses reviewed his life of vicissitudes and hardships since he turned from courtly honors and from a prospective kingdom in Egypt, to cast in his lot with God's chosen people. He called to mind those long years in the desert with the flocks of Jethro, the appearance of the Angel in the burning bush, and his own call to deliver Israel. Again he beheld the mighty miracles of God's power displayed in behalf of the chosen people, and His long-suffering mercy during the years of their wandering and rebellion. Notwithstanding all that God had wrought for them, notwithstanding his own prayers and labors, only two of all the adults in the vast army that left Egypt had been found so faithful that they could enter the Promised Land. As Moses reviewed the result of his labors, his life of trial and sacrifice seemed to have been almost in vain. PP 471.4Read in context »