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Hebrews 11:28

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

He kept the passover - God told him that he would destroy the first-born of the Egyptians, but would spare all those whose doors were sprinkled with the blood of the paschal lamb. Moses believed this, kept the passover, and sprinkled the blood. See the notes on Exodus 12 (note). One of the Itala adds here, Fide praedaverunt Aegyptios exeuntes. "By faith, when they went out, they spoiled the Egyptians." This is any thing but genuine.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Through faith he kept the passover - Greek, “he made - πεποίηκε pepoiēke- the passover,” which means more, it seems to me, than that he merely kept or celebrated it. It implies that he instituted this rite, and made the arrangements for its observance. There is reference to the special agency, and the special faith which he had in its institution. The faith in the case was confidence that this would be the means of preserving the first-born of the Israelites, when the angel should destroy the first-born of the Egyptians, and also that it would be celebrated as a perpetual memorial of this great deliverance. On the passover, see the notes on Matthew 26:2.

And the sprinkling of blood - The blood of the paschal lamb on the lintels and door-posts of the houses; Exodus 12:22.

Lest he that destroyed the first-born should touch them - The first-born of the Egyptians; Exodus 12:23. The apostle has thus enumerated some of the things which illustrated the faith of Moses. The strength of his faith may be seen by a reference to some of the circumstances which characterized it.

(1) it was such confidence in God as to lead him to forsake the most flattering prospects of worldly enjoyment. I see no evidence, indeed, that he was the heir to the throne; but he was evidently heir to great wealth; he was encompassed with all the means of worldly pleasure; he had every opportunity for a life of literary and scientific pursuits; he was eligible to high and important trusts; he had a rank and station which would be regarded as one of the most honored and enviable on earth. None of those who are mentioned before in this chapter were required to make just such sacrifices as this. Neither Abel, nor Noah, nor Enoch, was called to forsake so brilliant worldly prospects; and though Abraham was called to a higher act of faith when commanded to give up his beloved son, yet there were some circumstances of trial in the case of Moses illustrating the nature of faith which did not exist in the case of Abraham. Moses, in the maturity of life, and with everything around him that is usually regarded by people as objects of ambition, was ready to forego it all. So wherever true faith exists, there is a readiness to abandon the hope of gain, and brilliant prospects of distinction, and fascinating pleasures, in obedience to the command of God.

(2) Moses entered on an undertaking wholly beyond the power of man to accomplish, and against every human probability of success. It was no less than that of restoring to freedom two millions of down-trodden, oppressed, and dispirited. slaves, and conducting aged and feeble men, tender females, helpless children, with numerous flocks and herds, across barren wastes to a distant land. He undertook this against the power of probably the most mighty monarch of his time; from the midst of a warlike nation; and when the whole nation would be kindled into rage at the loss of so many slaves, and when he might expect that all the power of their wrath would descend on him and his undisciplined and feeble hosts. He did this when he had no wealth that he could employ to furnish provisions or the means of defense; no armies at his command to encircle his people on their march; and even no influence among the people himself, and with every probability that they would disregard him; compare Exodus 3:11; Exodus 4:1. He did this when the whole Hebrew people were to be aroused to willingness to enter on the great undertaking; when there was every probability that they would meet with formidable enemies in the way, and when there was nothing human whatever on which the mind could fix as a basis of calculation of success. If there ever was any undertaking commenced opposed to every human probability of success, it was that of delivering the Hebrew people and conducting them to the promised land. To human view it was quite as hopeless and impracticable as it would be now for a stranger from Africa, claiming to be a native prince there, and to have a commission from God to liberate the two and a half millions of slaves in the U. States and conduct them to the land of their fathers. In all the difficulties and discouragements of the undertaking of Moses, therefore, his only hope of success must have arisen from his confidence in God.

(3) it was an undertaking where there were many certain trials before him. The people whom he sought to deliver were poor and oppressed. An attempt to rescue them would bring down the wrath of the mighty monarch under whom they were. They were a people unaccustomed to self-government, and as the result proved, prone to ingratitude and rebellion. The journey before him lay through a dreary waste, where there was every prospect that there would be a want of food and water, and where he might expect to meet with formidable enemies. In all these things his only hope must have been in God. It was he only who could deliver them from the grasp of the tyrant; who could conduct them through the wilderness, who could provide for their wants in the desert; and who could defend a vast multitude of women and children from the enemies which they would be likely to encounter.

(4) there was nothing in this to gratify ambition, or to promise an earthly reward. All these prospects he gave up when he left the court of Pharaoh. To be the leader of a company of emancipated slaves through a pathless desert to a distant land, had nothing in itself that could gratify the ambition of one who had been bred at the most magnificent court on earth, and who had enjoyed every advantage which the age afforded to qualify him to fill any exalted office. The result showed that Moses never designed to be himself the king of the people whom he led forth, and that he had no intention of aggrandizing his own family in the case.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau, concerning things to come. Things present are not the best things; no man knoweth love or hatred by having them or wanting them. Jacob lived by faith, and he died by faith, and in faith. Though the grace of faith is of use always through our whole lives, it is especially so when we come to die. Faith has a great work to do at last, to help the believer to die to the Lord, so as to honour him, by patience, hope, and joy. Joseph was tried by temptations to sin, by persecution for keeping his integrity; and he was tried by honours and power in the court of Pharaoh, yet his faith carried him through. It is a great mercy to be free from wicked laws and edicts; but when we are not so, we must use all lawful means for our security. In this faith of Moses' parents there was a mixture of unbelief, but God was pleased to overlook it. Faith gives strength against the sinful, slavish fear of men; it sets God before the soul, shows the vanity of the creature, and that all must give way to the will and power of God. The pleasures of sin are, and will be, but short; they must end either in speedy repentance or in speedy ruin. The pleasures of this world are for the most part the pleasures of sin; they are always so when we cannot enjoy them without deserting God and his people. Suffering is to be chosen rather than sin; there being more evil in the least sin, than there can be in the greatest suffering. God's people are, and always have been, a reproached people. Christ accounts himself reproached in their reproaches; and thus they become greater riches than the treasures of the richest empire in the world. Moses made his choice when ripe for judgment and enjoyment, able to know what he did, and why he did it. It is needful for persons to be seriously religious; to despise the world, when most capable of relishing and enjoying it. Believers may and ought to have respect to the recompence of reward. By faith we may be fully sure of God's providence, and of his gracious and powerful presence with us. Such a sight of God will enable believers to keep on to the end, whatever they may meet in the way. It is not owing to our own righteousness, or best performances, that we are saved from the wrath of God; but to the blood of Christ, and his imputed righteousness. True faith makes sin bitter to the soul, even while it receives the pardon and atonement. All our spiritual privileges on earth, should quicken us in our way to heaven. The Lord will make even Babylon fall before the faith of his people, and when he has some great thing to do for them, he raises up great and strong faith in them. A true believer is desirous, not only to be in covenant with God, but in communion with the people of God; and is willing to fare as they fare. By her works Rahab declared herself to be just. That she was not justified by her works appears plainly; because the work she did was faulty in the manner, and not perfectly good, therefore it could not be answerable to the perfect justice or righteousness of God.
Ellen G. White
Patriarchs and Prophets, 274

Before the execution of this sentence the Lord through Moses gave direction to the children of Israel concerning their departure from Egypt, and especially for their preservation from the coming judgment. Each family, alone or in connection with others, was to slay a lamb or a kid “without blemish,” and with a bunch of hyssop sprinkle its blood on “the two side posts and on the upper doorpost” of the house, that the destroying angel, coming at midnight, might not enter that dwelling. They were to eat the flesh roasted, with unleavened bread and bitter herbs, at night, as Moses said, “with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the Lord's Passover.” PP 274.1

The Lord declared: “I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the first-born in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment.... And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.” PP 274.2

In commemoration of this great deliverance a feast was to be observed yearly by the people of Israel in all future generations. “This day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the Lord throughout your generations: ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance forever.” As they should keep the feast in future years, they were to repeat to their children the story of this great deliverance, as Moses bade them: “Ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of the Lord's Passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when He smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses.” PP 274.3

Furthermore, the first-born of both man and beast were to be the Lord's, to be bought back only by a ransom, in acknowledgment that when the first-born in Egypt perished, that of Israel, though graciously preserved, had been justly exposed to the same doom but for the atoning sacrifice. “All the first-born are Mine,” the Lord declared; “for on the day that I smote all the first-born in the land of Egypt, I hallowed unto Me all the first-born in Israel, both man and beast: Mine they shall be,” Numbers 3:13. After the institution of the tabernacle service the Lord chose unto Himself the tribe of Levi for the work of the sanctuary, instead of the first-born of the people. “They are wholly given unto Me from among the children of Israel,” He said. “Instead of the first-born of all the children of Israel, have I taken them unto Me.” Numbers 8:16. All the people were, however, still required, in acknowledgment of God's mercy, to pay a redemption price for the first-born son. Numbers 18:15, 16. PP 274.4

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Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 3, 265.2

[Sydney, N.S.W., Australia] February 4, 1893—Spoke in the Morning, Boarded Ship in the Afternoon—We rode in the cab to the church in Sydney, and I spoke from Hebrews 11 upon faith. The Lord strengthened me by His grace. I felt much strengthened and blessed. The Holy Spirit was upon me. Strength, both physical and spiritual, was given me in large measure.... 3SM 265.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 7, 40-1

Our workers are not reaching out as they should. Our leading men are not awake to the work that must be accomplished. When I think of the cities in which so little has been done, in which there are so many thousands to be warned of the soon coming of the Saviour, I feel an intensity of desire to see men and women going forth to the work in the power of the Spirit, filled with Christ's love for perishing souls. 7T 40.1

Those in our cities—living within the shadow of our doors—have been strangely neglected. Organized effort should now be put forth to give them the message of present truth. A new song is to be put into their mouths. They are to go forth to impart to others now in darkness the light of the third angel's message. 7T 40.2

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