When I was a kid, one of the fashion fads (if you can even call it that) was for kids to wear shirts that spelled out the conditions for an impossible situation, then ended by saying “No Fear”. One of my favorites that I wore all the time read “Bottom of the ninth, down by three, bases loaded, full count, two outs…No Fear”.
In the Gospel Meeting we held recently at our congregation, we were looking at the the lessons that could be learned from the individuals mentioned in the Bible’s Hall of Faith (Hebrews 11). As you would expect, one of the evenings was spent talking about Moses. Most of us probably know the story of Moses and how he was saved as a child. After a decree from Pharaoh said that every male child born was to be thrown in the river and drowned, Moses’ parents took a chance.
“And a man of the house of Levi went and took as wife a daughter of Levi. So the woman conceived and bore a son. And when she saw that he was a beautiful child, she hid him three months. But when she could no longer hide him, she took an ark of bulrushes for him, daubed it with asphalt and pitch, put the child in it, and laid it in the reeds by the river’s bank.” [Exodus 2:1-3]
However, when you go take a look at the single verse in Hebrews 11 that talks about the early life of Moses, we learn a very important detail that the book of Exodus does not share.
“By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s command.” [Hebrews 11:23, emphasis added]
Did you catch that? We don’t hear a lot about Moses’ parents, other than the fact that they hid him and put him in a basket, but they deserve a tremendous amount of respect for what they did. After Pharaoh’s plan to secretly have the male children killed at the hands of the Hebrew midwives, he went public with it (Exodus 1:15-22). What would have happened to Moses’ parents if they had been caught hiding a male child after Pharaoh said to kill them? They would have likely been charged with a crime as severe as treason, and most certainly been put to death. Their actions may have caused a tremendous amount of additional work and labor to have been placed on the Hebrew slaves. It might have caused immediate searches of every Israelite house in hopes of finding other male children that had been hidden away.
The fear of disobedience to a man like Pharaoh would have been crippling to most. But not to Moses’ parents. They didn’t care. They had no fear. Not of Pharaoh. Not of his decree. Not of his earthly power. None of it. They saw that what they had was precious and that it belonged to God. If there was a fear anywhere, it was a healthy fear of God that existed in the Israelites (Exodus 1:17).
Too often we focus on the repercussions that we could face in this earthly life and allow them to sway our eternal decisions. Maybe we don’t attend services because we are afraid we’ll be passed over for a promotion if we don’t stay at work. Maybe we don’t speak out in defense of our God because we fear the social backlash that could follow. Maybe we don’t even turn our lives over in obedience to His word because we fear the thoughts of our family.
Just like Moses’ parents, we have no reason to fear. “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. […] What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” [Romans 8:18,31]