“By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. He regarded disgrace for the sake of the Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.” – Hebrews 11:24-27
Jesus rightly said, “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light” (Matthew 6:22). It is the eye, the organ of sight, that has the ability to see. Naturally, for any object to be regarded as beautiful, it has to be visible to the physical eye. That on the other hand also creates problems. What a person sees can lead them to sin. When the serpent came to Eve and spoke to her about the beauties of the forbidden fruit, she “saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye” (Genesis 3:6). What she saw made her prefer it to obeying God. It was the eyes of Samson that led him into trouble. The Apostle John says that a part of the trinity of the world system is the “lust of the eyes” (1 John 2:16).
What the eye cannot see, it is less likely to be enticed by. What is in the dark; any object that is unable to reflect light into the eye is invisible and cannot be seen. It also cannot be seen as beautiful and spellbinding to the heart. Even Jesus is said to have endured the cross “because of the joy he could see waiting for him” (Hebrews 12:2). It is therefore curious that the Bible says of Moses, that he persevered “because he saw him who is invisible.” First, if the him that Moses saw is invisible, how did he see him, for invisibility means imperceptible by vision. Second, did Moses have eyes that could see invisible things or did his ophthalmologist produce a special kind of ‘invisible-seeing glasses’ for him? That statement is crucial because it gives the reason for Moses’ perseverance in the face of daunting challenges as he went about the task that God gave him. As you journey through this life full of challenges, you’re in need of perseverance, not least because it is he who endures to the end that will be saved. Can Moses’ experience become yours too, or is the seeing of the invisible reserved for certain men of God in the class of Moses?
By Faith Moses,
What Moses used to see Him who is invisible were the eyes of faith. If it were with physical eyes, Moses would have died, for when he asked to see God, the Lord said “no one may see me and live” (Exodus 33:23). “Without faith, it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Hebrews 11:12). This faith is a heart that wholly believes that God exists and that he is who he says he is. God is Spirit, he cannot be perceived by the natural eyes, he must be seen by faith alone. It was this kind of seeing that Paul prayed for the Ephesian believers to have. He said, “I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe” (Ephesians 1:18-19). In 1 Corinthians 5:7, he said, “We walk by faith, not by sight.” This journey that we are on, we operate in it by the eyes of faith, not by what our physical eyes see. What helped Moses to persevere; what Paul hoped would help the Ephesian believers along their journey, was the eye of faith in the heart that sees God and the hope of his calling. Satan, like he did to Eve, seeks to advertise a less beautiful sight as being more so than God. The person who perseveres is the one who sees the truest beauty and worth that is God.
When He Had Grown Up
One of the marks of childhood is the attraction to shiny objects. Whether they are of value or not is immaterial to the child, they just need to appear flashy to be loved. A child can throw tantrums for a useless thing provided it is shiny. When did Moses refuse to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter? When he had grown up. Growth meant that he saw something else as being more valuable than the dividends of being known as Pharaoh’s grandson. He saw him who is invisible. It is this same seeing that emboldened Daniel, while in Babylon, to refuse to defile himself with the delicacies from the king’s table. It is a mark of growth. You should pause and ask yourself at this point, how long have you known the Lord? Have you grown? Has your growth also meant you have learned to reject the pleasures of the world in preference for him who the world does not know and has not seen? Don’t think that this choice didn’t cost Moses anything. The Bible says, “he chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time” (Hebrews 11:25). Listen up, the world has on offer other alternatives to the way of God; that road is wide and easy; it has stuff that you can enjoy; it has pleasures. When scripture says at God’s right hand there are pleasures forevermore, the world also has its own. It is a matter of choice and Moses chose his. If there was any enjoyment in the house of Pharaoh, this guy had experienced it, yet he preferred to suffer, along with the people of God. Why? He saw him who is invisible.
For the Sake of Christ
You may have thought to yourself that if you lived in the days when Christ lived on earth and saw his works, your faith in, and commitment to him, would be stronger. That is simply not true. If it were, all who lived in his time would have put their faith in him, but most didn’t. Jesus even told them that if the miracles performed among them were performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day (Matthew 11:23). Or take the Israelites who God delivered from Egypt by a mighty hand and who saw various manifestations of him, where was their faith? To follow Christ, you need to have the eyes of your heart, the eyes of faith, and not the physical eyes, enlightened.
When Moses was rejecting the pleasures of Egypt, it was for the sake of Christ! He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt. This was a man who lived in a dispensation where Christ had not yet come, so how was he able to choose him over Egypt? He saw the invisible Christ! It was this that the Galatians lacked that Paul called them foolish. He told them, “Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified” (Galatians 3:1). Moses didn’t have the benefit of having Christ clearly portrayed as crucified, yet he saw him and that influenced his life choices. He didn’t experience a glorified Christ yet he saw him by faith and preferred him. What about you who has the truth of Christ clearly portrayed. And this portrayal of Christ to you is a historical fact. You can prove it. How much stronger then should your faith be. Though your physical eyes have not seen Him, see Him by faith and prefer Him above everything else. All that this life has to offer is in summary a dual choice: Christ or something else. It was what was offered to Eve and she saw it as more beautiful than Christ and went for it. All your temptations are essentially a test of whether you would prefer Christ or what sin offers. All that the world asks you to do is to choose between Christ and something else. When you yield to sin or the pleasures of the world, you have chosen them over Christ. For Moses, he saw him who is invisible; he saw Christ and chose him over Egypt.
Because He Saw Him Who Is Invisible
This statement can accurately summarize Moses’ life; it will be a fitting epitaph on his grave (But only God knows where he has been buried). He lived in Egypt for 40 years, so you can imagine how hard leaving could have been. He came back from Jethro’s house and the wilderness and saw the beauty of the palace but preferred to leave. Leaving had consequences. The Israelites that he came to save didn’t believe in him. It was the thought of him as a murderer, an unqualified judge, from the mouth of a fellow Jew, that drove him from Egypt to Midian in the first place. The man had asked him, “Who made you a ruler and a judge over us” (Exodus 2:14)? On his return, he still had their unbelief and obstinacy to contend with. In addition to that, Moses had the anger of the world’s most powerful monarch to contend with, but he chose to leave. Why? He saw him who is invisible. If you too must persevere in this race, if you must make wise choices, if you must choose to rather suffer for Christ, if you must defy the fury of hell and its representatives, then you must see him who is invisible, even the Christ.
Seeing Him Who Is Invisible
So, how can you see him? It can only be by faith! You must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him (Hebrews 11:6). Know that for a certainty like Job did: “I know that my Redeemer lives and that in the end, he will stand upon the earth (Job 19:25).
Pray. Pray like Paul did for the Ephesians, “that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe” (Ephesians 1:18-19). Pray that in spite of all the world displays before you, you would fix your “eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18). It is those who even now see him who is invisible that would see him at the end of time. May you be able to say with Job: “And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes – I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!” (Job 19:26-27).