I preached yesterday morning on the faith of Moses from Hebrews 11. The frequently repeated “by faith” of the chapter is connected to five episodes in Moses’ life.
- The faith of his parents who hid him.
- The faith he exercised when he renounced his privileged Egyptian status.
- The faith by which he “left Egypt” (the second time, in my opinion).
- The faith by which he kept the Passover.
- The faith by which the people crossed the Red Sea under his leadership.
The interesting thing about the first and last of those references is that, while Moses was involved, Hebrews does not specifically mention his faith.
In the first one, he could hardly have displayed faith (in any theological sense of the word) as an infant, protected by his parents, though his life was profoundly affected by the decision of their faith.
In the last one, while he demonstrated faith by means of his obedience to God, the writer focusses on the faith of the people who followed him.
There is a simple implication for the journey of faith. We benefit from the faith legacy of others. For some of us, the faith of our parents shaped the earliest stages of our own journey. For others, it may have been the faith of a teacher or a believing friend. Like Moses, we look back in recognition of those whose faith was a vital part in our being where we are today.
But we don’t simply look back. Healthy faith will, in turn, shape the lives of others – as the faith of Moses did. If you have been a believer for any length of time, take a look around to see who is travelling with you.
It’s like a relay (to use Olympic-season language). As you have received a baton, make sure there is someone to whom you will be able to pass it on.