“By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment.” (Hebrews 11:23, AV)
On June 4, 2019, Pastor David Lynn was arrested in Toronto, Canada for preaching the gospel. Apparently, there was a group that disagreed with the Christian message and protested his message. While he broke no laws in preaching on the street, the police arrested him. Canada does have hate speech laws and he took measures to ensure he did not violate these. What happened to Lynn is an example of a growing and potential danger that is on the horizon that anytime we preach something that conflicts with another’s opinion, it will be deemed as hateful.
We may think that this is not an issue in the United States, but in 2016 Iowa enacted a law that would prohibit pastors from preaching regarding what the Bible states regarding morally correct sexual relationships. Recently, various states have enacted orders to prevent churches from assembly during the corona virus epidemic. These examples and others demonstrate how easy it will be for the government, if choosing to do so, to control the church. What is the church to do if this anti-church philosophy continues to take root with the advance of progressivism?
Here the author lists in the heroes of the faith, the response of some who had to make a choice between obeying government or obeying God. Those of true faith have no problem making the choice. They chose God over government. Now the Bible does teach that we are to obey the governments over us, even if we do not like them (Rom 13:1-7). However, there are many examples in the Bible where people of faith had to choose between obeying God or obeying government. Remember Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego when they refused to bow down to the image that Nebuchadnezzar set up. Remember Daniel when he continued to pray to God when the king’s edict forbad it. Remember that John and Peter continued to preach Jesus when the ruling authorities told them to stop.
Here we see that by faith, the parents of Moses hid Moses for three months after his birth to protect him from Pharaoh’s order that all the male newborn of the Hebrews was to be thrown into the Nile. When we look at this record (Exod 1:15-2:10), we see that there were many who functioned by faith in the salvation of Moses during this difficult time. The Hebrew midwives disobeyed Pharaoh’s previous edict to euthanize the newborn children as well.
The point is that often we as believers will be taken to a place when we will need to make some difficult choices. At work, we may be ordered to lie about something, like the quality of a product shipped, financial reports, etc. What will we do if it means losing our job? Government could order us to stop preaching about Jesus on the streets. What do we do? They could make us stop preaching certain passages of Scripture or doctrines that some outside the faith may find offensive. What do we do?
Let me say that the examples of Scripture indicate that those of true faith choose the higher ground. They choose the absolutes of God. If it were not for a few in Egypt who chose the higher ground, that is the way of God, the Exodus account would have been much different. Oh, God would still have worked His redemptive plan, but consider the blessed part those of true faith had in history. You and I who respond by true faith also have a blessed part in God’s redemptive program. Walk by faith and not by sight.