“By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.” (Hebrews 11:27, AV)
Over a hundred verses throughout the Bible exhort us to not be afraid and to have courage. True faith is something that takes ordinary people and moves them to great heights of courage. We all have experienced fear. Fear is not necessarily a bad thing as it is a human emotion and is profitable as a warning of impending danger. It is the thing that prompts one not to take foolish risks such as playing with a rattle snake. Yet, fear can be a major problem when it becomes debilitating. It is a problem when it keeps us from joining God’s great purposes for us in this life.
Many of the Jews to whom the author of Hebrews wrote, were on the edge, so to speak, regarding fully embracing Jesus by faith. We must understand that they would have much to fear in moving from Judaism of the day to Christianity. Many Jews who fully embraced Christianity were experiencing much persecution by the religious establishment. They were excluded from the synagogues, which was very much part of the Jewish culture. They may have discovered employment and commerce difficult in the Jewish communities. Family ties may have been frayed to some extent. Yes, those on the edge likely had fears that they needed to overcome.
One of the things the author, in pointing to Moses, states is that true faith conquers fear. Earlier, we saw that Moses’ parents did not fear as they hid him in violation of Pharaoh’s edict for three months (v23). Here we see that Moses did not fear the anger of Pharaoh as he led the nation of Israel out from Egypt on route to the Promised Land. The author concludes that Moses’ courage was a result of him having true faith.
Moses’ faith was not based upon what he saw. For what he saw was an angry Pharaoh who controlled the might of Egypt and had the power to wipe out the nation. Human earthly vision would have resulted in great fear. On the contrary, Moses through the eyes of faith saw the omnipotent invisible God (1 Tim 1:17). Moses saw the Great Deliverer who called him to join in delivering the people from Egyptian bondage. Moses’ faith conquered earthly fear and he boldly did what God called him to do.
Often today, we struggle with fear. We fear the unknown future. It pops up in our desire to witness to friend and stranger. It attacks us as we see things going on in society or government that scare us. We fear what might happen to our income or savings. People fear disease. Many people fear their own mortality. Those who walk through the eyes of faith see things differently. They do not see the earthly circumstances but walk courageously by seeing the invisible God.