The Standard September 22, 2022
After the deaths of Joseph, his 11 brothers and their father Jacob, a new king came to power in Egypt to whom Joseph meant nothing. “The Israelites were exceedingly fruitful,” and this became a tremendous threat to Egypt. (Exodus 1:7a) In response, the Egyptians subjected the Hebrew people to perform hard labor in brick and mortar as slaves. Despite harsh and ruthless treatment, the Israelites continued to increase in number. Pharoah ordered the Hebrew midwives to kill all infant Jewish boys as they were being delivered. The midwives feared God, however, and did not obey. Pharoah then demanded that every infant Hebrew boy be thrown into the Nile River.
A certain husband and wife from the tribe of Levi had a son, but hid him his first three months. The mother then took a papyrus basket, coated it with tar and pitch, put their son in it and placed the basket among the reeds of the Nile. While bathing, the daughter of Pharoah saw the basket and felt sorry for the crying Hebrew baby. She rescued him and raised him as her son, naming the adopted baby Moses. Moses likely grew up in a palace, surrounded by the best that world had to offer.
As an adult, Moses knew he was a Hebrew and that his people were being treated cruelly by Egyptian slave masters. Although he could have continued in a life of advantage and comfort as a member of the royal family, Moses could not sit by watching his brothers and sisters being abused. “By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharoah’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasure of sin. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.” (Hebrews 11:24-26)
Moses forsook the privileges of being the grandson of Pharoah, intentionally lowering himself and subjecting himself to danger and disgrace, understanding what would bring him ultimate and lasting favor. How many of us genuinely understand the fleeting nature of the pleasure of sin? Would we give up positions of prestige or opportunities for making money if we knew that cashing in on them would mean cozying up to unethical people or practices? Like Moses, we never should be on the side of those who take advantage of others, grab for power or profit from unethical schemes.
“I do not sit with people of falsehood, nor do I consort with hypocrites. I hate the assembly of evildoers, and I will not sit with the wicked. I wash my hands in innocence and go around your altar, O LORD, proclaiming thanksgiving aloud, and telling all your wondrous deeds. O LORD, I love the habitation of your house and the place where your glory dwells. Do not sweep my soul away with sinners, nor my life with bloodthirsty people, in whose hands are evil devices, and whose right hands are full of bribes. But as for me, I shall walk in my integrity; redeem me, and be gracious to me. My foot stands on level ground; in the great assembly I will bless the LORD.” (Psalm 26: 4-12)
“Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked people, from those whose words are perverse, who have left the straight paths to walk in dark ways, who delight in doing wrong and rejoice in the perverseness of evil, whose paths are crooked and who are devious in their ways.” (Proverbs 2:12-15)
“Do not envy the wicked, do not desire their company; for their hearts plot violence, and their lips talk about making trouble.” (Proverbs 24:1-2) “A ruler who oppresses the poor is like a driving rain that leaves no crops. Those who forsake instruction praise the wicked, but those who heed it resist them. Evildoers do not understand what is right, but those who seek the LORD understand it fully. Better the poor whose walk is blameless than the rich whose ways are perverse.” (Proverbs 28: 3-6)