Living by faith in trying times – Part 1
Moses and his parents possessed one notable attribute that set them apart: they had deep faith in the God of Israel. This was so significant that it was recalled and explained in the New Testament. It was recommended as a standard for true Christian conduct. Moses’ parents lived under oppression in Egypt, but they were full of faith in God. People who live in trying times often develop either a crushed, conquered spirit or a conquering spirit.
Oppression either bows, bends, crushes, destroys the human spirit or stirs up and activates the innate qualities in man. But the faith in Moses’ parents produced a conquering spirit in them. They gave birth to Moses in trying times and raised him in the same faith and courage they had in God. Character traits of parents often rob off on their children. If parents are full of faith or fear, courage or cowardice, hospitality or hostility, love or hatred, gentleness or aggressiveness, humility or pride, trust or mistrust, truthfulness or lying, sincerity or hypocrisy, the same attributes are found in their children. “When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.”
A general attitude of faith learnt from parents can develop in their children, active and living faith with which to obtain specific Christian experiences of salvation, sanctification, healing, deliverance, divine provision and Holy Ghost baptism. When times are tough, when things are difficult, when storms are raging, when the fire is burning, we need to live by faith like this family – Amram and Jochebed and their son, Moses. Parental training does not automatically produce salvation experience in children without personal realisation of their sinful state. Though Moses had a general faith, he had no moral strength to resist sin. He committed murder and thereby proved the utter sinfulness of all men. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”.
A time comes, when a man realises his state of sinfulness and need of salvation, because nobody is born a child of God. Being born of Christian parents does not make one a Christian either. General knowledge and faith in the existence of God and His divine attributes cannot save from sin. Forgiveness of sin comes through the exercise of definite and specific faith in the redemptive sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Though not explicitly recorded, the events that followed in his life, and some scripture accounts show that he had a genuine spiritual experience with the Lord.
God revealed Himself to Moses as “merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin…” Moses did not know that God “will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen.” He was as ignorant as the militant Saul of Tarsus, who was saved by God’s mercy and grace. When he realised that God was merciful and trusted in His love, grace, mercy and power, and not in aggression, He had a personal relationship with the Lord.
Thus, having experienced not only physical but spiritual redemption, Moses sang to the Lord whom he referred to as “my salvation”, “my God” and the same as “my father’s God”. With grace and divine presence in his life, God knew him by name and spoke to him face to face. Response to the call to salvation comes before the call to service. He was a sinner but became a saint, a “servant” and one of the “saviours” God sent to save Israel from their enemies. True conversion always leads to total transformation.
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