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…esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward. – Hebrews 11:26

Moses refused to be raised in the house of Pharaoh, he chose to suffer affliction rather than enjoying the passing pleasures of sin, and now we learn that he was “esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.” Moses valued bearing the reproach of Christ. It was more meaningful to him than all the treasures of Egypt. Why? Because he was looking for “the reward.”

This reward was the promise of God as it had been passed down from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, on to the sons of Jacob and Joseph. The twelve tribes knew of the promises about the land and Moses wanted to see and experience the promised blessing of God.

Notice too that Moses possesses a faith that is real and true – a faith that pleases God. How do we know this? Remember Hebrews 11:6, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for those who come to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” And we have just learned that Moses not only believed God, but he looked for the reward promised. He believed God was a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

It is significant that Moses’ faith was faith in Christ. There in the Old Testament, waiting for God to send the Messiah, Moses had faith in Jesus Christ, as God had promised to save His people and bless all the peoples of the earth through Abraham. He esteemed bearing the reproaches of Christ as better than the treasures of Egypt. His heart was steadfast and set. He would rather suffer affliction and reproach instead of indulging in sin and becoming greedy for the material goods of Egypt.

What does it mean to be willing to bear the reproach of Christ? Hebrews 13:13 tells us that we are to bear the reproach of Christ, that is, to join with Him in suffering for what is right. Just as He was sent outside the city gates and crucified, so we too are truly outside of the realm of this world, we are not to love it, live for it, or seek it. Our lives are hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3). We are, just as these in the Hall of Faith, pilgrims looking for our home.

Are we willing, as Moses was, to bear shame and reproach because we are following Christ? Are we willing to pay a price for believing? If not, then our faith is fake and we are deluded. A faith that recants as soon as things heat up is no faith at all.

We know that we will suffer if we follow Christ. As we have discussed previously, people who hate Christ will hate us. Why? Because we look like Him. We remind them of what they hate. We have to remember what Jesus and the Apostles have told us about bearing the reproach of Christ. We have to realize what Moses knew to be true. It is a great blessing to bear the reproach of Christ. As Moses believed, it is of more value than temporal earthly treasures.

1 Peter 4:14 says, “If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.” And Matthew 5:10-12 reminds us, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Do we prefer the things of value that this world has to offer? Do we live with the goal of being financially secure and trust in our jobs, retirement accounts, etc, to make us secure? Do we live only for “making it big” or even just “making ends meet?” Do we live for God, or for money? The eternal or the temporary?

Moses lived for Christ. He counted the cost. He was willing to chose to suffer affliction and reproach for Christ and with Christ rather than enjoy a luxurious life with sin abounding and his every fleshly whim fulfilled. He loved God and trusted Him and was willing to give everything up to follow Christ.

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