Hebrews 11:24-26 (NIV) 24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 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.
Moses had it all. He was a prince in Egypt. He had wealth and fame, and all the pleasures that went with his high position. How could he walk away from all of that and become a slave with his people? How could he go from ruler to someone who was owned, broke and mistreated? He went from the coolness of the palace to the heat of the brick fields, forced to do hard labor all day.
Why would he do such a thing? Hebrews tells us Moses realized that pleasure could be found in this life – but it doesn’t last. It is fleeting. He knew that disgrace “for the sake of Christ” has a greater value than the treasures of Egypt, or any other treasure we can imagine. Interesting that Moses lived about 1500 years before Jesus was born, but the writer of Hebrews doesn’t make a distinction between Jesus and God in this passage.
We celebrate Moses as a hero of the faith. In this passage we see why: he had self-discipline. He walked away from wealth and pleasure for the sake of his faith. He was looking ahead to something greater than the temporary pleasure he could have had as a prince.Self-discipline has been defined as the ability to delay gratification. It is listed as a fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:23. Self-discipline is a bottom line of our faith. We store up treasures in heaven. We invest in the afterlife, and not just in this life. We give our lives over to God today, knowing that he will reward us for all eternity. We can’t see the treasures of Heaven, but, by faith, we believe it exists. Moses realized this, and if we are wise, we will too.