Seeing the Unseen

August 28, 2020

Hebrews 11

“He thought it was better to suffer for the sake of Christ than to own the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking ahead to his great reward.” – Hebrews 11:26 (NLT)

Big Idea: The Son of God lets us see the unseen.

Hebrews 11 is one of the most famous chapters in the Bible, often called something like the “Hall of Faith.” It begins with the definition of faith – “the reality of what we hope for and the evidence of what we cannot see.” Faith lets us hold onto what God has promised, but that has not yet been revealed. The chapter then proceeds to give the stories of major exemplars of faith, from Abel down through the ages. While some of these are quite short, the description of Moses is lengthy, beginning with the faith of his parents, and moving through the Exodus.

This mini-biography is the story of how Moses, who was raised as a prince of Egypt, turned his back on the pleasures that he saw in the moment to throw in his lot with the Israelites instead, confident that they would go to the land God had promised. He saw that his unseen reward was greater than the visible costs. Moses traded the treasures of Egypt for what ended up being 40 years wandering in the desert and never lived to enter the Promised Land. Still, he trusted that it was better to suffer with Jesus than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of this world and he trusted that even death itself could not keep God from fulfilling His promises. Moses knew that one day, Jesus would come again and raise him from the dead to dwell in the land with Him.

Throughout the letter, Hebrews has been explaining to us that Jesus is better. He is better than the Law, better than sacrifices, better than the priesthood, and better than the Temple. But Moses’ example shows us that even the pain of the Christian life is better than the pleasure of the world. Sobbing in God’s service is better than swinging a putter in a plush corner office. Faith is our confidence that God’s Word is worth more than we can see. When we walk by faith, we realize that we may face suffering and heartache in this life, but trust that when we cannot see what God is doing, we can still trust who He is. In Jesus, we see the unseen.

Discussion Idea: When have you ever traded short term pleasure for the longer term? Many pastors and ministry leaders are discouraged right now and other careers could seem tempting. How do you remember that it is better to suffer with God’s people than to enjoy sin for a season?

Prayer Focus: Pray for the ability to see and trust God with the bigger picture.