There is no period more fraught with potentialities for good or evil than when we are passing out of childhood into adulthood. When we are children we have others to decide for us, and ours is the place of obedience to parents and teachers, but when we come to adulthood we inevitably come to the time when responsibility lies on our own shoulders. It is the time when each one makes choice of that which either makes or mars a life.
Doubtless the early training often helps the young person to make a right choice. Better would it have been for Rehoboam if he had listened to the wisdom of his father as given to us in the book of Proverbs. He thought that he knew better than his father and the counsel of the old men that had stood before him (1 Kings 12: 6–8) and made a fool of himself and a wreck of his kingdom. When a youth attains to mature age he often realises that his father was wiser than once he thought. It has been said that experience is an expensive school to learn in, though frequently the young will learn in none other. Experience never forgets to charge a price, and sometimes it is a heavy one—loss of wealth, health and even life—as many a young man has found to his cost.
Moses had the wonderful privilege of being brought up in a godly household. When the reward for the faithfulness of his parents (Heb. 11: 23) took the unexpected turn of the doomed child being protected by the very daughter of the cruel monarch that had given out the decree, Moses’ sister, under the overruling hand of God, was led to suggest that the mother of Moses might be chosen to be his nurse. One can imagine how devotedly that mother would instil into the youthful mind of her son the fear of the Lord which is “the beginning of wisdom” (Ps. 111: 10). Furthermore, despite all the splendour of that Eastern court and all the training that was given him in the learning of the Egyptians, his mother’s influence clearly remained with him.
Then came the crucial time for Moses. The time for choice had come. What use would he make of it? Put yourself in his shoes. Picture him walking in the place of the Pharaoh late at night. He had an assured place which all might envy. The son of Pharaoh’s daughter, affluence, learning, position, wealth, honour as the world counts honour—all were his. The choice—on the one hand the favour of the mighty Pharaoh, on the other affliction with the people of God; on the one side the smile of the world, on the other “the reproach of the Christ” (Heb. 11: 26). Should he turn his back upon the position that he had, a position that perhaps no humbly born outside had ever before attained to in Egypt, and take sides with foreign slaves? Should he exchange his life of luxury for the howling wilderness, his royal bed for the nomad’s tent? The young man was faced with a choice, the contrasts of which were perhaps more marked in his case than in any other.
Ah, but Moses had a wonderful vision! He “persevered, as seeing him who is invisible” (Heb. 11: 27). Let me alter the words without altering the sense to make their meaning clearer: “He persevered as seeing Him that cannot be seen”. It sounds like a paradox, a contradiction in words, yet how true it is! He saw with the eye of faith what the eye of nature could not see. Of course, godless men would deplore the fact that the young Moses, with his outstanding qualities and talents, should place the fool and throw away chances that every other young man in the kingdom would give both hands to possess. Ah, but what is foolishness with man is wisdom with God! Moses was truly wise—his choice was sound. He had his eye on the future. The pleasures of sin were only for a season, and thus he chose affliction with the people of God. They were poor whip–driven slaves serving with rigour, but they were the people of God. That settled it for Moses. In the eyes of the world he was a fool, but in reality it was divine astuteness that marked him. He esteemed “the reproach of the Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt, for he had respect to the recompense” (Heb. 11; 26).
It is a soul–stirring picture. We are moved to intense admiration of this young man of such grit and courage, and we follow his after–career with increasing interest. Yet let us pass over those years until we see him, now an old man, on Mount Nebo, overlooking the promised land (Deut. 34: 1). He has had forty years in the backside of the desert. He has had forty years as leader of God’s delivered people through the wilderness. His natural force is unabated, and his vision is as keen as ever. At the bidding of God he lays down his wonderful life. God buries him and is sole mourner at his grave. Had he chosen the place, he might have been buried in a royal tomb, with all the pomp and pageantry of the then mightiest nation on earth—but not one line concerning him would have been found in the Word of God. Yes, he might have made his mark upon the Egypt of his own time, and his preserved body lain in some museum today, but it would have stirred, at best, only a feeble interest. It would have been a poor choice to have made compared to the choice of faith. Who has not heard of Moses? With his “fool’s” choice, he stamped himself on the pages of history as the man “whom Jehovah had known face to face” (Deut. 34: 10).
Perhaps some of our readers are arriving at the same stage the young Moses found himself at. You have your choice to make. What shall it be? Look far ahead beyond this present life, gaze on the invisible, and let you choice be truly wise. The Lord help you, for the issues are eternal, and a mistake may be irrevocable. Decide for Christ!