By Marvin L. Weir
It is a lesson that one learns early in life— decisions are costly! One who chooses unwisely and incorrectly will likely pay dearly for his foolish decision, and the one who decides to stand firm for what is godly and right may also pay a high price for such a decision. Since a price is involved whether right or wrong, one may elect to play it safe and make no decision. This person does not understand that failing or refusing to make a decision is a decision. Such can have disastrous consequences regarding spiritual matters. The Lord made it very clear: "He that is not with me is against me" (Mat. 12:30). This means that every time one fails to make a decision for God he has just made a decision against God.
Let us consider what it cost Moses to make the monumental decision to serve God and his people and flee the land of Egypt.
Moses refuses to be called the son of the Pharaoh's daughter (Heb. 11:24). It is difficult to imagine what it cost Moses materially to turn his back on the Pharaoh and his family. The earthly riches that would have belonged to Moses had he remained in Egypt as a son of the Pharaoh's daughter cannot be adequately described. Robert Boyd in World's Bible Handbook states:
When archaeologists opened the tomb of Tutankhamen (King "Tut" to us) in 1922, their eyes gazed upon an untold wealth of personal belongings for his future life. His solid gold coffin has a current value of $2,750,000. The jewelry is priceless and his throne and furniture were overlaid with gold. Such "burial" wealth gives us an idea of the personal wealth of a single Pharaoh.
Moses decides to give up the social status that he will enjoy in Egypt. As the son of an Egyptian princess, Moses received an education that was second to none. He was qualified to serve in any facet of Egyptian government, and could have become a Pharaoh himself. No other nation surpassed Egypt with knowledge in science, law, and architecture (cf. Acts 7:22). This wisdom was not restricted to just pyramids and temples as Boyd again notes:
Scientists have discovered how Egyptian craftsmen produced brilliant colors—paintings for their Temple walls and ceilings. We are fortunate if we can find paint produced by today's technologists which lasts more than twenty years on our houses! Yes, Egyptian paint has lasted more than 3,500 years. The blues and reds and yellows of ancient Egypt, whether on stone or metal, have remained vivid. Scientists (1970) of the Egyptian Department of Antiquity, worked over three years and spent more than two million dollars to "break the historic formula." The formula includes one molecule each of copper oxide and four molecules of silicone oxide. The resulting compound is heated to 1,050 degrees centigrade, and then ground and mixed with egg yolk and gum. This compound resists heat as high as 1,700 degrees C. and is insoluble in the most potent acids known to modern science. The ancients obtained the stable color by trapping copper oxide atoms in a ring of hydrogen, produced by the ions of the egg yoke and acid from the gum.
Moses decides to identify with godly people instead of ungodly people. A person cannot have it both ways. Moses, in reminding his people of God's laws, says, "See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil" (Deu. 30:15). Christ teaches that people must choose to travel either the broad way that leads to destruction or the straitened way that leads to eternal life (Mat. 7:13-14). People today must understand that they cannot successfully walk with God while holding hands with the world (cf. 2 Cor. 6:14-18). Joshua is another man who realizes that costly decisions must be made. To his friends and his people he says, "And if it seem evil unto you to serve Jehovah, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve Jehovah" (Jos. 24:15).
Moses decides to forego the temporary pleasures of sin and chooses instead to "share ill treatment with the people of God" (Heb. 11:24-25). Moses knew the outcome of his decision when he made it. The Scriptures say that he accounts "the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt" (Heb. 11:26). Moses knew that faithfully serving God would produce a life of suffering and hardship. The high price of this decision Moses made is seen in what he was willing to forego and what he was willing to endure.
Moses decides to go to Heaven and is willing to pay the price. He understands that sin's glitter is not as advertised by Satan. He understands "the wages of sin is death" (Rom. 6:23). Moses looks "unto the recompense of reward" (Heb. 11:26). So should we! Keep your mind on firmly focused on things above (Col. 3:2), and remember that decisions are costly.
- Marvin L. Weir, Paris, TX; via the Belvedere Beacon, the weekly bulletin of the Belvedere church of Christ, Belvedere, SC. Ken Chumbley preaches for this congregation, and he may be contacted at their website: http://www.belvederechurchofchrist.org