The Signs of the Times


November 17, 1887

The Choice of Moses


“By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.” Hebrews 11:24-26. ST November 17, 1887, par. 1

Moses was a great character in the world. He was the prospective heir of the throne of the Pharaohs. He had been reared for this position, and was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians. He was fitted to take pre-eminence among the great of the earth, and to shine in the courts of its most glorious kingdom, and to sway the scepter of its power. His intellectual greatness distinguishes him above the great men of all ages. As historian, poet, philosopher, general of armies, and legislator, he stands without a peer. ST November 17, 1887, par. 2

But it was his moral qualities that made him valuable in the estimation of God. His faith, humility, and love are not excelled among the examples of humanity. God could say of him; “Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth;” “My servant Moses .... is faithful in all mine house.” And when he arrived at manhood, with the world before him, he had moral strength to refuse the flattering prospects of wealth, and greatness, and fame, “choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.” ST November 17, 1887, par. 3

The great anxiety of men and women of today is to be held in high esteem by the lordly ones of earth. The religion of Jesus seems to be considered of no special value, and the children of men have set their hearts to seek pleasure rather than to know the will of God. The attainment of wealth is considered by many sufficient reason for sacrificing their hope of Heaven; but Moses had been instructed in regard to the final reward to be given to the humble and obedient servants of God, and worldly gain sank to its proper insignificance in comparison. The magnificent palace of Pharaoh, and the monarch's throne, were held out as an inducement to Moses; but he knew that the sinful pleasures that make men forget God were in its lordly courts. He looked beyond that gorgeous palace, beyond a monarch's crown, to the high honors that will be bestowed on the saints of the Most High God in a kingdom untainted by sin. He saw by faith an imperishable crown that Christ would place on the brow of the overcomer. This faith led him to turn away from the lordly ones of earth and join the humble, poor, despised nation who had chosen to obey God rather than to serve sin. ST November 17, 1887, par. 4

Moses felt that it would pay to make this great sacrifice for the right, to be on the side of God and the loyal angels, and to enjoy the eternal reward at last. Even in this life it brought him peace and blessing, and in contemplation of the certain riches of eternity, his sacrifice seemed a trivial one. ST November 17, 1887, par. 5

Moses was a man of like passions with ourselves, and his character is described that we may learn lessons from his noble example. What God did for Moses, he will do for us, if we are as faithful; and we have not only the same God to go to, the same Mediator to intercede for us, but the same mighty incentives of love to urge us to be obedient to all God's requirements. We have clearer light, and the examples of those who sinned. Their crimes are plainly stated and their punishments depicted. The commendation of God is for the obedient today as then; for God is no respecter of persons, and whoever worketh righteousness is accepted of him in every nation; but if we lack in character, in meekness, in humility, in faith in placing a true estimate upon the eternal riches, and in willingness to suffer reproach for the truth's sake, we shall be left without excuse. ST November 17, 1887, par. 6

Christ has presented before us the greatest inducement that could be offered to mortals. It is not only the gift of eternal life and everlasting joy, but a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory in the kingdom of God. Those who feel the importance of taking God's word as the rule of their life and conduct, will have respect unto the recompense of reward. ST November 17, 1887, par. 7

But in order that we may appreciate heavenly things, we must have our minds taken away from the things of earth. We must, like Moses, esteem the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of the world. You must suffer with Christ, if you shall also reign with him. Your talents of ability, and means, and influence are all the Lord's to be used for his glory; but how apt men are to forget their obligations to their Creator, when they are prospered in the things of this world! Moses devoted all his energies to the service of God, and made every earthly consideration subservient to the advancement and success of his cause. He honored God, and God honored him. God opened before him the plan of salvation, and called him to lead out his chosen people. ST November 17, 1887, par. 8

Moses felt his great responsibility as visible leader of Israel. He saw the perversity of their natures, and knew that he was unable to impress them and change their hearts. He felt keenly his incapacity for his work, and pleaded with God for his guidance. God assured him, “I send an angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared.” A pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night enshrouded the armies of Israel, and Moses had a sense of the greatness of the reward to be given to the sons and daughters of the Most High; but he was not yet content. Every prayer had been answered; but he thirsted for greater tokens of God's favor. “Show me thy glory,” pleaded this mighty man of faith. Did God rebuke his astonishing request as presumptuous? No; he responded to his confidence, and favored his soul's desire. He placed him in a cleft of the rock and made His glory pass before him. God would have his people intercede with him, that they may have higher views of his majesty and glory. ST November 17, 1887, par. 9

How little we know of the mercy and love and greatness of God! Could you see God, as Moses saw him, how quickly would that which delights men be eclipsed! But the thoughts of the world and its pleasures steal away the senses of men and women, so that they care not to think of God and Heaven. It cost an infinite price to redeem man from sin and ruin,—nothing less than the life of the Son of God. Does it not seem that such a sacrifice would awaken every thought and feeling of gratitude, and constrain them to give every power to his service? What more could God do for his creatures? Christ left his majesty for our sakes; he became poor, that we through his poverty might become rich. What greater evidence could he give to men of his love and interest in them? ST November 17, 1887, par. 10

And what are you willing to do for Jesus? Can you say with Moses that you esteem the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt? What if mortal man scorns and ridicules the religion of Jesus Christ? Should this lead us to be ashamed of him and his truth? It should inspire us to come to the front, to suffer reproach, and to be determined to exalt Jesus before the people. He is the chief among ten thousand, and the one altogether lovely. We want to become acquainted with him, to bring him into our families as an honored guest, and teach our children to love him. The end of all things is at hand, and it is time to seek a preparation for the coming of Christ in the clouds of heaven. ST November 17, 1887, par. 11

Moses understood that there was to be a Judgment-day, when every man would be judged according to the deeds done in the body. We each have a case pending at the bar of God, and although Noah, Job, and Daniel were in the land, they could not save son or daughter. They could only save their own souls by their righteousness. It is an individual work for you and me. There will be every attraction to draw us away from Christ's righteousness, and the human heart is inclined to selfish gratification. Every soul who seeks righteousness will meet with perplexities; but shrink not at reproach or trial. Jesus was reproached by the sons of men, and can those of his household expect a better portion? There is help for every one who in humble faith seeks it. When you put all your powers to the stretch that you may become acquainted with God, you will have his power added to your weakness. Every soul that enters through the gates into the city will go in as a conqueror. There is no sickness, no sighing, no death, but everlasting joy throughout the cycles of eternity. I want to be there, for my soul is attracted to Jesus. Everything here is of minor consequence. ST November 17, 1887, par. 12

I would entreat you to “seek the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” Let us, like Moses, by faith leave the treasures and pleasures of earth and sin, and have “respect unto the recompense of the reward.” ST November 17, 1887, par. 13