Adrian Rogers - Faith for the Family
Would you take God's precious Word and turn to Hebrews chapter 11 please, and we're going to begin reading in verse 23 as we make our way through this Hall of Fame and the champions of faith. Today we come to verse 23 and let's read Hebrews chapter 11 verses 23 through 27, "By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child, and they were not afraid of the king's commandment. 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. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing Him who is invisible".
I submit to you that the most powerful and influential people on Earth are not kings and presidents and cabinet members. The most powerful and influential people on Earth are parents of faith, and in their hands is the destiny of the world. Now I want to introduce to you today two almostforgotten heroes, champions of faith. The man's name is Amram. His wife's name is Jochebed. And indeed they have earned a place in God's Hall of Fame because of their son, Moses, who himself was a great champion of faith. I cannot, if I had the tongue of an angel, overemphasize the importance of family. The Bible says that, "God has set the solitary in families." in Psalm 68 and verse 6. Family is indisputably important, and faith is the vital ingredient in any family's success.
Now you're a member of a family, some kind of a family. That's the way you got here. And most of us live in a family or hope to have a family. So I want us to learn four things about faith and the family today, as we look at the life of Moses, Amram and Jochebed. And the first is what I want to call faith's vision. Look if you will again here in Hebrews 11 verse 23, "By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents because they saw," underscore this, "they saw that he was a proper child, and they were not afraid of the king's commandment". Now this man and his wife had a vision. They saw something. They looked at the baby boy that God had given them, that little, laughing baby boy, and they said, "This child is an unusual child".
As a matter of fact, Taylor's translation gives it this way, "That God had given them an unusual child". As they looked at the crying or smiling face of that little baby boy, whichever it was, they said, "This one is special". Now, how did they know that he was special? How did they know that God had such a destiny for him? Well, first of all, they were students of the Word of God. Both of them were born into the tribe of Levi, the priestly tribe. They had the Word of God. And God had prophesied, that the Jews were going to be in Egypt for 400 years and then God was going to bring them out, and they'd been counting the years. They knew that there had to be a leader, someone. And by a combination of the Word of God, the logos, and the Word of God spoken to them, the rhema, they looked at this child, and God's Spirit bore witness with them, "This is a special child. This is a child chosen of God. God has a plan for this child".
Now you say, "What does that have to do with me, Adrian"? Well, if you have a child, or when you have a child, I can tell you that God has a plan for your child. God has a plan, not merely for the Moses' of this world, but God has a plan for every child. I remember when our first son came. His name is Stephen, and I thank God for Steve, who is a godly man and a man of faith. But when I went to the Fish Memorial Hospital in Deland, Florida, and saw that little boy as they wheeled him out, something changed in my heart, something turned over in my heart, and I thought, "Oh, God, I am a daddy. I am a daddy and I've got a son to raise"!
Joyce and I were going through college and we were living in a little 25-foot house trailer. And, it didn't have a bath; just had a path. And, we were just eking out a living. But Joyce was still there in the hospital. I went home and got on that flowered couch in that little house trailer, and got on my knees. And I said, "Oh God, if I never do anything else, if I never have any kind of success in life, never have any of this world's goods, and never have any influence, oh, God, I want to be a godly daddy. And God, I give You my son and I give You myself, both to God," and I have claimed this promise many times. As a matter of fact, it's one of my life verses, if you would like to know it. Psalm 112 verses 1 and 2, "Praise ye the Lord. Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in His commandments. His seed," that means his children, "shall be mighty upon Earth; the generation of the upright shall be blessed".
Is not that what you want for your children? Don't you want your children to be mighty upon this Earth, mighty for God? Don't you want your generation to be blessed? I'm telling you, it is a joy, a privilege, and a responsibility to raise your children for God, and you must have this vision. Now Moses wasn't born a great man. He was born a baby. A man went into a particular small town and he asked this question, "Any great men born in this village"? The old timer said, "No, just babies". They're not born great men; they become great men. Now you say, "Pastor, isn't it up to my child whatever he's going to do? What part do I have? Can I believe God on his behalf"? The Bible says it was by faith that Amram and Jochebed saw that Moses was a proper child and it was faith that guided them.
I remember reading in Mark chapter 9 in the New Testament, verses 20 through 24, about a man who had a child who was beleaguered by the devil and the child needed help, special help from the Lord. And that man came to Jesus and he said, "Lord, if You can do anything for my child, Lord, please do it". And Jesus said, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him that believeth". And that man bowed his head and said, "Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief". Have you ever been there? "Lord, I believe, but I know my faith is weak". But God starts with us where we are, does He not? "Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief". And God did! Not only can we, but must we have faith for our children. The Bible says it is by faith that they saw that this man was a proper child. Faith sees every child as special.
Now Proverbs 22 verse 6. It may be on your refrigerator door. Here's what it says, "Train up a child in the way that he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it". That word, way, "Train up a child in the way that he shall go," is a Hebrew word that has the idea of a bend in a bow or in a piece of wood, and it literally means raise up a child according to the natural bent that he has. Every child is different. Every child is special. Every child is unique. Children do not come in standard packages. You have to read the label. God has a way for every child.
Don't see your child like a piece of marble or granite, and you have a hammer and a chisel and you're going to make out of that child what you want. That will be a great mistake. God had a plan for Moses. God has a plan for the children of Adrian and Joyce. And parents who are perceptive can see that special child. A teacher nor a pastor nor a Sunday school teacher nor a coach can see what God has given you the ability to see in your own special child. We sit under these electric lights. They are the invention of a brilliant man, a genius, Thomas Alva Edison. Did you know that when Edison was in school, his teacher said to his mother, "He is unteachable! He doesn't have enough intelligence to be in this class. I suggest that you take him out of school. He doesn't have it up here". The mother said, Thomas Alva Edison's mother said, "You don't understand my child. My child is not stupid. My child is brilliant! I'll teach him myself". And she did.
You see, parents can see sometimes what others cannot see. Here was a man that was absolutely brilliant. You need to see your child as special. I have a child who is in Spain as a missionary. When he was a little boy, tears come now to my eyes when I think of it, a little boy, sitting there, pouring over the maps of the world, thinking about faraway places. If I wanted to know how to get somewhere, I would say, "David, tell me, how do I get from here to there"? Why, that child not only knew the map, he knew the zip codes. I don't understand it. But God has used him to travel the world. I have another son who's a musician. He has his father's gift. Somebody got it!
You may not know this, but I have the ability to play the piano by ear a little bit. I can. I really can. I can hear melodies on the piano and pick it out, and I sat little Steve down and taught him as a four-year-old child some finger melodies, and immediately his mind went to that. Now he's a graduate of the University of Memphis with a degree in Commercial Music and is a songwriter with published hymns and songs, because that's the bent. These two children are different, but yet they have unique and special gifts. And so does your child. And you need to see your child as special. Amram and Jochebed saw this baby and they said, "He is special"! And when you look at your child, you can say, "Thank God for this bundle of potentiality that God has created," no matter what.
You say, "Well, our little child is a Down Syndrome child". Very special. These children have been used to bless God and bless the world in a very special way. Every child is special, a gift from God. Now here's the second thing. Not only were they, these parents champions because of faith's vision, what they saw, but faith's valor, what they were not afraid of. Look if you will again in Hebrews 11 verse 23, "By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child," now listen to this, "and they were not afraid of the king's commandment". Not afraid. This is their valor that they had. Now from an outward viewpoint, there was every earthly reason to be afraid. Put in your margin Exodus chapter 1 verse 22, "And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, 'Every son that is born shall ye cast into the river, and every daughter shall ye save alive.'"
Old Pharaoh, it said, drowned the little boy babies, and they knew the king's commandment. And yet, the Bible says, "They were not afraid". Why? How could this be? Because they understood the nature of the battle. They understood that they were not in a battle with some earthly king. They were really in a battle with the power behind his throne; that is, the dark, devilish power of Satan himself. The apostle Paul explained it over there in Ephesians chapter 6 and verse 12, when he says, "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world; against spiritual wickedness in high places". They knew that they were in a spiritual battle that went far beyond the physical governmental battle. In a strange way, that encouraged their faith because they knew that God has given us incredible power over all the power of the enemy.
Now these are dangerous days in which we live. I look at my children and my grandchildren and I wonder, what will the world be like 20 years from now if Jesus tarries? Do you ever wonder that? These are dangerous days. Well, that's a fulfillment of prophecy. Second Timothy chapter 3 verse 1, "This know, also, that in the last days perilous times shall come". We're living in perilous times. Let me just mention some ways. First of all, liberalism in the churches. You have to raise your children today, even in the United States of America, so-called God-blessed America, that is full of churches that do not stand on the authority of the Word of God and the absolute Lordship of the Lord Jesus Christ. A liberal church is empty, futile, and dangerous. And I'm amazed that sometimes people will send their children across the nation for an education and will not drive across town for a Bible-believing church.
Now that, my friend, is a tragedy. You say, "Well, our church used to be conservative and believe the Bible. I know it's changed now, but grandma's buried in the back yard". Well, grandma'd get up and leave if she could. You better get your children in a Bible-preaching, Bible-believing church. But not only do we have liberalism in churches. Then it's compounded by the humanism in the schools. Now what is humanism? Humanism is a philosophy that makes man the sum and the substance, the center and the circumference of all. It is not, "Our Father, which art in Heaven," but, "Our brothers upon the Earth, hallowed be our name". Humanism sounds so good because it sounds so much like humanitarianism. But all humanism is, is a camouflage name for atheism. The name has been changed to protect the guilty. The humanists do not believe in a personal God, a Deity, as we do. And modern education is based primarily upon this. Evolution is the chief building block in humanist education.
Now they say we cannot teach creation because that's teaching religion in the public schools. Well, humanism is anti-religion. It is a negative form of religion. It's an attempt to explain everything apart from God. And so, our children sit in school and they're taught this monkey mythology. If you believe that, you ought to know your kinfolks better than I do. And all of this is capped off by something called sex education. Sex education in public schools will never work unless it is conjoined and accompanied by strict, biblical, moral truth. Other than that, it's just a way of teaching young people how to practice sex without catching a disease or getting pregnant. That's basically what it is. And it is an implicit approval of immorality apart from a high moral standard. And then on top of that not only do we have, and by the way, I thank God for our public school teachers.
I have a son-in-law who's a public school teacher. He does a wonderful job. I thank God for our private schools, and all is not well in any private school. But I'm telling you that education in America today, as a whole, is based not on Bible truth, but on humanism. You've got liberalism in churches, you've got humanism in education, and then hedonism in society. Think, for example, about beverage alcohol. I tried to watch a little basketball, but I was wounded and grieved when I saw some of the advertisement that came on. Today, friend, even the advertisements are x-rated. And the beverage alcohol industry is spending millions of dollars advertising. They want to seduce your children, and they've done a good job, for 95% of college students drink beer according to the statistic that I've read.
Well, you say, "What's so wrong with drinking beer"? Out of all who begin to drink any kind of alcoholic beverages, 1 out of 5 will become an alcoholic. Some say 2 out of 5 will become alcoholics. The alcohol people have seduced your children. Now what can you do as a parent? What I'm trying to say is that in Moses' days, they were dangerous days; in our days these are dangerous days. These are days for faith. By the way, let me tell you something how to deal with your kids concerning this alcohol.
Number one; absolutely no beverage alcohol in your home, none, none! Number two; you be home and you be up when they get home at night and give them a big hug. Better so you can smell what's on their breath, that's what I'm talking about. And better that you'll lose some sleep than lose your child. Number three; you establish a non-drinking tradition in your family. When I'm in a restaurant and that waitress or waiter comes and says, "Would you like a cocktail, you like this"? especially if my young'uns are sitting around, my grandchildren, I just put a smile on my face and say, "No, thank you. We do not drink"! And say it boldly. Let them hear it. Don't just say, "No, thank you," like I might, but not, some other day. No. Just, "No, thank you"! And next; you need to take your children sometime on an excursion. It'd be worth it.
Take a Saturday night and take your child down to the emergency room and just hang around there and watch. Maybe they'll shoo you out after a while when they find you have no business there. Or maybe if you have someone that will let you do it, take them into the morgue. All they see are these beautiful ads, these college kids hoisting a foamy one and having a big time. Do you know what the Bible says? Proverbs 21 verse 11, "When the scorner is punished, the simple is made wise". Do you know what the word simple means? It means naive. That's what a teen is today, naive. The alcohol people are so clever. In the movies, in the films, alcohol is served 10 to 1 over any other beverage, 10 to 1!
Not only beverage alcohol, but we're up against the entertainment industry. What is modern entertainment based on today? Adultery, fornication, homosexuality. 88% of sexual encounters shown on television is illicit, immoral, 88%! You don't see a monogamous marriage, a happy marriage portrayed on television. No, it's always illicit sex! Think of it. Alcohol served 10 to 1, illicit sex, 88%! And the television is running constantly in our home, and so much of it is in the situational comedy. The devil knows if he can get you to laugh at sin, you cannot take it seriously again. MTV is ruining a generation. It is pornography set to music. Now I'm just using those things as a few examples. Liberalism in churches, humanism in schools, hedonism in society.
Now you think that Moses' parents lived in dangerous days? Look up here. I'm going tell you something. You are living in dangerous days! But here's the good thing. They were not afraid of the king's commandment. Now it takes a lot of faith today to say, "I'm going to raise children in these treacherous days". How are you going to do it? Well, simply only by faith. You cannot be dominated by a spirit of fear, and you cannot afford to be lazy. You cannot afford to be selfish. But don't you let the devil intimidate you, where you throw up your hands. To the contrary, say with the apostle Paul in Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me". Don't you feel that the king is so powerful and the battlefront is so vast that you just roll over and play dead. Pessimism is tragic.
Now listen. Why were these parents so great? Number one; faith's vision. They saw something for their child. Number two; faith's valor. They were not afraid. And the only way that you could not be afraid in today's society is faith. Number three, I want you to see something else. I want you to see faith's venture. Faith did something. Look again in Hebrews 11 verse 23, "By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw that he was a proper child, and they were not afraid of the king's commandment". Now true faith has corresponding action. Now I want you to notice their faith. It was not fatalism; it was faith. We have a lot of parents today who are living sort of lives of fatalism. They say, "Well, what will be will be," whether there were bees or not. "What will be, will be"?
And so they just sort of throw up their hands and say, "I'm going to let him choose for himself". You can't do that. If you have a garden and you leave it alone, it's going to turn to weeds. We have this humanistic psychology today that teaches your little child is a little rosebud, just let the rosebud unfold. He'll unfold or blacken your eye. That's fatalism. But it cannot be fanaticism. On the other hand, Amram and Jochebed could have taken little Moses down and thrown him in the river for the crocodiles, and say, "Well, if God wants to deliver him, God will deliver him". No. Real faith is not fatalism. It is not fanaticism. Real faith acts. It does something. Real faith is belief with legs on it. James tells us in James 2 verses 17 and 18, "Faith without works is dead". You going to raise your child in today's society? You better get to work!
Now they knew that they had to do something. They only had a few months, and they were only able to hide the baby so long. So they built a little ark out of bulrushes. They did as best they could do. Faith works. There's too much political correctness in today's society and not enough faith. Political correctness says, "Don't spank your child; that's child abuse". God says, Proverbs 22 verse 15, "Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child, but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him". Political correctness says, "Teach your daughter to use birth control pills". God says, "Teach your daughter character". Hebrews 13:4, "Marriage is honorable and the bed undefiled; but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge".
Political correctness says, "Government is the partner of the parent". God says in Psalm 127 verse 3, "Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord, and the fruit of the womb is His reward". Hillary Clinton said, "It takes a village to raise a child". May I submit, it takes a mom and dad to raise a child! And it takes a child and a family to make a village. And that's the only way we're going to have a right village. Political correctness says, "Let your child choose his own sexual preference". The Word of God says in Leviticus 18:22, "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind; it is abomination". Black print, white paper. Political correctness says, "Let your schools teach sex education". God's Word says in Proverbs 22:6, "Train up a child in the way that he should go, and when he's old he'll not depart from it".
If you want your children to be mighty for God, you're going to have to learn to train them. Jochebed trained Moses. God gave little Moses to her to train. And what does the word train mean? It doesn't mean merely to teach. The dictionary definition of train is this: to prepare for a contest, to instruct by exercise, to drill, to form to a proper shape, to discipline for use. Are you training your child? You say, "I'm teaching my child". No, are you training your child? I played the game of football. But you don't learn to play football by reading a book about football. It takes training. Have you ever watched a man train a dog for hunting? It's amazing.
I watch some daddies train their dogs, or have seen daddies who've trained their dogs, that don't train their children. And then they tie up the dog at night and let the kids run wild. To train. That means day after day after day. You see, if somebody teaches your child one thing, somebody else can come along and teach them something else. But when they're trained, that's a difference. You remember the story of a little boy who was riding his tricycle round and round the block. Somebody asked him, said, "What are you doing"? He said, "I'm running away from home. I'm mad at Mommy". "So, why are you going around the block"? He said, "Mommy won't let me cross the street". That's training.
Joyce was away, and I'm taking care of myself for a couple of days. That's awful. And I get out of bed and I say to myself, "Now nobody's going to be in the house. Why should I make up the bed"? "Nobody's going to be here. I'm going right back in the same bed, the same spot. Why should I make it up"? "Joyce would make it up". So I make it up. And then what do I do? I put two pillows on. Then what do I do? I get three more pillows and I put on there. And then what do I do? Another pillow on top of that. Why? And then on top of that a teddy bear. And I'm all by myself! I've been trained. We need to train our children. The point is that faith's vision and faith's valor turns to faith's venture; they did something! They did all that they could do. God gave them an ingenious plan. They made that little ark of bulrushes and put it there in the dirty Nile, and God goes to work.
Do you remember the story? It's the most amazing story. Here's the little baby Moses there in that basket. He was a basket case. He's in that basket, and along comes the princess, Pharaoh's daughter. And she's going to bathe in the Nile; now she's got marble tubs. Maybe she just remembers the old swimming hole when she's a little girl. She's going to bathe in the Nile. She goes down just to the one spot there in all of the Nile where there's the little baby Moses. And she sees him and she picks him up, and at that moment the baby cries. An angel just pinches the baby and the baby cries. Not a pin. This time it was an angel that tweaked that little baby, I believe.
The baby cries. Something happens in that Pharaoh's daughter's heart and she's moved with compassion. She said, "This is one of the Hebrew's children". And about that time, Moses' sister, standing by, says, "Look, if you need somebody to take care of this baby, I know a lady who'd like to do it. She'll take care of the baby for you". Princess says, "Well, you go fetch her". Miriam goes off and gets Moses' very own mother. And Pharaoh's daughter said, "Take care of this child for me". "Well," she said, "let me think about it". No. She takes this baby and raises this baby. It wasn't that the baby lived with Pharaoh's daughter. The baby lived with Jochebed. For how long we don't know; perhaps till he was a virile young man. And he's brought back to Pharaoh's daughter and she presents him there.
But day after day after day and night after night after night she's been teaching and training and praying and pleading and putting the Word of God in the heart of this baby boy. Can you see the hand of God in all of that? Now what is the point? What is Faith's Venture? You do what you can do and God'll do what He can do. You roll away the stone; God'll take Lazarus out of the grave. You provide the few fish and loaves, and God'll feed the multitudes. They did it by faith. They did it by faith. It is a spiritual battle. Last of all, and I must close. The fourth thing that I'm so glad to tell you about is faith's victory, faith's victory.
Look in Hebrews 11 verses 24 to 27, "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," oh, what she must have taught him. "Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he had respect unto the recompense of reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing Him who is invisible".
Now, folks that was a victory. This boy is heir to the throne. This boy is supposed to be the king of the mightiest nation on Earth. He had possessions, position, pleasure, all that an oriental court could bring. He refused it all. He refused it all. He said, "I choose affliction, I choose reproach, but with it I choose Jesus". He looked this way and saw where it would end, and he looked this way and saw where it would end. He said, "I'm going that way".
Now let me tell you something about your life. Your life, your child's life is a combination of the choices that he will make. That's it. So you have to teach him how to choose. Life is just a combination of the choices. We're free to choose. We're not free not to choose. We must choose something. And we're not free to choose the consequences of our choice. Moses chose. Now why did Moses choose? Very quickly listen to me. First of all, there was an estimation. He esteemed the riches of Christ greater treasure than the treasures of Egypt. He had been doing some figuring. This word esteemed is a bookkeeping term. He's doing an analysis. He is saying, "This is this, and this is this". And he's looking at values.
Do your children have any values? Have you taught them values? Have you taught them who Jesus is? How do you think they're going to give up the world if they don't understand what they have in Jesus? Moses understood the riches of Christ and he's making an estimation. After he evaluates, then he discriminates. Is discrimination a good thing? You better believe it is. We're told not to discriminate. Friend, don't discriminate against people, but you'd better discriminate against right and wrong. You know, we're taught today that tolerance is a chief virtue, that we're supposed to be tolerant of Egypt and all of its vices. No! That kind of tolerance is of Hell.
Children have to be able to discriminate, but your children are not going to discriminate between right and wrong until their values are set. They have to see the riches in Christ. If they don't see that, then it's six of one, half a dozen of another. Watch this. Values are set. Discrimination follows. And then, Egypt is refused. Egypt is refused. He refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, an absolute refusal. Are you asking your child to give up pornography, to give up alcohol? Are you asking your child to give up sleeping around, and you've not shown him the beauty of Jesus, you've not given him the tools to discriminate with? He's not going to give it up. You try to take a bone away from a dog, you'll get bit. But if you'll put a piece of steak on the ground, he'll drop the bone to get the steak.
Moses said, "I don't want Pharaoh's nasty bone; I've got something better, the riches of Jesus Christ". Don't you think Amram and Jochebed did a good job? They're people of faith. Faith's vision: they saw he was a proper child. Faith's valor: they're not afraid of the king. Faith's venture: they did what they could do. And Faith's victory: God gave them a child that changed this old world. God, give us more people of faith. And may God help you to be a man, a woman of faith to raise your child.
Would you bow your heads in prayer? Heads are bowed and eyes are closed. If you're not certain that you're saved, would you like to be saved, would you? Would you like to know that you really do have life? Jesus said, "I've come that you might have life". Could I lead you in a prayer? We'll call this prayer the sinner's prayer. And you can pray and accept Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. You can do it right now. Would you pray this prayer?
Dear God, I know that You love me. Thank You for loving me. And I know that You want to save me. Jesus, You died to save me and You promised to save me if I would trust You. Jesus, I do trust You. I believe You're the Son of God. I believe you paid for my sin with Your blood on the cross. I believe that God raised You from the dead. And now I receive You as my Lord and Savior. Forgive my sin. Cleanse me. Come into my life. Take control of my life and begin today to make me the person You want me to be. And Jesus, give me the courage to make it public. Help me never to be ashamed of You. In Your name I pray, Amen.