Thursday, August 22, 2013

Such an Interesting Verse

Consider, for a moment, Hebrews 11:23 - a most interesting verse, and one that I'm sad I haven't heard quoted more often.  Here is how I have translated it.

"By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they thought the child was beautiful and were not afraid of the King's decree."

 Now, consider this for a moment.  This has impact upon our discussion of infant baptism.  Who hides Moses?  Is it an action he decides for himself?  No.  His parents hide him... but note how the verbs go.  By faith Moses was hidden.  That faith - that's described as Moses' faith... it is not "by faith Moses' parents hid their child" -- it could have been.  But this part of Hebrews is telling the story of Moses and his faith... and it all starts with Moses being passive.  Of course, just a few verses before we see Abraham as good as dead... in fact, you actually have Hebrews playing off of the fact that Abel is dead.

I just wonder why this isn't brought up in discussions of infant baptisms.  Hidden to give life... just as the Word and power of God is given (and Hidden) under something as mundane as water.

And then there is the second part.  Moses' parents find him beautiful, even though this could bring them very serious problems.

In all the contraception arguments that have gone on here, why hasn't this verse been pushed?

I mean, this is a positive example of the joys and blessings of child-bearing, even in the face of dire and harsh consequences.  Even the slaves who might be punished by Pharaoh know that having a child is a wonderful thing - even when society has already condemned that child to death.

Of course, I wonder if the reason why this isn't point to is that so often folks are less focused on encouraging folks and pointing to faith, but rather want to discuss the whole topic from the stand point of law... instead of saying, "Children are good" and simply standing there, reiterating this, trumpeting it over and over the old Adam kicks in and wants to use the law to twist and coerce - even when there is no clear law given.

It's just sad - I think rhetorically and spiritually Hebrews 11:23, and even the story of Moses' birth as a whole, does more to fight against the cultural disdain of kids than any amount of extra-scriptural finger wagging could do.

Of course, Hebrews 11:23 talks about things working by faith... and if you are trying to pound the Law, you aren't really trusting God to work by faith, now are you?

Just some interesting thoughts while prepping for Bible study today.


Philippe said...

very interesting!

Steve Martin said...

I hadn't thought about that verse in that way.

But you are right! ( I believe )