“By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharoah’s daughter.” - Hebrews 11:24
Last Monday I took my family to see a movie I’d been wanting to see for a while: “Harriet.” The film tells the life story of Harriet Tubman, the most famous leader of the underground railroad in the years leading up to the Civil War. Harriet Tubman was born into slavery in rural
in the 1820s. By the age of 25, she made up her mind to escape slavery by
fleeing to Maryland .
Her brothers were too scared to run away with her. So, with God’s help she did
the impossible. Even though she was just five feet tall and had never traveled
more than a few miles from her home, in 1849 she ran, walked and crawled her
way to Pennsylvania… 100 miles away. Pennsylvania
Harriet felt like she was in heaven. As she crossed the
state line, she said that the
sun looked like gold coming through the trees. But once she was free, she was
still restless. She said she felt like “a stranger in a strange land.” Her
parents, her brothers, and friends were still slaves in Pennsylvania . So, with very little support, she
took the dangerous journey back to Maryland
to rescue her family. Between 1850 and 1860, Harriet Tubman returned to Maryland 13 times &
helped around 70 African Americans escape slavery—including four of her
brothers, her parents and a niece. And during the Civil War she led a battalion
of soldiers that secured the freedom of an additional 750 men, women and
Harriet Tubman was, without a doubt, an American hero. And as the film depicts so well: She was a strong believer and follower of Jesus Christ. She had a very deep faith in God, and she trusted Him to guide her steps and give her the courage to obediently do what He called her to do. And God never let her down.
One of the heroes of our faith who inspired Harriet Tubman to lead hundreds of slaves to freedom was Moses, who led his own people out of slavery. But first he had to undergo three milestones of faith, which are outlined in Hebrews 11.
Faith Milestone #1: By faith, Moses REFUSED to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. For the first 40 years of his life, Moses had it made in the shade. He was adopted by the princess of
Egypt. He was
raised in the palace and lived the life of king. But as we read in verse 24,
Moses in faith accepted the truth—that his true identity was that of a
God-worshiping Hebrew slave, not as a Pharaoh-worshiping prince of Egypt. So, at the age of 40, Moses said, “Enough!” He
refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.
Faith Milestone #2: By faith, Moses endured REJECTION by the people of
Egypt. When Moses refused to be known as
the prince of Egypt, it didn’t go over so
well. He “chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to
enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time” (vs. 25). Moses chose to identify
with God’s people, the Jews, who Moses knew would one day give birth to the
Faith Milestone #3: Moses received the REWARD of faith. As a reward for his obedience to God, Moses’ firstborn son wasn’t killed on the night of the Passover. And as a reward for his faithful obedience to God, Moses and his people were delivered through the
And we know also that as a reward for his faithful obedience to God, Moses
received a great reward in heaven.
Like Moses, Harriet Tubman didn’t allow the sinful culture around her to define who she was. For the first 25 years of her life, Harriet was told over and over again that she was someone’s property, just like a “pig.” And she was called the “n” word on a daily basis. She was told these things thousands of times, but she refused to believe it. She refused to accept it. She knew that she was a precious child of God, and she believed in her heart—like Moses—that God created her and her people to be free.
Let’s take our lesson from these two heroes of the faith. When the world around them tried to force them into its mold, they refused to be conformed to the pattern of this world. When the sinful culture around them tried to tell them what their identity was, they rejected that culture’s labels. Their identity was in Christ. And ours should be as well.
So, if Jesus Christ is your Savior and Lord, you are not who the world says you are. Forget about society’s labels. You are not a “white, heterosexual male” or a “black, Democratic female” or a “Hispanic, divorced Baby Boomer.” If Jesus Christ is your Savior and Lord, your identity is not grounded in the temporary, shallow things of earth. Your true identity is found in Christ. You are a child of God; you are a follower of Jesus Christ. And you are a loved member of a forever family. So, if someone asks, tell them: That’s who you are!
Dane Davis is the Pastor of Impact Christian Church. Join us for our Worship Service Sundays at 10 a.m. at the new Dr. Ralph Baker School in Victorville. For more information, visit www.GreaterImpact.cc.