Recently, a fascinating detail of Moses’s biography captured my interest. To refresh your memory, Moses was a Hebrew, who was miraculously saved as a baby by an edict of death from Pharaoh. Pharaoh’s own daughter pulled Moses from the water and raised him in the royal court. Moses ultimately choose to leave his plush lifestyle among the Egyptian elite in order to connect with, and ultimately liberate, his people. Afterwards, Moses shepherded the Hebrews in the desert for 40 years during the formative years of their history as a nation. Today, Moses is lionized as a great prophet in Islam, Judaism, and Christianity.
The Integrity Of Moses
The New Testament author of Hebrews had this to say about the life of Moses.
By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward. By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible. By faith he kept the Passover and sprinkled the blood, so that the Destroyer of the firstborn might not touch them.Hebrews 11:24-28
Unlike most people, Moses purposefully resisted the flow of his life when he determined that it was contrary to what was right. Moses was a man of character. As a result, Moses accomplished great exploits and has been remembered by history accordingly. Moses sacrificed short-term pleasure and comfort for long-term joy and glory, which he was promised to him both in this life and in the hereafter.
One application of Moses’s life that stood out to me relates to sexual integrity. Our culture constantly bombards us with the notion that we need a regular sexual outlet in every stage of life. Our culture constantly bombards us with the notion that our desires exist only to be indulged in the moment. I’ve already dissected the fatal flaws in this thinking in many places (e.g. What To Do About My Strong Sexual Urge [Porn Reboot]). I’ve talked about the possibilities of semen retention / sexual transmutation for non-married people in order to advance goals in other areas of life. I’ve also reiterated the Biblical wisdom that a life of obedience is a life of blessing. There is nothing that we give up for God that he doesn’t give back to us with exponential interest.
Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.Mark 10:29-31
These truths aside, there are times in life when we have to sacrifice something in the short-term for something greater in the long-term. If you are single and reading this, maybe you want to be in a relationship. Maybe you want to have sex. However, the time is not right to pursue marriage because you are not ready for it, or have not been able to find a suitable partner. Today, instead of choosing sin, let’s follow the example of Moses and Christ. It is a beautiful thing when the right thing to do is also the thing most conducive to our long-term happiness.
What empowered Moses and Christ to endure hardship in the will of God? From the passage above, “He [Moses] considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward.” In other words, Moses had his eyes on the prize. He was thinking of the greater glory that he would experience for following God.
Similarly, the author of Hebrews said this in reference to Christ:
Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.Hebrews 12
In the Christian faith, there is a reward for every hardship people suffer in the will of God, even when the hardship of disobedience is greater. In other words, God rigged the system such that those who do his will are always better off in the long run. In addition to that, those who are loyal to God receive the privilege of knowing God, beginning today in this life, and culminating in the hereafter.
For more, see the complete archive of articles on integrity.