The Faith of Moses' Parents
Hebrews 11:23
By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child…

I. WHAT IS COMMENDED. "Faith." Natural affections sanctified are subservient and useful to faith; grace cloth not abolish nature, but perfect it. We are to obey God against our natural affections; as by faith Abraham offered his son Isaac; nature was against it. And we are to obey God with natural affection: by faith Moses was hid of his parents; there nature was for it. Many times God's interests and ours are twisted together, and then nature is allowed to work, but grace must bear sway; sometimes they are severed, and then we must leave nature to keep company with God. Use

1. It informeth us, that to strengthen faith we may and must take in the help of nature; it is God's allowance, that we may be carried out more cheerfully in the work of God (Philemon 1:16).

2. That their wickedness is very great that sin against nature.

3. In all these mixed actions look to your principles, what beareth sway and worketh most — faith or natural affection. But wherein lay the faith of this action? Chiefly in overcoming fear, in trusting God's protection for the preservation of the child; and possibly there might be something of a public regard and consideration, in believing the future deliverance of the Church and people of God out of Egypt.

II. WHO ARE COMMENDED. "His parents." Husband and wife should go hand in hand to the throne of grace, and join together in every good thing; they should agree together in the worship of God, and promoting the good of their children. When the will of the wife and the will of the husband fall in, like the tenon and the mortise, the building goes on; but when one draws one way, and another the other way, like untamed heifers in the yoke, all cometh to ruin.


1. The action, where —

(1)  The time — "When he was born."

(2)  The action itself — "He was hid."

(3)  The duration — "Three months."

2. I come now to the considerations on which it was done.

(1) The external impulsive cause — "Because they saw he was a proper child," ἀστεῖον, comely, and fair (Acts 7:20). Beauty is not always a sure sign of excellency — there is no trust to the brow; but they saw special lineaments of majesty, and of a heroical disposition in his countenance, which, being accompanied with some secret instinct, moved them to think that God had designed him to some eminent work, probably to the deliverance of his people.

(2) The internal moving cause — "And they not afraid of the king's commandment," that bloody law of destroying their children. Here are three points —

(a)  Princes must not be obeyed in things contrary to the Word of God.

(b)  The commands of kings and princes have been a usual trial of God's children, as Nebuchadnezzar's command was to fall down and worship the golden image.Use: This should draw us off from men. To this end consider —

1. We are bound to God more than to men.

2. None can reward us as God can.

3. None can punish our disobedience as God can (Matthew 10:28).

4. We live longer with God than we do with men; therefore if a man would study to please, he should rather please God than men. God is eternal, man is but mortal (Isaiah 51:12).

5. God can make others our friends (Proverbs 16:7).

6. They that please men shall have enough of it (Hosea 5:12).

(c) In such cases carnal fear doth betray us, and faith carries us through (Isaiah 8:12, 13).

(T. Manton, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: 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.

WEB: By faith, Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw that he was a beautiful child, and they were not afraid of the king's commandment.

The Childhood of Moses
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