Why We Should Choose Eternal Wealth Over Worldly Riches

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The contrast between the splendor of life in the court of Pharaoh and the squalor of life among the rank and filth of Egyptians in Moses' day was very apparent. There were many drastic differences present in the two completely opposite lifestyles. The Great Pyramid of Giza and many signs of extravagant life predated Moses' arrival by 900 years and were a significant part of the grandeur of Egyptian culture during his time. Many similarities can be drawn between this period and what our world looks like today.

Moses could have grown quite accustomed to the beauty of the marble-clad buildings and fountains that he had the privilege to walk among. Regardless of the abundant life he was presented with, it didn't compare to the wealth of the reproach of the Messiah. So he left Egypt.

I can't help but think how wonderful a life surrounded by the grandeur and the finest elements of a lavish lifestyle would be. But even more so, I am led to consider why would someone choose to leave it all behind and for what cost? How does one who was presented with the best life has to offer dismiss it all for a life of inevitable poverty? How does one who is surrounded by luxury and ease choose to live an impoverished, difficult life?

Why would someone with access to wealth, education and status choose to live among the poor and illiterate as a shepherd? How does one who has the opportunity to tangibly experience the reality of a rich life turn it down for the presumed wealth of a Messiah who is prophesied to not arrive for another 1600 years?

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The answer to all of these questions is simple—because of faith.

Moses knew that staying in the tangible abundance of Egypt would result in failure but pursuing a life of poverty and anonymity as a Sinai shepherd would, consequently, bring him eternal wealth. He knew that faith in the Messiah was more important than anything this world would offer. It was in the splendor of Egypt that he learned to discourse with kings but it was in the desert that he saw God's burning bramble and became attuned to hear the voice that guided his future. In the power of Egypt's seat of government, he learned how to build the great cities of ancient civilization but it was in the wilderness of Sinai that he saw the Messiah's government in New Jerusalem. At Pharaoh's table, he understood the abundance of Egypt but it was at the meal before the Sea of Glass that he met the Giver of Life and Life Abundant.

Because of his great faith, Moses saw the Messiah 1600 years before He came to earth and made the bold decision to leave the privilege and multitudes of Egypt for days marked with suffering the indignity and deprivation in the deserts of Sinai.

Today, we are faced with choices just like Moses was. Since the fall, we've lived in constant imperfection and will continually be faced with temptation and idols. We must decide if we live like kings in the new Egypt of our day or if we reject this transient comfort and pursue a life of servitude that reaps eternal reward. In reality, it boils down to the question of choosing riches now or later. Will we be patient like Moses and understand the benefit of waiting and investing in faith or will the shiny objects and life of comfort captivate us?

Moses' faith was so amazing in part because he possessed it 1600 years before Jesus' exemplary life. Two thousand years later, we have the advantage of witnessing the story unfold in hindsight. We can see clearly that Jesus lived a life of poverty, destitution and obscurity. The example of Christ that we have detailed in the Bible gives us reason and instruction to live a life marked by things above. We can read the very words of Jesus when He says, "Don't worry about tomorrow, what you will eat, what you will wear" (Matt. 6:25) and, "Don't store up treasures on earth where moths and rust destroy but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven" (Matt. 6:19-20).

It is not an easy decision to make by any means and, in fact, it's something we have to remind ourselves of daily. I don't think anyone truly desires a difficult life but when we know that we are pursuing God's calling for our lives and clearly following His will, we are able to bring eternal glory and purpose to further His name; and it all becomes worth it. My wife and I made that choice and I can honestly say that I have never experienced such joy as I now have living a transient life with meager possessions. Our previous, affluent lifestyle pales in comparison. [Dr. Vanderpool sold all he owns and moved his whole family to Haiti to serve and establish their organization.]

We all must choose. What will your decision be?

Dr. David Vanderpool is the chief executive officer of LiveBeyond. LiveBeyond is a faith-based humanitarian organization bringing medical and maternal health care, clean water, education, community development and the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the oppressed in Thomazeau, Haiti. LiveBeyond purchased 63 acres in this region outside of Port-au-Prince. The LiveBeyond compound consists of the Hamilton Guest House, a medical clinic, worship center and a school.

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