2017-12-24 - Trust and Obey for There Is NO Other Way
Exodus 5:1-6:12 Recap
Because we have been covering so much material I thought a little recap would be helpful here. God has started Moses on his way back to Egypt, to lead the people from their bondage and to the land of Canaan. Moses, because of his own fears, has caused God to place Aaron in the role of spokesman for His message. God would instruct Moses and Moses, Aaron. Often the Lord will give us what we desire, but this often means we lose the best part, the blessings the Lord has for us. We should let him set the way, and simply follow.
On the road to Egypt we see one of the stranger incidents in Scripture. God prepared to take Moses’ life. This man, who was to be the leader of the people, had not followed God’s most basic requirement, the circumcision of his son. Zipporah, Moses’ wife carried out the act. But her anger at this may have led her to leave with the children. So she returned to her father.
Walton and Matthews see this passage a bit differently. Their position is:
“The text has told us that there was no one in Egypt seeking to kill Moses (v. 19), but Moses still stood guilty of bloodshed before God. Later, cities of refuge were established to provide shelter for someone who felt there were mitigating circumstances in a homicide, but Moses had sought refuge in Midian. By leaving his place of refuge, Moses became vulnerable to being called to account for his crime. Others in the Old Testament whom the Lord called on to go somewhere but then accosted on the way include Jacob (Gen 319-32) and Balaam (Num 22). In each instance God did indeed want the individual to make the journey but had an issue to settle before he could proceed.” 2
The authors see the circumcision as expiation for Moses from his crime of murder.
“One recent study has plausibly suggested that circumcision in many cultures was done by the man’s in-laws and extended the protection of the family over the man and his children. If such was the Midianite practice, this could serve as an extension of the refuge that Moses had in Midian. From the Israelite side, the dabbing of the blood is seen also in the Passover ritual (12:7) and offers protection from the slaughtering angel.(12:44-48). Zipporah’s comment that Moses was a bridegroom of bloodshed would indicate both his need for protection by the family and his need for expiating blood.” 3
I present this to show that when dealing with more obscure passages, commentators can come to different conclusions. But it seems the best understanding is the simplest one. Moses hadn’t circumcised his son, ignoring the covenantal requirement. So how could he lead God’s covenantal people? Remember, the point is we’re called to obedience in all things.
“And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked” (1 John 2:3–6 ESV).
Next, we see the reunion of Moses and Aaron. Moses shared all God had told him. He demonstrated the signs. Then they went to the elders, sharing everything with them, telling them of God’s love and His intent to free them for their bondage. This was keeping with His promises to their fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. All the people responded with love for God, worship, and praise. Their hope was in the knowledge that the Lord hadn’t forgotten them, and He was preparing for their release.
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