“Exposing the Exodus”
The Danger of Rebellion – (Chapter 4 Verses 18-31)
Moses wife Zipporah, she operates (v25). In doing so she signifies her rebellious attitude, she won’t allow her husband Moses to touch the child. There is certainly an awful bitterness in the woman. It’s not just the question of her submission to God’s requirement, and not just to her husband, but to God himself. Is perhaps her anger and resentment to God and to her own father, for agreeing to the whole missionary enterprise? All this may have been a shock to Moses. As many of God’s servants have found down through the years, that their own wives are not really sympathetic toward the cause of the Lord. That the spiritual commitment to God’s service isn’t really there. Perhaps Zipporah only complied in order to keep her husband. It all must have been a great sadness to Moses, realising that in the work he has been called to his own wife is going to be a hindrance, rather than a help. Did her unbelief keep surfacing, is that why the rebels were complaining (Numbers 12:1)? Is this why eventually she has to sent away (Exodus 18:2)? Did the thought of conversion repulse her, is that why she walked? This is reality, it happens, we are told to expect it (Matthew 10:34).
But God had called Moses, God had commissioned him and he was going to do God’s will whatever the cost. We know it is the Lord’s work, but there is a human side, and we must not forget this. It hurts, it’s sore, it’s disappointing. There is a cost, many will not pay it. The danger from the Lord is averted, but only by obedience (26). By Moses insisting that the ritual be carried out. Moses himself has to uphold the demands of the covenant, so there has to be nothing against him. The bringer of the message must himself obey the message. In this act of obedience Moses shows that the Lord rules over him in his areas of responsibility. His wife’s negative influence is counteracted by God. Again, we reiterate that this was no small issue, that children did not bear the sign, the mark of the covenant was an indication of decline, apostasy and transgression (Genesis 17:14). Moses is only let go when obedience occurs. It is the obedience of faith that placates the divine anger. The centre of God’s concern is for Moses, his own child and servant, the Lord wants him to be obedient. The fact Gershom his son walks away with his mother later is of no consequence. So you say why circumcise, baptise then? Obedience, God commands it. Read these verses again and tell me disobedience is not dangerous.
(© James R Hamilton, written Spring, 2015)