On the morning my husband and I left to celebrate our honeymoon, we had a miscommunication about who was responsible for the plane tickets. Fifteen minutes into our drive to the airport, we realized neither of us had grabbed them. Knowing our trip depended on our tickets, we had to turn back. We barely had enough time to catch our flight, but our honeymoon was saved.
When you leave for a big trip, you have to have your documentation in order. In a similar way, God wasn’t about to let Moses go to Egypt without completing the requirements of a Jew under God’s covenants. Only then could God’s people follow Moses..
- On your journey with God, is your documentation in order?
READ THE WORD: EXODUS 4:18-31 (ESV)
18 Moses went back to Jethro his father-in-law and said to him, “Please let me go back to my brothers in Egypt to see whether they are still alive.” And Jethro said to Moses, “Go in peace.” 19 And the Lord said to Moses in Midian, “Go back to Egypt, for all the men who were seeking your life are dead.” 20 So Moses took his wife and his sons and had them ride on a donkey, and went back to the land of Egypt. And Moses took the staff of God in his hand.
21 And the Lord said to Moses, “When you go back to Egypt, see that you do before Pharaoh all the miracles that I have put in your power. But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go. 22 Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the Lord, Israel is my firstborn son, 23 and I say to you, “Let my son go that he may serve me.” If you refuse to let him go, behold, I will kill your firstborn son.’”
24 At a lodging place on the way the Lord met him and sought to put him to death. 25 Then Zipporah took a flint and cut off her son’s foreskin and touched Moses’ feet with it and said, “Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me!” 26 So he let him alone. It was then that she said, “A bridegroom of blood,” because of the circumcision.
27 The Lord said to Aaron, “Go into the wilderness to meet Moses.” So he went and met him at the mountain of God and kissed him. 28 And Moses told Aaron all the words of the Lord with which he had sent him to speak, and all the signs that he had commanded him to do. 29 Then Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the people of Israel. 30 Aaron spoke all the words that the Lord had spoken to Moses and did the signs in the sight of the people. 31 And the people believed; and when they heard that the Lord had visited the people of Israel and that he had seen their affliction, they bowed their heads and worshiped.
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- Armed with the staff of God in his hands (vs. 20), Moses readied himself and his family to follow God’s command to go to Israel. But, he had neglected the covenant ordinance of circumcision for his son. What did Zipporah, Moses’ wife, do to intervene on his behalf to make things right with God (vss. 24-26)?
- God had already chosen Moses for this mission, so why was it so important that God stop Moses at this juncture and nearly end his life over this matter? What do we learn about God from this?
- Now that the matter was right before God, how did God lead the people of Israel to respond to Moses’ message in verse 31?
- Under the New Testament faith we live in, how does this story relate back to us? What might you need to do today to make matters right before God so that his message can speak loudly through your life?
RESPOND TO GOD
This passage has been a source for debate throughout the ages, but one thing is clear: when traveling on mission with God, he makes the rules about what a successful trip will look like. For Moses, he needed to be obedient to circumcise his son according to the Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 17:10). For us today under the New Covenant, our journey with God begins in the death and resurrection of his son, Jesus. He is our ticket, so to speak. Have you placed your faith in Jesus Christ, believing that he is the only way to be right before God?
- Thank God that he provided Jesus so that you can journey with him here on earth and eventually arrive at your final destination in heaven.
- Ask God to help you get spiritual matters in order so that your life can lead others to Jesus.