Exodus Chapter 4 Verse 18
:18 “And Moses went and returned to Jethro his father in law, and said unto him, Let me go, I pray thee, and return unto my brethren which are in Egypt, and see whether they be yet alive. And Jethro said to Moses, Go in peace.”
Sometimes what we don’t say can be revealing. Moses got permission from Jethro his father in law to return unto Egypt. While that was proper to do so, yet the reason Moses gave was not the real reason he was returning to Egypt. Moses said that he wanted to go and see whether his brethren were yet alive. Moses knew from what God had told him that his brethren were yet alive. Yet
Moses hid from Jethro his real reason for returning to Egypt and lied to him about it. Why Moses chose not to tell Jethro the real reason for his return to Egypt and then lied about it is just speculation. There really was no legitimate reason for Moses to hide his purpose and then lie about it.
God’s people are not perfect, just like Moses was not perfect. Sin works in us to do things that we should not do and we have to ever be diligent to mortify the deeds of the flesh if we are to live lives that are pleasing unto God.
:19 “And the LORD said unto Moses in Midian, Go, return into Egypt: for all the men are dead which sought thy life. 20 And Moses took his wife and his sons, and set them upon an ass, and he returned to the land of Egypt: and Moses took the rod of God in his hand. 21 And the LORD said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see
that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go. 22 And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn: 23 And I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn. 24 And it came to pass by the
way in the inn, that the LORD met him, and sought to kill him. 25 Then Zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet, and said, Surely a bloody husband art thou to me. 26 So he let him go: then she said, A bloody husband thou art, because of the circumcision.”
“And the LORD said unto Moses in Midian, Go, return into Egypt: for all the men are dead which sought thy life.” The Lord continued to assure Moses that things would be all right when he went to Egypt. Naturally, one of the chief concerns a man would have in Moses circumstance is that the authorities that had sought his life would still be around
and still seek to kill him. The Lord assured him that all the men who sought his life were dead and therefore he had no need to fear that there were those in Egypt still seeking to kill him.
“And the LORD said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go. And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn: And I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve
me: and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn.” Here the Lord set the stage for Moses return unto Egypt and what he was to say to Pharaoh. There are several salient points in the above:
1. Moses was do all the wonders which God had put in his hands. Moses did not get to pick and choose what he wanted to do or say. As a servant of the Lord the servant does not set the agenda and do things his way, but God sets our agenda and we are to do things God’s way.
2. God told Moses that God would harden Pharaoh’s heart that he would not let the people go. Some have wondered how that God hardened the heart of Pharaoh. When heat is applied to clay it will harden. When heat is applied to wax it will melt. The unregenerate have hearts like clay. When the heat of God’s judgment is applied to the heart of the unregenerate it
hardens. Born again children of God (regenerate) have hearts like wax. When the heat of God’s judgment is applied to the heart of the regenerate it melts. When God pronounced his judgments upon Pharaoh and upon Egypt, Pharaoh’s heart was hardened and he refused to let the children of Israel go.
Moreover, Moses apparently was not listening to what God said because he was very disappointed the first couple of times when Pharaoh refused to let the children of Israel go.
3. God called Israel his son and his firstborn. A first born son inherits a double portion and eventually becomes the head of the family. For instance, Christ is said to be the firstborn among many brethren: Rom. 8:29 “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.”
Being a son of God makes one a member of God’s family and brings one under the protective care of God and permits one to eat at God’s table. Moreover, the father will seek to deliver his son from whatever befalls him.
4. Part of Moses message to Pharaoh is that God said let his son go that he may serve him. God also gave Pharaoh the consequences of failing to take heed and that is that his firstborn would be slain by God. There are consequences, even to the unregenerate for failing to do what God commands. God plainly told Pharaoh the consequences.
“And it came to pass by the way in the inn, that the LORD met him, and sought to kill him. Then Zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet, and said, Surely a bloody husband art thou to me. So he let him go: then she said, A bloody husband thou art, because of the circumcision.” There are a couple of
questions raised in the above passages:
1. Who was the Lord seeking to kill? Was is Moses or was it Moses’ son? I am convinced that it was Moses’ son that God sought to kill.
2. The second question is why did God seek to kill him? The answer is that God had commanded Abraham and his seed to keep the covenant of circumcision. Those who failed to keep the covenant would be cut off from the people. Moses would have been circumcised when he was eight days old. This was before Moses became the adopted son of Pharaoh’s daughter. However,
Gershom, his son, had not been circumcised according to the commandment of God. It was necessary that Gershom be circumcised or he would die at the hands of God. Zipporah, Moses wife, apparently was not on board with the covenant of circumcision, but complied to circumcise her son to save his life. She showed her displeasure by casting the foreskin of her son at the feet of Moses and saying,
“Surely a bloody husband art thou to me.”