Obey or Die
by Judy Webb
“At a lodging place on the way, the Lord met Moses and was about to kill him.” (Exodus 4:24)
Woah! Where did that come from? After reading it, I just wanted to ignore the words and find a different passage to explore, but I couldn’t. This was just way too enticing. Many commentaries agree that this verse is puzzling and difficult to understand. God just gave a huge mission to Moses, one that must be his true calling and the reason he did not perish as an infant, and now God was going to kill him?
Trying not to read anything into this verse that isn’t true, but researching this section of Exodus, we realize the enormity of Moses’ calling, and the end results if Moses wasn’t totally obedient. His calling was about more than freeing the Israelites from slavery and severe bondage. It was mostly about fulfilling God’s promise to Abraham. Promises to provide for and protect His people.
No wonder Moses was hedging, trying to beg out of this assignment claiming he wasn’t right for the job; alleging his inability to speak and communicate to the people. But God had already provided for this; He called Aaron, Moses’ brother, to meet up with him and do the talking for him. But let’s get back to verse 24 for a bit. It seems that Moses never had his son circumcised, and it is this disobedience that found Moses in trouble. This could jeopardize the entire mission. The only way this man, called by God to rescue the people, could succeed, was by total obedience to God’s commands.
Now, with that detail out of the way, Moses and Aaron traveled back to Egypt and gathered the elders of Israel’s people and explained what God planned to do for them. “When they heard that the Lord was concerned about them and had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshiped.” (Exodus 4:31)
Thank you for caring for every detail of our lives. Thank you for loving us even when we are unlovable. Continue to teach us obedience and how Your love and grace demand no less. Amen.