Exodus 4:1 “But suppose…”
Still in the conversation between God and Moses. And Moses is making more excuses. Can’t be too hard on him. I’d be asking the same questions. But what if. Always afraid of the unknown and trying to figure things out before they get here. Shows lack of trust and is a bad habit. Trying to break it.
4 “…take it by the tail…”
Kudos to Moses for this. You normally wouldn’t grab a snake by the tail. They can turn and bite you. He at least trusted God enough to do what He said.
9 “…water which you take from the river will become blood…”
Three signs. Rod into a snake and back, flesh turning leprous and back, and Nile water into blood. Probably some significance to the particular signs. One commentary suggested it, but didn’t expound much. I’m thinking the rod and leprosy showed God’s power over man’s condition and his world. He could affect a man and anything the man had or used. The Hebrews were living in Goshen in southern Egypt. They could see the fertility caused by the overflowing of the Nile river before it empties into the Mediterranean. God showed He had control over that also. And it would be a good sign to use with the Egyptians.
12 “…I will be with your mouth…”
Moses’s first excuses were aimed at God. Who are You, how can I prove who You are. Now he points at himself and tries to say he isn’t good enough. God overrules and promises to take care of any inadequacies Moses has. God has all sides covered.
13 “…please send by the hand of whomever else You may send”
This is a dangerous statement. No excuse or attempt at a reason. He’s just plainly saying he doesn’t want to go, and God should find someone else. Flat out rebellion. And God doesn’t like it.
14 “…I know that he can speak well…”
God gets angry with him, but doesn’t let him off the hook. He brings in Moses’s brother Aaron as an additional mouthpiece. Someone said recently this was a mistake on Moses’s part because he didn’t believe God. Had he done what God said, God would have helped him with his speech, and Aaron wouldn’t have been so involved as to be a hindrance. We lose the chance at all the blessings of God when we don’t trust and obey Him.
18 “…his father-in-law…”
Same Hebrew word as in 3:1, so I’m assuming the same rules apply. Jethro could be Moses’s father-in-law or brother-in-law. It is accepted that whatever the specific relation, Jethro was the head of the family.
19 “…all the men who sought your life are dead”
This hadn’t come up in the recording we have of the conversation, but the writer wants to make it clear God gave Moses the information. Could have been another excuse of Moses.
20 “…and his sons…”
At this point, we know he has more than one son.
22 “…Israel is My son, My firstborn”
Interesting, these little tidbits after the main conversation. Makes you wonder if it was all said at the beginning or are they indicative of an ongoing connection between God and Moses. Here God is showing His direct connection to the Israelites as His child and the warning He will give Pharaoh if he doesn’t do as God demands.
24 “…the LORD met him and sought to kill him”
Odd three verses, 24-26. Holes in the narrative. Appears that Moses had never circumcised his sons as God had commanded all Hebrews. God takes exception, and Moses’s wife has to jump in and take care of matters. Context of her statement to Moses isn’t clear without cultural background or more information. Commentaries suggest God either appeared in a threatening manner or gave Moses some grave illness. They also suggest Moses’s neglect in circumcising his newest son was due to his wife, that she had an aversion to it. Not sure how they reached that conclusion other than she stepped in to perform it. Some suggest she had to as Moses was incapacitated. The fact it mentions only one act leads most to assume the oldest son was circumcised already. Still not sure if her statement was meant as anger at it having to be done or that Moses didn’t take care of it sooner which put himself and his son in danger.
27 “…the LORD said to Aaron…”
The command to Aaron to go meet Moses.
31 “So the people believed…”
So far so good. Moses and Aaron get together, Moses shares what God said, they meet with the elders of the people, show the signs, and the people believe thus far. Calm before the storm. The people see hope in the return of God, but it won’t take much to knock them off the wagon. No deep seated trust yet.
I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word. May it accomplish what He desires. Please feel free to comment or post questions. Thanks for reading!
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.