Exodus 4 continues the story of Moses. He wasn’t always the confident leader. In this chapter is repeatedly tells God that he lacks the qualities that a leader should have. God gives him three signs. He’s already given Moses his name. But still Moses has doubts.
God gives him a staff that turns into a snake, a curable incurable skin disease and the ability to turn river water into blood. Finally in verse 14, God becomes angry with Moses and gives him Aaron (his brother) to be Moses’ spokesman.
Moses returns to Egypt to deal with the Pharaoh who is mistreating the Israelites. But first there’s one of those curious Old Testament paragraphs that don’t seem to make sense. (4:24-26) The Lord threatens to kill Moses. But Moses’ wife circumcised her son. She touches his feet with the blood and God leaves them alone.
What’s all THAT about? It’s symbolic, obviously. The circumcision was a promise that Abraham made way back in Genesis 17:10. So: Moses own son had not been “done”? But why would God threaten to kill Moses because of this? And why did his wife do that with the blood?
Exodus 5 and things are getting worse in Egypt. The Pharaoh now orders the Israelite brick makers to find their own straw to make bricks. Up to now, they’ve had the straw brought to them. Not only that, but they have to make the same number of bricks per day. (5:17) “But Pharaoh shouted, ‘You’re just Lazy! Lazy!’…” And the Israelites take out their frustrations on Moses and Aaron.
In Matthew 18, Jesus gives us some lovely verses about how to treat children. But he’s not talking about children, is he? Well, not JUST children. A child is someone who trusts and believes instinctively. They are pure and sinless. Can we be like children? It’s not easy with all the temptations around us everyday. But Jesus understands this, (18:7) “… Temptations are inevitable, but what sorrow awaits the person who does the tempting.” So it’s not us who need to worry, it’s the ones who tempt us. If we can stay away from evil, we will be like children.
Psalm 22 continues the prayer for guidance. It’s more like a plea than a prayer. (22:20) “Save me from the sword; spare my precious life from these dogs.” The Psalm finishes with words of encouragement that the future lies with the children, and even those as yet unborn. Remember what Jesus said? Children are pure and without sin. And that’s the future.
Proverbs 5 continues its comparison of sin as a wicked woman. So who can you trust? Your own wife, obviously. She is not wicked! And that famous line: (5:15) “Drink only from your own well…” You know what happens when people are temped to drink from somewhere else?
Don’t you just love these Old Testament analogies? If only I could work out the one about Moses and his son…