Moses and Zipporah are traveling to Egypt. An angel of the Lord suddenly appears seeking to kill Moses. Moses? Moses was the Lord’s anointed, chosen, the beautiful child – set apart for God’s purposes and not just a purpose but he was chosen to lead one of the biggest events in biblical history, and God is seeking to kill him? What’s wrong with this picture? Or is there anything wrong with it? Did God, the Almighty do less to his very own beloved Son. God sought to kill his own son, preparing him for that very purpose. We have preconceived – self invented imaginations of words like ‘death’ and ‘God’. We define who we think God ought to look like…Santa Claus and Mother Theresa. We have determined what someone who is “good” does and does not do, then there’s the truth…The One True God has holy good reasons for everything He does, and sometimes it takes time for a reason to surface. He sees the end , we don’t. It is our job to search out the matter, not question God’s integrity. Let Jesus assure you, the One who was put to death, “there is only One who is good”, God the Father.
Have you ever felt like there is a warrant out on your life? Maybe there is! Is it safe to adjust our thinking to believe that? Even though Jesus has died for our sins and absorbed the wrath of God in the final judgement , we still have this life and earth to suffer the consequences of sin and sinful behaviors. “There is a sin leading to death.” (I john 5:17) In that moment when you feel fearful of an encounter with God, Is it your Job to question God’s character and intentions, or to simply act? Christ’s death hasn’t changed God’s expectations for us, but our status before Him. He still expects obedience and righteousness, however his final judgement is based on Christ’s obedience. Thankfully! Questioning God’s character in that moment when God is telling us to obey, is not the proper response, it is a wild goose chase. Maybe there is a good reason your life is at risk. Maybe there is a purpose affliction has hit, perhaps the best response in those moments are repentance through actions. John the Baptists told the Pharisees to bring forth fruit in keeping with repentance. Repentance has a substance, evidence to it, it’s not just a word spoken. Its a change of direction. Moses traveled with someone who was able to see this and willing to act swiftly. Zipporah knew immediately what the problem was and she responded. The Angel sent to kill Moses was a warning and the mercy of God. He gave Moses a second chance. Moses needed to repent, and I don’t mean he needed to say sorry, confess his sins and ask forgiveness , but quickly remedy his wrong with physical exploits. His prayers needed to look like work. How often do we look at something “bad” like, someone trying to kill us, as mercy? Maybe we should start seeing our afflictions as a warning from God to turn around and mercy that he gives us warning rather than immediate death.
What was the sin? Moses had not circumcised his son, as the Lord commanded Abraham and all Abraham’s seed. Moses was moving into slave territory, sinful domain, Egypt did not honor nor recognize the One true God, therefore any child of God would be vulnerable in the devil’s land, without God’s covenant protection. Moses needed to quickly keep covenant! God didn’t need Moses’ apologies, and it wasn’t God who needed repentance , Moses needed to repent for his own sake, Moses needed swift atonement, a severe U-turn. There are times when God is demanding change and his voice comes in the form of a violent raging storm threatening our very life for our good and for the restoration of our life. Maybe sometimes his mercy looks more like an angel seeking to kill you. How will we respond remembering that repentance, obedience and even the storms of life are not for God’s sake, but for ours!
Submit therefore to God resist the devil and he will flee. How do we submit? When we bend our wills, our hands, our feet to obey God we are submitting. When we lay down what we want or think is right, we are submitting. Zipporah submitted to God, not in words or verbal prayers, but in deed and action. James says, “show me your faith without works and I will show you my faith by my works” Zipporah was displaying great faith in God by her act of keeping covenant. There are times when a prayer is the right response, there are times when a word is proper etiquette and there is a time when a swift change of direction is necessary.
There are times when you will be a Zipporah in the life of someone you love, doing what God requires because you see and are able. Zipporah saved Moses life. The angel of the Lord was after her husband, not her. When she made the cut, she threw the blood at Moses feet. It was Moses which needed atonement. Someone else needed to act as a priest in that moment on his behalf. There are other times that you will be a Moses, needing someone else to mediate on your behalf. When you are a Zipporah, act, when you are a Moses, receive. God has made a man and a woman to help one another. Even though Moses was the Levite from the priestly line it was his wife who mediated. Her mediation in that moment did not strip Moses of his mission from God it enabled him to finish it.
So what we see as horrible , God seeking to kill his own servant, God knew was necessary, and God’s provocation resulted in life for Moses and freedom for the children of Israel.