15. Follow God's instructions

Finally Moses agreed to what God was asking of him and he set out to do the task. But before he could go he had to tell his family. His father in law seemed pleased, and the next thing we know Moses, his wife Zipporah and his two sons were on their way back to Egypt. But then something very strange happens. In Exodus 4:24-26 we read that the Lord confronted Moses and was about to kill him. Now what a staggering thing! Here Moses was on his way to Egypt, honoring God by being obedient to Him and now God wants to kill him. That doesn't make sense at all, does it?

But the next part gives us a clue as to why God was confronting Moses:

"But Zipporah, his wife, took a flint knife and circumcised her son. She threw the foreskin at Moses' feet and said "What a blood-smeared bridegroom you are to me!" Exodus 4:25

From her quick reaction we can glean that she knew exactly why God was confronting Moses. She knew what it was all about. And the moment she did it, God left Moses alone.

And if you look at her unflattering reaction, we can assume that the circumcision was possibly something that she and Moses had argued about. She was a Midianite and they didn't believe in circumcision, while the Hebrews did. They circumcised their children since God commanded Abraham to do it and this was a sign of His blessing on them. In those days if you didn't circumcise your son you in fact publicly removed yourself from God's blessings. Moses must have known it by observing the Hebrews in Egypt, plus the Egyptians also had a form of circumcision. Plus I believe that the Lord also placed it on his heart to do it. I really believe that, because the God I know wouldn't just come and kill Moses without warning him first to listen to Him and circumcise his children.

But the sad part is Moses gave way to his wife. In order to have peace, he relented and gave in. Instead of listening to God, he listened to her. And Moses couldn't go and lead the people of Israel out, if he listened to other people. He should listen exclusively to God and to Him alone. Imagine God didn't intervene, now today Zipporah says no circumcision, tomorrow she says she wants a wooden idol, would Moses give in to that too? Moses had to learn that there are grave effects if he didn't follow God's instructions. He had to be steadfast in leading 2 million Hebrew slaves out of Egypt; he couldn't allow anyone to influence him.

Today we are the same. We cannot allow anyone to steer us away from what God wants for us. If we are married to unbelievers, we cannot allow them to turn our hearts away from God; if we work with unbelievers we cannot let them influence us either. Everywhere we turn, there are unbelievers, and we need to make sure that we influence them and not that they influence us!

Father, we are part of this world and surrounded by unbelievers. Please give us the strength to stand strong in faith and not to give in to any ideas that are not from You. Help us to influence them for Your Kingdom and not the other way around. In Jesus Name. Amen

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