About Jesus Steve Sweetman
This Chapter 4
conversation between God and Moses continues in chapter 4, verse 1.
Moses is reluctant to do as God says.
He now asks God, "what if they do not believe me or listen
to me and say, 'the Lord did not appear to you?'"
Once again, this is a legitimate response.
Why would Israel
listen to a man who has been away from them for so long?
It is only common sense. Many
scholars really feel that Moses really doesn't want to do what God tells
him to do and so he is trying to get out of it.
That may be so, but, the objections that he raises are worth
considering, and God does just that.
response to Moses objection is found in verses 2 through 5.
God asks Moses what is in his hand.
Moses says that he is holding a staff.
God tells him to throw the staff on the ground, which Moses does.
The staff becomes a snake, that frightens Moses, so he steps
back. God then tells Moses
to pick the snake up by the tale, which he does.
The snake turns back into a staff.
God tells Moses that when
was a test for Moses in the sense that when you pick up a snake, you
don't pick it up by the tales, but this is what God told Moses.
miracles of Jesus in New Testament times were meant to do the same.
They were to be a sign that God had sent Jesus to
verses 6 and 7 God provides Moses with yet another miracle.
He told Moses to put his hand inside his coat, and as he did, his
hand became filled with leprosy. When
he put his hand back into his coat, his hand became normal again.
verses 8 through 10 we see that there might be the possibility that
Israel would not believe or listen to Moses even with the above two
miracles. God even admitted
that possibility. So God
provided another miracle. He
told Moses that as this happens, he should take water from the
verse 10 we see yet another objection by Moses.
This is why many scholars feel that Moses is trying to get out of
what God wants him to do. Moses
himself has just seen a couple of miracles.
You'd think that this would convince him that God would help him
carry out this request, but apparently it doesn't.
You might think that if the miracles that Moses has just seen,
and he had just performed doesn't motivate him to do God's will, how
would they motivate
Moses tells God that he is not an eloquent speaker.
I'm sure God knew that, and that did not stop Him from choosing
Moses to do His will. Moses
says that he is slow of speech and tongue.
Some suggest that Moses might have had a stuttering problem, or
some kind of speech impediment. We
don't know this for sure. All
we know for sure is that Moses thought that he had difficulties
speaking, whether that was really the case or not, is hard to know.
Sometimes, and often times, God uses those with problems in their
lives in order for His glory to be seen in fallen humanity.
11 is both interesting and important.
God says, "who gave man his mouth?
Who makes him deaf or dumb? Who
gives him sight or makes him blind?
Is it not I, the Lord?"
This statement is important for a number of reasons.
One reason is that it comes directly from the mouth of God.
It does not come through the inspired speech of a person.
reason why this statement is important because it tells us that God
makes some men and women deaf, dub, and blind.
Some people may struggle with this, especially those of the
hyper-faith persuasion. It
is interesting to me because I am legally blind.
There are a number of ways that people would think concerning my
blindness. One might be that
it is a birth defect, just a happenstance.
Other's might think that the devil made me have bad eyesight.
Yet this passage says that God has made my eyes not see well.
If I accept this, then that puts things into a much different
light than if I think the devil made me blind, or it was simply the luck
of the draw from birth. If
God made me this way, then I need to accept it, unless He decides to
ends the objections in verse 13. He
simply asks God to send somebody else.
It is as if he just gives up trying rationalize things with God.
He just comes out with it. "Please
send someone else", he says. I think Moses is a timid man.
He is simply too shy. Besides,
the murder of the man still might be in the memory of some, even though
it has been decades since he killed the man who was attacking a fellow
this point, in verse 14, we see "that the Lord's anger burned
against Moses." God
got angry with Moses. And,
since the phrase reads, "…. anger burned ...",
this tells me that God was very angry at Moses.
in verse 14 God tells Moses that his brother Aaron the Levite was on the
way to meet him and he was excited to be reunited with Moses.
These two men had not seen each other for years, or so we think.
It is interesting that as God was trying to convince Moses to do
His will Aaron was on his way to see Moses.
Clearly, God had sent Aaron to Moses, knowing Moses would put up
this fight. God works all things out for His own purpose.
A number of things come together at any given time to make sure
His will is done, as is seen here.
in verse 15, tells Moses, (God did not ask Moses), that Moses will tell
Aaron what to speak to the people, and He will help them both in the
process. The whole point
here is that God never asked Moses to be a good speaker.
He never made Moses to be a good speaker.
Being a good speaker didn't matter to God.
It does however matter to us more than it should.
We put too much emphases of a man's speaking ability in church
circles these days. What
mattered to God was that Moses would do as he was told.
God wanted Moses to represent Him to Israel. That is what God wants of
us today. Our talents are
secondary to what God would have us to do.
Besides, we are not to do God's will in our own strength anyway.
We are to solely depend on Him.
you read second Corinthian
chapter 4, you'll see a good example of how this should play out in the
life of Christians. Paul
tells us that we have God's treasure in earthen vessels.
The vessel is not the important thing.
It is the treasure in the vessel that is important. Too
often than not, we are concerned about our vessel and not the treasure
we hold within. That
verse 17 God specifically says that Aaron would speak for Moses and that
it would be like Moses is God to Aaron.
Of course Moses isn't God, but Aaron would say exactly what Moses
tells him as if he were God. Of
course, what Moses tells Aaron is what God tells him.
verse 17 God tells Moses to carry his staff because God would use it to
perform miracles before Israel
so they would know that both Aaron and Moses were sent by Him.
The miracle staff would be a sign to all that God has sent Moses,
just like the miracles of Jesus were meant to be a sign that God sent
Him as well.
verse 18 we note that Moses asks permission from Jethro, his
father-in-law, to return to Egypt. It is a matter of respect
that Moses would ask Jethro to leave.
Remember, Moses worked for Jethro.
In our day, we would just leave, but respect meant something to
the people back then.
the reason Moses gives Jethro for leaving.
His reason was to see if there were any of his own people back in
Egypt. I guess you would have to
interpret who "his own people" were.
I think he is speaking of the Jews in general, not just his
immediate family. If this
does not refer to his immediate family, then he is not being accurate.
He knows there are Jews in
agrees to Moses request at the end of
verses 19 and 20, Moses and his family head to
20 states that Moses took "the staff of God", that is, the
staff that turned into a snake when he threw it down to the ground.
A staff in those days had two uses.
One was meant to be a "sign of authority" for important
people such as kings. The
other use was for shepherds as a means of caring for the flocks.
In both respects, Jesus is seen as one with final authority, yet
at the same time, greatly caring for His people.
We see in the book of Revelation the term "rod of iron"
in the KJV. The
"rod" is a "staff".
Jesus will rule in the thousand years of peace with a rod, or
staff of iron, yet forever, He
will be the Lamb of God that has taken away the sin of the world.
21 has stirred up many conversations over the years.
God told Moses to go to Pharaoh and show him the miraculous signs
that God had provided Moses. These
signs were the staff turning into a snake, his hand turning into
leprosy, and water turning
into blood. We saw this in
the last chapter.
God tells Moses that after he shows the signs, He will harden Pharaoh's
heart so he will not let
are a couple of things we need to understand here.
One thing is that God is sovereign and He can, and does, do what
He wants. If he wants to
harden someone's heart, he can certainly do that.
He did so here. That
being said, if you understand the whole event, Pharaoh's heart was
already hardened. God only
spurred the existing hardness along.
In Paul's discourse in
Roman's 1 through 3 you will note that man is sinful.
If man continues in their sin, then God "gives them over to
their sin". Simply put,
God says, "if you want to sin, go ahead and sin all you want, just
remember there are consequences."
I think this is similar to what is happening here with
Pharaoh. Pharaoh's heart was
already hard towards the Jews, and God allowed it to get worse.
As a matter of fact, He even helped it get worse.
most important thing to note here is the way in which God hardened
Pharaoh's heart. He just
didn't dig into his heart
and make it hard. That would
have been beyond Pharaoh's heart to respond.
God did these miracles that made Pharaoh mad, thus making his
heart hard. When it comes
right down to it, Pharaoh made his own heart hard.
It was his choice. He
did not lose his free will.
also should note that from time to time God steps into human history and
changes it's course by Himself, which He did here.
He has done that throughout history, although those with no
Biblical understanding will see this.
God will do this at the end of this age.
He will bring the anti-christ to power in able for him to perform
His will. God's will in both
the end time anti-christ and Pharaoh here, is specifically directed
23 carries on from verse 22, the things God told Moses to tell Pharaoh,
God says that because
24 to 26 are hard to understand, and I think because we do not know the
whole story. In these verses
we see that God was about to kill Moses.
That does not seem to make sense.
If God wanted Moses dead,
why did He send him back to
think verse 25 clues us into what the problem was, although, we can't
say exactly because the details are left out.
In verse 25 Zipporah, Moses' wife cuts the foreskin of their son
and throws it down at Moses' feet. She
then calls Moses a bridegroom, a husband of blood.
It appears to me that she was very upset with Moses over this
circumcision. I think she
did not want her son circumcised, and Moses wasn't strong willed enough
to make sure the son was circumcised.
For this reason, God was upset with Moses, so upset that He was
about ready to kill him. How
could the soon to be leader of Israel enter Egypt, free God's people,
and not have his own son circumcised, which was a strict command of God.
don't know, because it is not stated, but God might well have been
speaking to Moses on this issue, and as reluctant as he was to be the
26 makes it clear that the "bridegroom of blood" statement was
in reference to her son being circumcised.
At that point the text states that God left Moses alone.
To me, once the circumcision had taken place, God's will was
finally done, and God had no reason to kill Moses any more.
verse 27 we see God speak to Aaron, Moses' brother.
God told him to go into the desert and meet Moses.
At this point in time, I believe Moses was already on his way to Egypt. When they saw each other,
they hugged. We don't
know when these two brothers last saw each other, but it was probably
verse 28 Moses explains all that the Lord had told him, including the
miracles that were to be signs.
verses 29 to 31 Moses and Aaron go back to
that Aaron did the talking, as was the plan.
We know that Aaron was doing all the talking because Moses was
not a good talker, or so he said. Yet there might be another secondary
reason why Aaron is doing all the talking.
Maybe it was God's will in the first place.
Maybe He chose Moses because He knew Moses would decline because
of his poor speaking ability. This
might suggest that it was more than just shyness on Moses' part, but a
speech impediment. Anyway,
because no one in
Note also that the text says that "he"
performed the miraculous signs. The
pronoun "he" refers to Aaron, not Moses.
So here we learn that Aaron performed miracles as well as Moses.
The fact that Aaron could perform miracles is also confirmed in