Moses went back to his father-in-law Jethro and said to him, ‘Please let me go back to my kindred in Egypt and see whether they are still living.’ And Jethro said to Moses, ‘Go in peace.’ The Lord said to Moses in Midian, ‘Go back to Egypt; for all those who were seeking your life are dead.’ So Moses took his wife and his sons, put them on a donkey, and went back to the land of Egypt; and Moses carried the staff of God in his hand.
And the Lord said to Moses, ‘When you go back to Egypt, see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders that I have put in your power; but I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go. Then you shall say to Pharaoh, “Thus says the Lord: Israel is my firstborn son. I said to you, ‘Let my son go that he may worship me.’ But you refused to let him go; now I will kill your firstborn son.”’
On the way, at a place where they spent the night, the Lord met him and tried to kill him. But Zipporah took a flint and cut off her son’s foreskin, and touched Moses’ feet with it, and said, ‘Truly you are a bridegroom of blood to me!’ So he let him alone. It was then she said, ‘A bridegroom of blood by circumcision.’
The Lord said to Aaron, ‘Go into the wilderness to meet Moses.’ So he went; and he met him at the mountain of God and kissed him. Moses told Aaron all the words of the Lord with which he had sent him, and all the signs with which he had charged him. Then Moses and Aaron went and assembled all the elders of the Israelites. Aaron spoke all the words that the Lord had spoken to Moses, and performed the signs in the sight of the people. The people believed; and when they heard that the Lord had given heed to the Israelites and that he had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshipped.
“You can never go back” they say. I often hear this after leading worship but it is more commonly stated with regards to football managers returning to a club which they had previously served or some other return in the sporting field. Moses actually WANTS to go back to Egypt despite the Lord telling him that he was definitely going to put some challenges in his path.
And he took his wife and sons to share the peril, what a guy! And, boy, was there peril. Zipporah’s quick, and somewhat lateral, thinking meant that the Lord did not kill Moses (although one of his sons lost a foreskin in the process) and Moses was able to meet with his brother, Aaron, who convinced the Israelites to bow down and worship the Lord.
At times it is difficult enough following God’s path without God adding to the difficulty. We are constantly tested in our faith by plenty of small things – words of ridicule from others or our desire for an easy life or the latest iPhone. Yet we stand strong in our faith that God will deliver us. At least, we try…
All-seeing Lord Watch over us as we struggle Strengthen us as we falter Forgive us as we fail Love us as we are. Amen
Leo Roberts, Children’s and Youth Development Officer, North Western Synod