Zipporah calls Moses a “husband of blood”. The story is that Moses and Zipporah begin to go to Egypt, and in going to Egypt Moses hasn’t even circumcised his own son. God comes in the night to kill the boy, which stems from what God said in Genesis 17:14, and Zipporah then circumcises this boy and rebukes Moses. There are a few things happening in the surroundings of this story, just as there are a few things happening within the story.
In my notes, I have the question, “Why is it that when the saints come to Egypt, judgment follows?” I cited Genesis 12:10, Genesis 37:36, Genesis 41:25-32, and Isaiah 30. Of course, these aren’t the only examples outside of Exodus. My mind thinks of when Jeremiah tells the Israelites to not go to Egypt, and they go anyway. There does seem to be some correlation here. When it happens only a couple times, we can assume that this is simply happenstance. Yet, when this happens over and over again in Genesis, and is now happening in Exodus, we’re now at whim to ask if there is a pattern.
Beyond the connection of the saints going to Egypt, and then judgment ensues, we have the connection between Moses and Joseph forming here. Joseph was taken by the hands of Midianites to Egypt, and now Moses is going from Midian to Egypt. Just as Joseph was not recognized by his brothers at first, so too was Moses rejected and not recognized as deliverer by the Hebrew slaves. It is upon the second revealing that the brothers of Joseph, as well as the kindred of Moses recognize God’s deliverance.
Both of these things go beyond these stories and unto our Lord Jesus Christ. We know that Jesus went to Egypt (Mat 2:13-15), and that He was not recognized “by his own” the first time (John 1:11). Something is definitely being proclaimed in these patterns, even if I’m not the one to fully comprehend what exactly it is that is being proclaimed.
Within the immediate story, I think that it is fairly reasonable to suggest that what is happening is that Moses is still struggling with his identity. We discussed back in Exodus 2 that Moses has to choose whether he will be recognized as an Egyptian, who will then continue in oppressing his brethren, or if Moses shall turn against Egypt by embracing himself as Hebrew. This kind of choice is put before all of us, and is not an easy one to make.
Do you consider yourself a child of God, or a child of your natural parents? The two don’t have to be pinned against one another in every circumstance, but certainly there is a disposition of the heart to latch onto one or the other. Does your identity come from your nationality, or ancestry? Are you known as being Jewish, or Italian, or Native American, or Canadian, or English, or German, or whatever other nationality you might be? And, maybe more importantly, is it a thing of pride to know your heritage and that you come from such ancestry? Such things are not always sin, but certainly if you’re English and can’t accept the Irish brethren there is a problem. Or, if you’re from the Middle East and find it hard to embrace the Jew, there is a problem.
At some level, we’ve all had this same difficult choice before us. Do you identify yourself as “white”, and therefore the orient, blacks, or hispanics are something vile in your eyes? Can I turn that question around? Are you black and find it impossible to accept the white neighbor, simply because of the racism and slavery of your people 150 years ago (which I’m not oblivious to the racism continuing even unto today)? And I have a hard time with the Native Americans. How is it that we as Americans and Canadians have scooted them onto reservations, raping them both physically, emotionally, and spiritually (truly in every sense we could), forcing them into some god-forsaken land that is dearth and crying out over the blood spilt, and yet have so little recollection of what we’ve done? It isn’t about politics, or the government apologizing. It isn’t about giving them some land that is actually cultivatable. It is about recognizing the sins of our forefathers, repenting over them, and therefore not forgetting the Native American people (especially since they are still within our own borders).
And what about the difficult question of the poor? It’s hard to see poverty when you live up on the hill with five televisions, more than enough food in your fridge, enough vehicles for each family member to have one, and a wardrobe that gives plenty of options to wear something different everyday. Again, it isn’t in these things that the sin lie. It is in the heart that has embraced such things, completely discontent with life, utterly seeking wealth and dependency, and yet unable to satisfy the underlying shame and nakedness that we all feel. Why else would you need to spend more than 3 minutes in front of the mirror in the morning? What are you hiding with all the make-up, and why are you so intent upon your hair being done a certain way, and why is it so taboo to simply put clothes on and leave the house after you’ve showered?
Even in this question I notice the fatal flaw. There are people in my city who haven’t the option to shower. What about them? Are they “bums” because they don’t have the same as you? Some are; I know this. Yet, how many videos need to be put on Youtube before we realize that some homeless people are just content to live with what they have, and they don’t need the hundreds of dollars in their pockets? You want to know what true contentment is? It is when you have come to the place where if you have much, you live with what you have, and when you have little, you live within your means with what you have. It is when you don’t complain over having little, or seek more when you have much. It is when you are able to accept what you’ve been paid (or not paid), enjoying the people, animals, and creation around you for all that it brings.
Moses has a choice he has to make. Does he identify with Egypt, and thus didn’t even circumcise his own son? Or, does he identify with God and the Hebrews? Of which kingdom are you subscribing to? The one of convenience and capitolism? The one of democracy and politics? The one of wealth and easy living? The one of painlessness and comfort? These things are death, and ultimately tactics of the devil to destroy you. The Kingdom of God is totally different. These things aren’t even important, and therefore we’re living for something entirely different that the world can’t even comprehend. We’re living for a living, and in living, we’re loving. That is what overcomes darkness, and that is what destroys our cliches of “pushing back darkness”. Light doesn’t “push back darkness”; it completely scatters it. In this way, love doesn’t merely cause people to feel accepted; it sets the captive free to the uttermost.