Summary: 1. Be warned about the seriousness of sin (vs. 24) 2. Be willing to stand in the gap (vs. 25) 3. Trust God's way of salvation (vs. 25-26) 4. Give worship to our Savior (vs. 27-31)

Old Testament Encounters with Christ

Part 17: Timely Lessons from a Troubling Story

Exodus 4:18-31

Sermon by Rick Crandall

Grayson Baptist Church - March 28, 2012


*We are looking at the Old Testament appearances of Christ. In Exodus 3 and 4, the Lord miraculously appeared to Moses in a burning bush that did not burn up. There God called Moses to lead His people out of slavery in Egypt to freedom in the Promised Land.

*Then in Exodus 4:18-20, Moses began to carry out the Lord's mission:

18. So Moses went and returned to Jethro his father-in-law, and said to him, "Please let me go and return to my brethren who are in Egypt, and see whether they are still alive.'' And Jethro said to Moses, "Go in peace.''

19. And the Lord said to Moses in Midian, "Go, return to Egypt; for all the men are dead who sought your life.''

20. Then Moses took his wife and his sons and set them on a donkey, and he returned to the land of Egypt. And Moses took the rod of God in his hand.

*Moses was on the way, and everything looked fine, but starting in vs. 24, the unexpected happened. Let's read vs. 24-31 tonight, looking for timely lessons from a troubling story:

24. And it came to pass on the way, at the encampment, that the Lord met him and sought to kill him.

25. Then Zipporah took a sharp stone and cut off the foreskin of her son and cast it at Moses' feet, and said, "Surely you are a husband of blood to me!''

26. So He let him go. Then she said, "You are a husband of blood!'' because of the circumcision.

27. And the Lord said to Aaron, "Go into the wilderness to meet Moses.'' So he went and met him on the mountain of God, and kissed him.

28. So Moses told Aaron all the words of the Lord who had sent him, and all the signs which He had commanded him.

29. Then Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the children of Israel.

30. And Aaron spoke all the words which the Lord had spoken to Moses. Then he did the signs in the sight of the people.

31. So the people believed; and when they heard that the Lord had visited the children of Israel and that He had looked on their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshiped.


*That all seems kind of strange and weird to us. Right on the heels of God's great call to Moses from the burning bush, right after God promised to be with Moses, right after the Lord revealed Himself to Moses as the great "I AM," right after He gave Moses miraculous signs to persuade the people, and right after Moses began to carry out the Lord's mission, the Lord met Moses on the way and tried to kill him. What? -- That was the last thing we would expect. But God had some important lessons for Moses and for us tonight.

1. First: Be warned about the seriousness of sin.

*This is the lesson of vs. 24, where, "It came to pass on the way, at the encampment, that the Lord met (Moses) and sought to kill him." Why in the world did the Lord almost kill Moses? It was because of Moses' sin.

*Moses had neglected to circumcise his younger son, and that seems like a small sin to us. But the sign of circumcision was to recognize the great covenant the Lord had made with Abraham. And God put this story into His Word as a great warning against sin in our own lives. Moses is a good example to us in several key ways.

*First: Moses is an example to us that the Lord God is not some fluffy bunny. Sin is always a serious matter with God. Any sin and every sin nailed Jesus to the cross, and this means that Jesus died for our tiniest sins too. Moses is also an example to us that being saved, and even trying to serve God does not make us exempt from the Lord's discipline.

*And Moses is an example to us that the Lord cares about us fulfilling ALL of our obligations to Him. We tend to think of our sins as the wrong things we do and stop there. God cares just as much about the good things left undone, the duties we neglect.

*Moses is also an example to us that God's chastening Hand can come down hard and heavy on us. We are also reminded of this truth every time we take the Lord's Supper and hear Paul's words in 1 Corinthians 11:28-32.

*There Paul said:

28. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup.

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