William Andrew Dillard
KILLING MOSES —WHY?
Moses was a man of many brushes with death. He was launched in a baby float to escape the death order of Pharaoh. Later, he had to flee Egypt to avoid retribution for a crime he had committed against an Egyptian taskmaster. When he returned under a heavenly commission to lead the Hebrews out of Egypt, they often threatened to stone him for the troubles he had supposedly brought upon them. Finally, and due to another sin, God gently took his life out of this world on the peaks of Mt. Pisgah. But there was another time of great significance. An angel of the Lord met Moses in the way with the purpose of killing him! What? Why? What is this?
Read about it in Exodus 4:24-26. Moses had married Zipporah in the wilderness of Sinai, and had neglected to perform the token of the Abrahamic covenant on his son. Now, he was in the process of becoming the leader of his people, a representative of the God of heaven and earth to Pharaoh, and that in the neglect of the basic tenants of obedience to the Lord. It appears that Zipporah was none too happy about the whole ordeal, but she accomplished it, and the Lord allowed Moses to go on with his commissioned work.
This incident constitutes a biblical “Slap in the face” to so many who brush off baptism as relatively unimportant, and/or an ordinance that may be performed by anyone in any way.
Let it be noted that if it is in the Word of God, it is not unimportant.
The Hebrews in their wilderness journey have been referenced as “The church in the wilderness.” That is correct. Those folks were a saved family that grew into a nation. They yielded to the Lord their firstborn by applying the blood of the paschal lamb on their doorposts. They were baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea. Indeed, as most modern Baptists would say, they were a saved, baptized, called out assembly; hence, a church, although not a New Testament church.
So, the token of the covenant, the cutting away of flesh, was most important both to them and to the heavenly Father from Whom it originated. In like manner, the token of New Covenant relationship with God (burial of the fleshly man) is vitally important today.
To be sure, one may be spiritually saved, and never be baptized, but in baptism one is raised to walk in newness of life, i.e. New Covenant life, and one may never be a member of a bona fide New Testament church without it.
Finally, the Word teaches us that there were some who rejected the counsel of God against themselves, not being baptized of Him.” Luke 7:30. Moses mistake nearly cost him his life. Saved people who do not have scriptural baptism today forfeit the reward of New Covenant life both here and hereafter. Let’s learn from Moses!