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!
Author: Wiiliam Andrew Dillard
Several decades ago I was sitting in my doctor’s waiting room when a mother with two small boys came in. All attention was riveted on one boy who had a fishing lure with grab hook in it in his mouth with two of the hoods penetrating his lip and jaw. Later I learned that his story was this: “My brother and I were playing fishing and it was my turn to be the fish!” Painful? Oh yes! A little humorous? Indeed! Needless to say hooks in his jaw rendered him totally ready for medical help.
Perhaps the illustration is a little crude, but in Ezekiel 38:4, God says of Gog, the chief prince of Mesheck and Tubal that He would put hooks into his jaws to bring him forth, an exceeding great army. Moreover, in verse 16 God says that it is He Who brings Gog down against His people in the end time of the age, so that God may be sanctified by the nations; that they might know Him.
This is so reminiscent of what God did in Egypt in the days of the Hebrew Exodus. It was God Who hardened the heart of Pharaoh that the plagues might continue upon the Egyptians, and that He might be acknowledged by them that He is GOD! The world may choose to ignore God, but He will be sanctified in them. He is the Creator whether the world wants to acknowledge that or not. The day comes when they will do so to the man.
It is interesting to note that some of the greatest military and political minds that are given to strategy now acknowledge Putin as the meanest, most resolved, headstrong, and powerful leaders in the world, stopping at nothing to get what he wants. In recent days, the world has stood by while his forces simply marched in and claimed Crimea of the Ukraine. The prediction now is that he will not stop there since there is no resolve among the nations to seriously challenge him. They see him taking all of Ukraine eventually, and then for some reason that is not presently clear, most likely political, he will make his move on Israel. The sea merchants and young lions (western nations) will say, “Are you come down to take a spoil….. verse 13. Perhaps, they will once again threaten to close his western bank accounts! But is this to be lamented? Let Christians be biblically literate and wise. God Himself is doing this. He is putting hooks in the jaws of Gog. He will be sanctified of the heathen. Some bible scholars see this as a pre-Armageddon battle. Others think it is Armageddon. It is difficult to see this as clearly as one would like, but the greater picture shines through powerfully. Nations have forgotten and ignored the very idea of the Creator God. In time, He will put hooks in the jaws of Gog, and He will be sanctified of the heathen. The wise realize they do not know all things, and they are very slow to make definitive predictions or judgments. Rather they keep these things in their heart and ponder them as they coalesce the wonders of the Holy Word.