Some of you expressed anticipation over what might come next in the Exodus story. Yes, Exodus is a story, and it weaves intrigue and mystery all throughout. Chapter 4 takes us a bit on a journey and gives us a foretaste of what is going to come next.
Moses is still speaking with the Lord and has already given him two good reasons as to why he is not the right person to lead the mission that God wants him to lead. The first two objections that we see in chapter 3 are that 1) who am I that I shall go, I’m a nobody. Answer: I’ll be with you. 2) who shall I say sent me? The answer: I am. Now objections 3 and 4 are next in this chapter. 3) They will not believe, how am I to prove that I am your messenger? Answer: I will give you a staff and other miraculous signs to show that I am with you. 4) I can’t speak, I stutter and no one will listen to me. Answer: Okay, now I’m really mad, but just because you asked, I will let you go with Aaron who is quite well versed and glib. He can help you out.
If you pick up at vs.21-23 you will be able to see that we have a direct reference to God taking the firstborn sons of all the Egyptians. This is even before he goes into Egypt we hear that this is going to happen. It is nice to get a sneak peek of what is coming up, especially in light of a terrible plague. I can’t imagine losing a child. That comes next…
We also have the very strange account of Moses being attacked by God. It isn’t the first time we see people wrestling or fighting with God. Remember Jacob and his wrestling match? Look back over Genesis 32:22ff. Here Moses is saved by his wife who was in the process of circumcising their son (not great timing) when the attack took place. She takes the foreskin and touches the feet of Moses.
Okay, we are going to launch into a PG-13 version of the Bible. When you hear the term “feet” in Old Testament Scripture in somewhat awkward and unusual circumstances, such as this one, know that it is historically in Hebrew a euphemism for genitals. There, I said it, but it is true. I don’t have any deep meaning for why his wife would do this, and certainly don’t have any insight into why this would prevent God’s attack on Moses, but it worked. I’ll let you sort that out on your own. I’m done with this topic. I bet you’ll read Isaiah 7:20 differently now. Trust me, it is a euphemism.