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Old 17th November 2017, 08:46 PM
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Default Exodus 4

[Exodus 4]
{4:1} Responding, Moses said, “They will not believe me, and they will not listen to my voice, but they will say: ‘The Lord has not appeared to you.’ ”

Moses was explaining his reasoning here, however, our faith in God must always be above reason.

{4:2} Therefore, he said to him, “What is that you hold in your hand?” He answered, “A staff.”
{4:3} And the Lord said, “Cast it down upon the ground.” He cast it down, and it was turned into a snake, so that Moses fled away.
{4:4} And the Lord said, “Reach out your hand, and take hold of its tail.” He reached out his hand and took hold, and it was turned into a staff.

With this miracle, God was proving or revealing Moses that He is whom He told him He is. For 'reason' is one of the faculties that God Himself has given us. Therefore, our faith is reasonable, never inseparable from Faith. Otherwise we fall into the error of one of the two extremes: fideism (faith only) or rationalism (reason only). Faith and reason go together but always Faith above reason.

{4:5} “So may they believe,” he said, “that the Lord God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you.”
{4:6} And the Lord said again, “Put your hand into your bosom.” And when he had put it into his bosom, he brought it out leprous, resembling snow.
{4:7} “Put your hand back,” he said, “into your bosom.” He put it back and brought it out again, and it was like the rest of his flesh.

This particular miracle was to show Moses once again that He is the all powerful God creator of all things.

{4:8} “If they will not believe you,” he said, “and will not listen to the sermon of the first sign, then they will believe the word of the subsequent sign.

Moses prefigures Jesus Christ. Moses represents the "first sign" (where the O.T. practices of the Jews were based on) and Jesus is the Word of the "second" and definitive "sign" (the N.T. where the old law is fulfilled to a greater level in Him) (Hebrews 10:9).

{4:9} But if they will not believe even these two signs, and they will not listen to your voice: take from the water of the river, and pour it upon the dry land, and whatever you will have drawn from the river will be turned into blood.”

Water turning into blood symbolizes in this particular case the death for those who do not listen to the "two signs".
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Old 17th November 2017, 08:48 PM
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{4:10} Moses said: “I beg you, O Lord, I was not eloquent yesterday or the day before. And from the time that you have spoken to your servant, I have a greater impediment and slowness of tongue.”

Moses had difficulty speaking, yet God chose Him for the glory is not in human capacity but in God's.

{4:11} The Lord said to him: “Who made the mouth of man? And who has formed the mute and the deaf, the seeing and the blind? Was it not I?
{4:12} Go on, therefore, and I will be in your mouth. And I will teach you what you shall say.”
{4:13} But he said, “I beg you, O Lord, send whomever else you would send.”

Notice that Moses could have experienced better glory (in the Lord, that is) if he just accepted God's will as our Lord was telling him at first, just for Moses to go and speak. But Moses did not trust or did not have faith like his father (ancestor) Abraham who did exactly what God told him.

When we know that our Lord is calling us for something, let's not make excuses otherwise we can miss the greatness that God has prepared for us.

{4:14} The Lord, being angry at Moses, said: “Aaron the Levite is your brother. I know that he is eloquent. Behold, he is going out to meet you, and seeing you, he will rejoice in heart.
{4:15} Speak to him, and put my words in his mouth. And I will be in your mouth and in his mouth, and I will reveal to you what you must do.

God, who is One Divine Eternal Act, had to make use of another person, Moses' brother Aaron, because of Moses refusal to go and speak himself.

{4:16} He will speak for you to the people, and he will be your mouth. But you will be with him in those things that pertain to God.
{4:17} Also, take this staff into your hand; with it you will accomplish the signs.”

God still has great things for Moses.

{4:18} Moses went forth, and he returned to Jethro, his father in law, and he said to him, “I shall go and return to my brothers in Egypt, so that I may see if they are still alive.” And Jethro said to him, “Go in peace.”

As mentioned in the previous chapter, 40 years have passed since Moses left Egypt up to this point.
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Old 17th November 2017, 08:51 PM
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{4:19} And so the Lord said to Moses in Midian: “Go, and return to Egypt. For all those who sought your life have died.”
{4:20} Therefore, Moses took his wife and his sons, and he placed them upon a donkey, and he returned into Egypt, carrying the staff of God in his hand.

This scene resembles Joseph taking his Holy Family to Egypt.

{4:21} And the Lord said to him, as he was returning to Egypt: “See that you accomplish, in the sight of Pharaoh, all the wonders that I have placed in your hand. I will harden his heart, and he will not release the people.

The expression "I (God) will harden his (the Pharaoh's) heart" does not mean that God interferes with the Pharaoh's, or anybody's free will. No. Rather, since God is all knowing (Omniscient), not bound by anything, including time or space, He knows what for us are future events including the free decisions that we will make. So God tells Moses that He knows that the Pharaoh, in his pride, will respond with a hardened heart because of Him, a God other than the gods that he has or goes to. The Pharaoh looks down upon the people of Israel and anything that has to do with them, including a 'God' of this people. So what this Pharaoh actually does is, in his free will decision, rejects subsequent grace of God which is always available.

{4:22} And you shall say to him: ‘Thus says the Lord: Israel is my firstborn son.

Note how important a blessing of the father is. God made a covenant with Abraham, and his son of the covenant was Isaac, then Isaac had twins. Though Isaac's sons were twins, his actual firstborn son was Esau, and Jacob (later called Israel), was born second (Gen 25:24-26). But Esau sold his firstborn rights to Jacob for a "small meal" plate of red stew (Gen 25:29-30) and Israel ended up being blessed first by his father Isaac (Gen 27). And here, God is recognizing Israel (Jacob) as His firstborn son.
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Old 17th November 2017, 09:05 PM
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{4:23} I have said to you: Release my son, so that he may serve me. And you were not willing to release him. Behold, I will put to death your firstborn son.’ ”

"Release my son" God is referring to Israel's descendants, that is the Israelite people. If not, God will put to death to the Pharaoh's firstborn son. God is the creator of life so He decides when our lives come to an end.

{4:24} And while he was on the journey, at an inn, the Lord met him, and he was willing to kill him.

It is not clear why God intended to kill Moses at this point. Perhaps Moses had not circumcised his first born son as taught to Abraham (Gen 17:9-13) because of what follows next:

{4:25} For this reason, Zipporah took a very sharp stone, and she circumcised the foreskin of her son, and she touched his feet, and she said, “You are a bloody spouse to me.”
{4:26} And he released him, after she had said, “You are a bloody spouse,” because of the circumcision.

God released Moses after this circumcision took place, so the reason above is plausible. This circumcision was supposed to be performed by Moses on his son, but since he did not do it (or did not intended to do it), his wife Zipporah did it for him. That's why she touched Moses' feet signaling to God that this particular circumcision was done in Moses' behalf. God created the woman to be man's helper (Gen 2:18 ) and, in the eyes of God, they become 'one flesh' in marriage (Matt 19:5). Therefore, this circumcision counted as if Moses would have done it. Thus Zipporah interceded for her husband Moses and saved his life.

{4:27} Then the Lord said to Aaron, “Go into the desert to meet Moses.” And he went directly to meet him on the mountain of God, and he kissed him.
{4:28} And Moses explained to Aaron all the words of the Lord, by which he had sent him, and the signs which he had commanded.
{4:29} And they arrived at the same time, and they gathered together all the elders of the sons of Israel.
{4:30} And Aaron spoke all the words which the Lord had said to Moses. And he accomplished the signs in the sight of the people,

Note that here, Aaron was explaining all the signs that God has made to Moses to the Israelite people (not the Pharaoh yet). Because of the refusal of Moses to speak, not even to people who wouldn't constitute any treat, he did not make this particular proclamation.

{4:31} and the people believed. And they heard that the Lord had visited the sons of Israel, and that he had looked with favor upon their affliction. And falling prostrate, they worshiped.

They worshiped to God, that is.
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