Exodus 4:24-26 (NIV)
24 At a lodging place on the way, the LORD met [Moses] and was about to kill him.
25 But Zipporah took a flint knife, cut off her son's foreskin and touched [Moses'] feet with it. "Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me," she said.
26 So the LORD let him alone. (At that time she said "bridegroom of blood," referring to circumcision.)
Moses is on his way to confront the Pharaoh for the first time.
This is the deliverer chosen from birth.
Miraculously delivered from death into the very court of Pharaoh!
Trained for forty years in Egypt, and then forty years in the desert.
God has just convinced a reluctant Moses to return to Pharaoh.
Now God is ready to kill Moses...
At first glance, we might think this incident is primarily about circumcision. But, while the issue is circumcision, the cause of the situation is gender authority. The incredible consequence is that God is willing to kill Moses! Moses listened to his wife instead of God!
The essential mark of a Hebrew was the circumcision of all males. It signified the Covenant between the Israelites and God. We find that God used a outward symbol to signify a spiritual truth. God was willing to end His covenant with the Hebrews, if the condition of circumcision was set aside.
Apparently Zipporah abhorred the idea of cutting the foreskin off their newborn son. Instead of exercising his authority as the head of the home, Moses defers to Zipporah. And as a result, Moses is held accountable, not Zipporah.
What I find incredibly interesting, is that we find a parallel passage where an outward symbol is being used to represent the spiritual truth in the New Testament Church. Again, the issue is gender authority. Even more serious, the consequence is greater!
1 Corinthians 11:2-16 (NIV)
2 I praise you for remembering me in everything and for holding to the teachings, just as I passed them on to you.
3 Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.
4 Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head.
5 And every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head--it is just as though her head were shaved.
6 If a woman does not cover her head, she should have her hair cut off; and if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut or shaved off, she should cover her head.
7 A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man.
8 For man did not come from woman, but woman from man;
9 neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.
10 For this reason, and because of the angels, the woman ought to have a sign of authority on her head.
11 In the Lord, however, woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman.
12 For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God.
13 Judge for yourselves: Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered?
14 Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him,
15 but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For long hair is given to her as a covering.
16 If anyone wants to be contentious about this, we have no other practice--nor do the churches of God.
In this situation we see a principle for not the just Chosen People, but also the Bride of Christ.
Instead of the circumcision of men, the outward expression is a head covering on women. God once again is using an outward symbol to communicate a spiritual truth. Paul clearly establishes that one of the distinguishing marks of God's Church is a visible expression of gender authority.
Instead of communicating God's Covenant with the Hebrews, the message is God's structure of authority. Is not rebellion at the root of every sin?
Instead of Moses risking rejection, we see a group of people risking separation from the Church. Paul is very clear in addressing those who reject this message. Speaking as an Apostle, he says there is no other practice. Then to doubly communicate the seriousness and consequence, he says, “neither do the Churches of God.”
Instead of Zapporah rejecting God's command, we see women rejecting God's structure of authority. This principle of gender authority is not only a consequence of the fall, it is a consistent practice and teaching all through the Bible.
Instead of Moses acquiescing leadership, we have the males of the Church failing to establish their position. Are we not with greater responsibility having the example and teaching of the whole Bible?
Do you realize that in both these situations, we see a direct repeat of Adam and Eve in the Garden? It's not circumcision or a symbol of authority, it's the fruit of a tree. It's not the Covenant or the structure of gender authority, it's obedience to our Maker. It's not Zapporah or women in a Church, it's Eve deciding to disagree with God. It's not Moses or men in a Church, it's Adam not asserting his leadership.
Even more amazing, in each situation the same question is diabolically asked, “Did God really say...”?
The rebellion of Eve and the failure of Adam to lead. The rebellion of Zapporah and the failure of Moses to act. The rebellion of woman in the Church, and the failure of Christian men to act.
The sad thing about this is that the American Church is not contentious about this issue. We simply ignore the message of this passage. We reject the truth that ALL Scripture is profitable for four things; doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. The only contention that arises is if someone brings this passage up!
I cannot sit silent. The American Church is in too much trouble. America is in too much trouble. We are watching the unraveling of the very fabric of our society, marriage and the family. I assert that this issue is at the start of that unraveling. 'We would not be judged if we would judge ourselves'.
Do a Berean study on what I have said here. Call me to account. For the sake of the Church. And your sake.