Questions on Moses, Romans 8:28, and Jesus’ Authority

I have several questions from the box to deal with for a couple of weeks. The first is concerning a peculiar situation with Moses.

Why would God try to kill Moses after He called him to deliver the people?

Immediately following God’s call to Moses in Midian to deliver the people from Egypt, Moses begins to travel to Egypt with his family (Exodus 4:20). While camped during the journey, the “LORD met him and sought to kill him” (4:24). This was ultimately due to Moses’ neglect to circumcise his son according to God’s covenant with Abraham. It seems that Moses was nearing death and unable to perform the circumcision himself, so his wife, Zipporah, makes the decision to step in and cut off the foreskin of her son. Once she does, the Lord let Moses go, and his life was spared.

I believe the answers we want from this strange situation lie in Zipporah and her words and actions after she performs the circumcision. Consider that she throws their son’s foreskin at Moses’ feet, saying, “you are a husband of blood to me”, then after Moses’ life is spared, she says this statement again, and the text further explains why she said this: “because of the circumcision.” Her anger is not because Moses didn’t circumcise their son as he should, her anger is due to the fact that their son was circumcised, and his blood was shed in this manner. This is enlightening and helps fill in the gaps in the account. It was Zipporah who restrained Moses from circumcising their son to begin with. Out of desperation, to save Moses’ life, she decides to circumcise the child, but calls Moses a “husband of blood”, not because he shed blood, but that it was because of him that her child had to shed blood in circumcision. All of this points to Zipporah being against her son’s circumcision, and that Moses had given in to the demands of Zipporah’s contentions. We are told later that Moses had “sent her back” to Midian (Exodus 18:2). Though we don’t know for sure when that happened, most people believe it was on this occasion. She only reappears when her father brings her back to Moses upon hearing all that God had done for Moses and Israel (Exodus 18:1-6). So, to attempt an answer to the question above, God nearly killing Moses was a lesson he wouldn’t soon forget; if he had disobeyed God by giving in to his wife’s demands, what would he do before Pharoah and before the children of Israel? It was crucial that Moses remain strong in his faith and obedience to God through the next 40 years of his life as the leader of God’s people, and this must be why God punished Moses in this way.

Discuss Romans 8:28.

Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

Paul, amid a context of suffering in the present yet glory in the future, states that “we know” something. The “we” will soon be clarified as “those who love God”. It is those who love God and not the world; willing to suffer in this creation with a humble spirit of obedience, these are the ones who “know”. This word “know” is a settled conviction, it is an assurance, a confidence that comes from faith in God. And what is this that those who love God are assured of? That “all things work together for good to those who love God”. The “all things” in context, would refer to all things that occur on this earth that we are either positively or negatively affected by. These things work together for good. Now, some of the old manuscripts include “O’ THEOS” (The Greek definite article and the Greek word for “God”), which specifies that it is God who works all things together for good. Though other manuscripts do not include the word for “God”, it is still inferred that this is God’s doing, and it is God’s enduring work that we are convicted of. So, the English from the Greek may read: “God co-operates for good in all things”, thus, He is not the cause of evil deeds or bad things happening to good people, but that He does in fact co-operate with these things that happen to create a good purpose from it. And, again, this is not for all people, but to them that love God; so the application of this text is greatly limited to those who faithful walk the narrow way of Christ. This text is often misapplied, and people tend to want to include everyone in it and every tragic situation on the news, but that is not what the text said. It is only the things that affect those who love God, these are those who, in context, have been adopted into God’s house and have become joint-heirs with Christ (8:17). Their father will take care of them and will handle the situations that befall them. Further, He is able to work with every situation to ensure that good comes from it. The following verses elaborate on the astounding abilities of God, as He “foreknew” and He “predestined”; these words demonstrate the scope of His providence, knowledge, and power. He is able to bring to fruition all that He has planned. If God is able to handle things of former times, He is able to handle what concerns us today, and in all days to come.

When was Jesus given authority?

Jesus is our Creator, so by means of that position, he has always had all authority over us. There is, however, a short period of time when Jesus let go of this authority to be a sacrifice for us. Philippians 2:6-8 explains: “who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Jesus didn’t count His equality with the Father (and His authority) as a thing that He would rather keep a grasp on than leave heaven to suffer. There is no selfish ambition in Christ, only humility. Therefore Jesus, when He took on flesh, said, “For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak.” (John 12:49). For the number of years He spent in the flesh, he was without His own authority, but by His resurrection, He was raised in power (Romans 1:4). And upon returning to His disciples, Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” (Matthew 28:18). And Jesus continues to this day, at the right hand of the Father, reigning with supreme authority over all. As Hebrews declares that God, “in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:2-3). Though I may not fully understand Jesus’ station when He was in the flesh, one thing is certain, that since His resurrection, He has been “exalted above every name”, and “every tongue should confess that Jesus is Lord” (i.e. Master) – Philippians 2:9-11.