Why was God going to kill Moses in Exodus 4 24-26 BF PNG

Why Was God Going To Kill Moses In Exodus 4:24-26

I began reading the Bible cover to cover for the first time as a new Christian in 2002. It was not what I expected.  I did not think I would see God’s wrath so vividly displayed.  Therefore, I had many questions about God’s anger and actions. I have often thought about why God was going to kill Moses in Exodus 4:24-26. This decision seemed so out of the blue. I thought I would be reading about how good and loving God was. Hence, reading about people being killed, raped, tortured, lied to, stealing and other sins was not what I was expecting.  However, I have learned that the Bible is a reflection of life, and it includes all aspects of our nature and God’s. 

We should delve into this first by understanding the great God we serve. The Bible is a living document that teaches us about ourselves and why God is to be worshipped. It helps us to understand why we do the things we do. We can learn the way of the righteous judgment of God. Finally, it helps us change by understanding who God is, who we are to God, and why we need a savior. Let’s delve into scripture to find God’s truth about why was God going to kill Moses in Exodus 4:24-26.

“At a lodging place on the way the Lord met him and sought to put him to death. Then Zipporah took a flint and cut off her son’s foreskin and touched Moses’ feet with it and said, “Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me!” So he let him alone. It was then that she said, “A bridegroom of blood,” because of the circumcision.” Exodus 4:24-26 ESV


Throughout the Bible, we learn of God’s goodness, grace, mercy, honesty, steadfastness, unlimited love, and His power. God is constantly calling us back to Him because He loves us.  Hence, He is calling us to be faithful. For God is perfectly faithful to us. Therefore, the one thing we need never do is to question God’s faithfulness.  God is perfect in His faithfulness.  This should allow mankind to be confident in being faithful to God. It allows us to give God all our worship.

“Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations,” Deuteronomy 7:9 ESV

“Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!” Psalm 95:6 ESV

Reading the Bible helps us to learn more about God’s nature and plan. This plan included Jesus. The Old Testament prophecies this plan in great detail. God sent Jesus to earth to implement this plan.  Jesus came to simplify and fulfill the Law.  To break down the barriers that prohibited us from communing with God as Adam had in the Garden of Eden. Jesus’ death on the cross removed the veil that separated us from God. Through the belief in Jesus, we can now pray directly to God. The Holy Spirit helps us with these prayers. Jesus sanctifies us, allowing God to hear our prayers. Our prayers now go up directly to God. God now hears our prayers and answers us directly. This is how God shows His love.

 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 ESV


Man is filled with a sinful nature. God is holy and blameless. God wants us also to be holy and blameless. We are allowed to live by the grace and mercy of God. This is man’s lot in life to worship a merciful God. However, sin directs man away from God causing us to worship things other than the one true God. Our sinful nature causes us to not do the things we ought to do. Instead, we are constantly doing things that we ought not to do.  All while consciously knowing what we should do. Hence, we often times ignore the voice of the Holy Spirit and allow ourselves to be tempted by Satan. It will take the power of God that dwells in us to avoid sin. We just have to allow it to guide us to God’s way out.

Man is always imperfect, defensive, resistant to correction, and impatient, all these things cause mankind to walk in sin. We constantly question God’s faithfulness within our lack of faithfulness.  However, God’s ways are not like ours and cannot be measured by the ways of mankind. God’s way of righteous judgment has always been through our faith in Him.

It is for mankind to grow his faith in God. Without faith, we cannot please God. We have to believe that He does exist to be saved.  

“So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” James 4:17 ESV

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.” Isaiah 55:8 ESV

“And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” Hebrews 11:6 ESV

Abraham And Moses

How did Moses compare to Abraham? Why did God not consider killing Abraham? How was he different than Moses? Why did it have to come down to Moses’ execution? These are some difficult questions. However, it comes down to obedience, belief, and faith. It worked together in Abraham. However, for Moses, it did not. Moses’ execution would not have changed the story of the Bible. It would not have changed the outcome of the good news. Hence, it should give us pause.

We should take the time to study Abraham and Moses and pattern our lives after their faith and obedience.  Taking in the things they did right and the things they did wrong. Living a life of faith and obedience to God will not always be easy as we can see from the life of Abraham and Moses.  However, we should focus on God and the joy of living for the Lord. This is where, like Abraham, we will find our blessings. Unfortunately, we may have to learn through suffering as Jesus did.

“And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God.” Deuteronomy 28:2 ESV

“Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered.” Hebrews 5:8 ESV

Abraham Was Obedient To God

Abraham was obedient to God and lived by faith. He believed God and believed in God. God told Abraham to leave his home and he obeyed without question. He lived his entire life in obedience to God doing what was asked. In so far as to obey Him in regard to the death of his own son. When God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac he did not hesitate. He believed in God and in God’s promises that a nation would come from His offspring. Abraham knew that God would provide a way or bring his son Isacc back to life.

Was Abraham perfect? No, he lied on more than one occasion about his relationship with his wife. He and Sarah took matters into their own hands while waiting for God to provide an heir. He questioned the Angel of the Lord regarding his actions against the number of righteous people to be found in Sodom and Gomorrah. I believe his questions were based on saving the life of his nephew Lot who lived in Sodom. Nevertheless, God counted Abraham as righteous. Abraham was blessed through his faithfulness and all nations to come. For it was from Abraham that the nation of Israel and eventually Jesus would be born. Due to Abraham’s belief and faith, God’s plan was realized for God’s people.

“Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.” Genesis 12:1 ESV

“By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son,” Hebrews 11:17 ESV

“For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” Romans 4:3 ESV

Moses Tried To Refuse God

Moses on the other hand questioned God’s choice of leader. He made multiple excuses for why God should not choose him. He told God no one would listen to me. I do not speak well. He went so far as to ask God to send someone else.  However, God chose Him and Moses was going to obey God. God was patient and countered his hesitation with promises and provisions. God encouraged Moses and gave him the tools to do his job. Hence, it may be somewhat of a shock that God wanted to kill him before this mission had a chance to succeed.

“Then Moses answered, “But behold, they will not believe me or listen to my voice, for they will say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you.” Exodus 4:1 ESV

“But Moses said to the Lord, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.” Then the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord?” Exodus 4:10-11 ESV

“But he said, “Oh, my Lord, please send someone else.”” Exodus 4:13 ESV

Moses And The Abrahamic Covenant

Moses wrote the five books of the Torah. In the Torah, he wrote about Abraham and the first time a circumcision was performed. This circumcision is the sign of the covenant between Abraham and God.  It is known as the Abrahamic Covenant of the Old Testament which required each son be circumcised on the 8th day. In this covenant God promised Abraham land, to be made into a great nation, and a promise of blessings.

Moses and the elders of Israel knew all this and how important circumcision was in keeping this seal of the covenant.  A covenant can only be broken if one of the parties breaks the agreement. Since the Abrahamic covenant was unconditional it could not be broken by man.  However, not following the practice of circumcision places man outside of God’s covenant.  Only God was bound to keep His promise and He did.  Mankind had no such stipulation. However, Moses and his family could not be a part of this covenant if they were not circumcised. Hence, an uncircumcised son would prevent Moses from being part of the covenant with God. This disobedience raised the anger of the Lord. Therefore, there had to be an atonement.

“And God said to Abraham, “As for you, you shall keep my covenant, you and your offspring after you throughout their generations. This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your offspring after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised.” Genesis 17:9-10 ESV


This atonement came in the form of blood from the circumcision of the son of Moses.  Zipporah, Moses’s wife performed the circumcisions of their firstborn son. With a sharp stone made into a flint knife, she cut the foreskin of her son. Since God was going to kill Moses, something had to be done and quickly.  At the time Moses may have been bedridden and on the brink of death. Some form of illness may have been the way God had planned to kill Moses. Therefore, this may be the reason Zipporah touched his feet with the foreskin. She may have been distributing the “husband of blood” on Moses’s feet while he was lying down.  The speedy performance of the duty saved Moses’ life. At this time, the God of Abraham was filled with grace and mercy and allowed Moses to live after the rite of circumcision was performed.

“At a lodging place on the way the Lord met him and sought to put him to death. Then Zipporah took a flint and cut off her son’s foreskin and touched Moses’ feet with it and said, “Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me!” So he let him alone. It was then that she said, “A bridegroom of blood,” because of the circumcision.” Exodus 4:24-26 ESV

God’s Plan

God’s command that Moses lead His people out of bondage was met with many objections from Moses. Moses answered God with many excuses and complaints. However, God’s plan was not going to be stopped by mere excuses. Therefore, God grew angry with Moses. Moses did not understand the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob, and the Lord God of their fathers had far greater power. God removed all of Moses’ objections to speaking to the elders of Israel and entering the court of pharaoh. He had heard the cries of His people and was moved to rescue them from their oppression Exodus 3:7-8 ESV.

God appointed Aaron to be Moses’ spokesperson, God provided the words for Aaron to speak, and the wonder-working rod to convince the pharaoh to listen to Moses. Next Zipporah’s act of circumcising Moses’ son fulfilled the Abrahamic covenant.

Eventually, Moses took leave of his father-in-law to do as God commanded. He went to the court of pharaoh and led God’s people out of Egypt.

“Then the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses and he said, “Is there not Aaron, your brother, the Levite? I know that he can speak well. Behold, he is coming out to meet you, and when he sees you, he will be glad in his heart. You shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth, and I will be with your mouth and with his mouth and will teach you both what to do. He shall speak for you to the people, and he shall be your mouth, and you shall be as God to him. And take in your hand this staff, with which you shall do the signs.” Exodus 4:14-17 ESV


We all sin. It is a very common course of nature for us. No one can avoid it because it is in our hearts. The heart can be very deceitful.  Much so that we can hardly understand it.  If we did, we would make every effort to avoid the many evils of the world.  However, there are two sides to sin. The side that makes us feel good temporarily and the other side that is very evil and sick.

The thing about some sin is that it makes us feel good for the moment.  They provide short-term gratification. This type of sin slowly erodes our soul. The fleeting sense of pleasure immediately begins to eat away at the fabric of many good men. This type of sin leads you to believe that you are not harming yourself or anyone. However, the God of truth will eventually convict you of these sins.

Sin can also make us feel bad by evoking fear, anger, and shame. A fear that prevents us from obeying God. A shame that prevents us from living a joyful life. An anger that can cause damage to ourselves or others. Hence, some of the consequences are pain, illness, and even spiritual or physical death.

Above all, it separates us from the love of God. Second, it can have consequences that last a lifetime. Finally, unrepented sin can lead to eternity in hell rather than heaven. We must take every step to guard our own hearts.

“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” Romans 3:23 ESV

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9 ESV

“Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” Proverbs 4:23 ESV


Jesus Christ is our Savior. Believing in Jesus guarantees that nothing can separate us from the love of God. He is the only way to God and eternity in Heaven.  When God sent his one and only son to Earth it was a great change in our relationship with God. It was to be a great joy as heralded by the angels of God. Jesus was being sent to save all mankind not just the children of Israel. It is through the belief in Jesus is where we will find our salvation. This leads to the confession of sins and repentance. Without Jesus, there would be only death. However, Jesus paid the price so that we would not have to die.

To begin the process of redemption we need only to confess our sins. We must believe that our Savior has the power to cleanse us from our sins. However, if you find yourself constantly repenting, know that God is faithful to give you a way out. We have a God who provided a savior, the Holy Spirit, and who knows our mind, body, and Soul.  God is able to fully know us because He came to live amongst us. Jesus was fully God and fully man.  He walked amongst us so that He could completely experience our trials and temptations. As He walked amongst us Jesus committed no sin. Therefore, as a blameless sacrifice, Jesus is the gift of eternity from God.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23 ESV

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 ESV

Recap of Why Was God Going To Kill Moses In Exodus 4:24-26

After meeting with Moses at the burning bush and having several conversations with Moses God wished to kill him. However, what we need to understand is Moses needed to present himself to God in a faithful manner.  As descendants of Abraham Moses needed to believe in God’s plan and he also needed to be faithful to God. God’s plan has always been about life and redemption. God wants to redeem His people and we want to be redeemed. 

However, Moses allowed his secret fear to get in the way of getting his own house in order. He resisted the will of God in leading His people out of slavery. Moses’ own slowness of speech was not going to stop the voice of God. It was not one of the strongest arguments to deter the will of God. God raised up Moses’s brother Aaron to speak for Moses. By the divine power of God Israel would be set free from bondage in the land of Egypt.

It is our desire as Christians to live a life free of fears, tears, pain, hurt, and sadness.  This life can only be found in eternity with God. What we have learned about why was God going to kill Moses in Exodus 4:24-26 by understanding God’s plan and faithfulness.

I think Moses did not fully understand his calling from God. I do not believe Moses felt in his later years that God would call him. However, this very difficult passage of story was to read we all must be prepared to do God’s. As Moses had to pick up the rod of Israel and follow the Lord’s commands one day we may be called to do the same. By the grace of God, we will all be ready for this special service.

Additional Reading:

The Bible Is About Redemption

Understanding God’s Holiness and Ours

Unconditional Love Of God

Why Jesus Is Important

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