Our first absurd story comes from the book of Exodus. You know the book. It’s the one with the ten plagues on Egypt, crossing the Red Sea, manna from heaven, etc. All great and popular stories in churches today! And who can forget the sacred “Ten Commandments”? Don’t kill. Don’t steal. Don’t lie. Don’t have sex with another man’s wife. Mind boggling wisdom in those Ten Commandments. Thank you, Moses! Where would we be without you? But have you ever heard of Bible-God’s assassination attempt on Moses that was stymied when his wife cut the foreskin off of her son’s penis? Oh, you forgot about that one? That’s okay. It makes poor sermon material and is probably never read from most pulpits. But let’s read this alleged mind-boggling divine wisdom together.
First, however, I will set up the scene for context. It’s found in Exodus 4. Moses has been called by his God to lead the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt, but first he must deal with Pharaoh, who is reluctant to give up his slaves. After Moses gets permission from his father-in-law to go to Egypt, Bible-God instructs Moses to perform some miracles in front of Pharaoh when he arrives in Egypt, but Bible-God intends on hardening Pharaoh’s heart and killing his first born son so the miracles and plagues are all just for show until the final act: death of all the firstborn in Egypt. Okay, with that being noted it looks like Moses is traveling with his family when all of a sudden:
“It came about at the lodging place on the way that the LORD met him and sought to put him to death. Then Zipporah took a flint and cut off her son’s foreskin and threw it at Moses’ feet, and she said, “You are indeed a bridegroom of blood to me.” So He let him alone. At that time she said, “You are a bridegroom of blood”—because of the circumcision.” (Exodus 4:24-26, NASB).
The story then goes on to Moses and Aaron meeting up at the mountain of God. Moses tells Aaron who tells the elders of Israel who tell the rest of Israel what Bible-God said to Moses. But wait just a moment! What just happened in Exodus 4:24-26? The Lord met whom and tried to do what?! It looks like Bible-God intended to kill Moses but he was spared when his wife Zipporah cut the skin off the tip of her son’s penis and threw it at Moses’ feet. What a nightmare for Moses! Bible-God tried to kill Moses, but thanks to his wife’s swift action Moses was pardoned by the merciful Bible-God whose loving-kindness and long-suffering is everlasting. But what a nightmare for the poor little confused boy, too! He had to have an emergency circumcision performed on him by his mother to save his dad’s life from angry Bible-God. Does this sound consistent with the oft repeated idea in churches today that Bible-God is kind and patient? If this story sounds absurd to you, then it just shows you have a higher intelligence than the author of Exodus.