Day 56: A Capital Offense

Read Exodus 4:24-26

Who knew a foreskin would prove to be death repellent. But first, some backstory: Moses was en route to Egypt after hiding for 40 years. In his exile, he established a family and had taken to having “face‐to‐face” talks with God (Exodus 3). God told Moses to go liberate His people, the Israelites, from slavery in Egypt. But Moses, the leader of God’s covenant people, had failed to do one key thing: circumcise his baby boy. So the angel of the Lord came to kill Moses—his failure was a capital offense! Happily for Moses, his wife, Zipporah quickly circumcised the child and shielded Moses with the result.

We cannot do anything to achieve our own salvation (Ephesians 2:8‐9). We do play a part in the salvation of others—especially our children. God has commissioned us to share the Gospel to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). This always begins at home. Since Abraham, parents have been commanded to bring their children into the covenant from infancy (Genesis 17:12) and charged with explaining God’s salvation work continually in the home (Exodus 12:24‐27; Deuteronomy 6:4‐9). God’s dealings with Moses show the gravity of this call. So the Jews took these admonitions very seriously. This provides significant context for understanding the promises God gave with baptism.

When the Apostle Peter preached a fiery sermon on Pentecost, his Jewish listeners were cut to the heart. They cried out, “What must we do to be saved?” And Peter made this declaration: “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call” (Acts 2:38‐39). Certainly some babies were baptized that day among those 3,000 converts!