In recent decades, it is more and more common for women to speak in church services, doing things like reading scripture, praying, giving testimonies, singing solos, leading worship, and preaching. This is happening even though there are verses in the Bible that prohibit women from speaking in church. In Exodus 4 we learn Moses failed to take one of God’s commands seriously and God almost killed Moses. The lesson to us is we need to take all of God’s commands very seriously, including His restrictions on the role of women in church.
Moses obeyed God and travelled to Egypt
Ex. 4:18 Then Moses departed and returned to Jethro his father-in-law and said to him, “Please, let me go, that I may return to my brethren who are in Egypt, and see if they are still alive.” And Jethro said to Moses, “Go in peace.”
Ex. 4:19 Now the LORD said to Moses in Midian, “Go back to Egypt, for all the men who were seeking your life are dead.”
Moses had fled Egypt because he had killed an Egyptian. God assured Moses it was now safe for him to go back to Egypt.
Ex. 4:20 So Moses took his wife and his sons and mounted them on a donkey, and returned to the land of Egypt. Moses also took the staff of God in his hand.
Ex. 4:21 The LORD said to Moses, “When you go back to Egypt see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders which I have put in your power; but I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go.
The wonders were three miracles God had given Moses to perform in front of Pharaoh in order to prove that God was speaking through Moses. (see Exodus 4:1-9)
Ex. 4:22 “Then you[Moses] shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the LORD, “Israel is My son, My firstborn.
Ex. 4:23 “So I[Yahweh] said to you, ‘Let My son[Israelites] go that he may serve Me’; but you[Pharaoh][ have refused to let him go. Behold, I[Yahweh] will kill your son, your firstborn.”’”
God eventually killed Pharaoh’s son. (see Exodus 12)
God tried to kill Moses
Ex. 4:24 Now it came about at the lodging place on the way that the LORD met him[Moses] and sought to put him to death.
Zipporah saved Moses
Ex. 4:25 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.”
Ex. 4:26 So He[Yahweh] let him[Moses] alone. At that time she[Moses’ wife] said, “You[Moses] are a bridegroom of blood” — because of the circumcision.
Moses was saved from death when Zipporah circumcised their son.
Moses was not obedient regarding circumcision
Gen. 17:9-10 God said further to Abraham,
“Now as for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. This is My covenant, which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: every male among you shall be circumcised.
Gen. 17:12 “And every male among you who is eight days old shall be circumcised throughout your generations,
Gen. 17:14 “But an uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant.”
Moses was a descendant of Abraham so Moses was supposed to have circumcised his son. Moses had not, so God tried to kill him. The lesson to us is we need to take each of God’s commands very seriously.
The Bible restricts the role of women in church
1Tim. 2:11 A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness.
1Tim. 2:12 But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet.
1Cor. 14:34 The women are to keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but are to subject themselves, just as the Law also says.
1Cor. 14:35 If they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is improper for a woman to speak in church.
These verses prohibit women from speaking in church. Just as Moses should have taken God’s commandment about circumcision very seriously, so too we need to take God’s restrictions on the role of women very seriously.
God will resort to discipline
Heb. 12:9 Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live?
Heb. 12:10 For they[earthly fathers] disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He[God] disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness.
Rev. 3:19 ‘Those whom I[Jesus] love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.