What does it mean to cut a blood covenant? What about understanding that it was the Holy Trinity’s go-to means of crossing the great divide and making an exchange to have an intimate relationship with Him? The first place we see a blood covenant being made was in the Garden of Eden where God Himself was said to have killed and skinned animals to provide something more ‘permanent’ for Adam and Eve to wear upon their exit from Eden. God did not scold them for their knowledge or shame of nakedness; He merely provided a sacrifice to cover them.
It was a stupid move on the part of Adam and Eve, a deadly move with an outcome that would affect mankind for eternity. Yet, God did not focus on the long-term tragedy, but on the immediate and essential need for them both to move forward to the next level of His plan. He (God) still had a blueprint to fulfill through Adam and Eve and they were still to be a part of it.
God’s plan for Adam and Eve to go and take dominion over the earth (Genesis 1:28) was not diminished by their sin. His intent for bringing mankind to accomplish His plan required a sacrifice. God already knew about the need for a sacrifice, and knew it would take Himself to do it. The transformation of the knowledge of their nakedness still represented, at its core, the ability to be transformed into the beauty of oneness – covenant once again. God’s desire and heart, although broken from the disconnect through sin and the fall of mankind, was nevertheless undaunted in the design He had in mind. Love would yet prevail, centuries later by the covering of mankind through the sacrificial blood of His own Son, Jesus, the Christ.
Fast forward now to Exodus 4:22. God is speaking with Moses about what he is to say and do when he approaches Pharaoh, King of Egypt, to set the Hebrews free. Note how God refers to his people - “Israel is My son, My firstborn”. What a profound statement of covenant relationship and ownership as God reveals His plans to Moses (verse 23) about what will happen if Pharaoh refuses to let him (Israel) go. What an extraordinary display of love, despite the ways in which Israel had continually turned their back on God and gone their own way.
The real kicker comes next, in Exodus 4:25-26. “Then Zipporah (Moses’ wife) took a sharp stone and cut off the foreskin of her son and cast it at Moses’ feet, and said, “Surely you are a husband of blood to me!” So, He (God) let him (Moses) go. Then Zipporah said, “You are a husband of blood!”—because of the circumcision.” God leveraged an old issue which had remained unresolved – that of Moses' marriage. God was going to kill him unless he addressed the issue. To possess his birthright, it would cost Moses his marriage. In fact, Zipporah left Moses and went back to her family with the kids.
This blood covenant represented by this circumcision, was a type of rebellious submission on Zipporah’s part, necessary to reveal what was in her heart. The obedience of circumcision stood as part of an essential element of repentance in God’s eyes. Moses had not completed that act but had compromised with his non-Hebrew wife, Zipporah. In God’s eyes, there was no compromise optional if Moses were to receive the oneness necessary to step-up to the assignment set forth in Egypt. Taking hold of a birthright will cost. And in Moses' case, this was his marriage, the cutting away of something from his own seed.
Moses’ obedience to go to Egypt was a return to his place of birth and the most dangerous place on earth. It required facing Pharaoh and carrying out an incredibly insane plan to free the Hebrew slaves. It cost him his marriage, and God knew this would happen in order that Moses could fulfill his birthright.
This demonstration of obedience was of heart-wrenching proportion, an often foreign concept to our sloppy way of seeking an easier way, when there is something not dealt with which God requires us to handle. The question to ask ourselves at any new juncture of stepping up into an assignment is, what are we being asked to prune, to cut off, or to come out of relationship with in order to enter into our birthright?
Wrestling with God, ‘on the way’ as Moses did, tells us that God is serious about what we are about to enter. The steps we take to possess our birthright in this journey are to be life changing. Our repentance and obedience to each detail leading up to an assignment are both important for either God-sized merit or repercussions for ourselves, others, and nations. There is no room for rebellion or disingenuous submission. We will not enter our birthright without a blood covenant; one made not by human hands, but God’s (Hebrews 11:10).