Our three kids are very different people, and when they were growing up, it was impossible to treat them all alike, they just needed different handling. Of course we love them all equally, but ‘equal’ is different from ‘same’. When I look around the Christian world, I sometimes think it’s like that between God and us. Of course he loves each one of us so much he could not love us more – so the love for each one has to be equal; but I get the feel that there is a difference in how he relates to us. Or perhaps it’s more to do with how we relate to him. But I sometimes think he sets a higher standard for some Christians. And we probably all think it’s harder for me than everyone else!
But maybe that thought helps me to get my head around Exodus 4:24-26. It’s certainly one of the more difficult passages in the bible. Moses had a high calling. He was to lead the Children of Israel out of slavery and into the Promised Land. He had to set a high standard; God was not letting him get away with anything. He also needed his wife firmly beside him. Whether it was her influence, or whether Moses had just got sloppy, but they had not followed God’s orders, and one of their sons had not been circumcised. So God put some pressure on; suddenly Zipporah was right beside her husband, and they were both totally focused on obedience to God, and ready for the task ahead.
With our own children, it was sometimes necessary to apply pressure to one, for example to get their homework done, whilst another might need a little more pressure in the area of keeping their bedroom tidy. God, our loving heavenly father sees our potential and our failings. In his wisdom, he knows the pressure he needs to apply – not to make life difficult for us, but for us to be the best we can. So maybe he’s not just letting my fellow Christian off the hook much more easily than me. Maybe the challenges are about helping me achieve all that he has for me.