16 Now a priest of Midian had seven daughters, and they came to draw water and fill the troughs to water their father’s flock. 17 Some shepherds came along and drove them away, but Moses got up and came to their rescue and watered their flock.
18 When the girls returned to Reuel their father, he asked them, “Why have you returned so early today?”
19 They answered, “An Egyptian rescued us from the shepherds. He even drew water for us and watered the flock.”
20 “And where is he?” Reuel asked his daughters. “Why did you leave him? Invite him to have something to eat.”
21 Moses agreed to stay with the man, who gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses in marriage.
Exodus 2: 16-21 NIV
But all that was about to change...
Moses’ father-in-law was named Jethro.[a] Jethro was a priest of Midian. Moses took care of Jethro’s sheep. One day Moses led the sheep to the west side of the desert. He went to a mountain called Horeb,[b]the mountain of God. 2 On that mountain, Moses saw the angel of the Lord in a burning bush.
Moses saw a bush that was burning without being destroyed. 3 So he decided to go closer to the bush and see how a bush could continue burning without being burned up.
Exodus 3: 1-3 ERV
24 Along the way at a [resting-] place, the Lord met [Moses] and sought to kill him [made him acutely and almost fatally ill].
25 [Now apparently he had [a]failed to circumcise one of his sons, his wife being opposed to it; but seeing his life in such danger] Zipporah took a flint knife and cut off the foreskin of her son and cast it to touch [Moses’] feet, and said, Surely a husband of blood you are to me!
26 When He let [Moses] alone [to recover], Zipporah said, A husband of blood are you because of the circumcision.
Exodus 4: 24-26
- Exodus 4:25 He who is on his way to liberate the people of the circumcision has in Midian even neglected to circumcise his second son Eliezer (J.P. Lange, A Commentary). It was necessary that at this stage of Moses’ experience he should learn that God is in earnest when He speaks, and will assuredly perform all that He has threatened (J.G. Murphy, A Commentary on the Book of Exodus).
I picked up and left the only home I'd ever known to go to a hostile place. I did the unthinkable and circumcised my own son to save Moses's life. And now he wants to send me packing?
I've done what needed to be done, over and over again. And now this.
Maybe some time apart will be good for all of us. I can't wrap my head around the whole telling the Pharoah to "let my people go" thing. All I know is I don't think I could handle Moses and our sons being in danger at the same time.
Back home to Dad it is. I just pray it's not permanent.
2 After Moses had sent away his wife Zipporah, his father-in-law Jethro received her 3 and her two sons. One son was named Gershom,[a] for Moses said, “I have become a foreigner in a foreign land”; 4 and the other was named Eliezer,[b] for he said, “My father’s God was my helper;he saved me from the sword of Pharaoh.”
5 Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, together with Moses’ sons and wife, came to him in the wilderness, where he was camped near the mountain of God.
Exodus 18: 2-5 NIV
When you reflect on those scenarios, can you glimpse a moment, when against all odds, you still did the right thing? And is there ever a twinge of disappointment that no one acknowledged it?
Research about Zipporah indicates a considerable debate on whether she was selfless or self-serving. But, you know what, Dear Reader, it really doesn't matter.
Surely, God loves it when His children step up to the plate when the pressure is on. Of course He knows our hearts and motivations. Through the saving grace of His Son, God has shown us that, despite our flaws, He is willing to love us when we do the right thing.
No matter what Zipporah's actions and words were, before or after the pit stop on the way to Egypt, that moment saved a nation, a nation of God's people. Praise God for the encouragement He has given us through her story about the impact of His power through us.