Zipporah did not have that much attention compared to his husband Moses. But she did something that made her story just as important in the life of our Exodus hero.
The story of Zipporah was divided into three parts: when she met Moses in a well (Exodus 2), the incident in the lodging place on the way back to Egypt (Exodus 4), and their reunion during the Exodus (Exodus 18). She is probably an interesting character to ponder.
In her story, you will see how anyone can be a blessing in disguise for other people and that you have a purpose given to you by God.
Let us find out how Zipporah is People Just Like You.
Zipporah’s Back story
Moses, the man whom the story of Exodus circled, have had important people surrounding him that made him the Moses we read and study today. One of them was the shepherdess Zipporah, a woman from the seven daughters of Jethro the Midianite priest.
Moses was one of the fresh borns who the Pharaoh planned to annihilate, because he thought that the Israelite people were growing immensely and feared being overtaken by them.
To prevent this, his mother and two siblings made their way near the river bank of Nile where the princess of Egypt usually take a bath. His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him.
Not long, the Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the Nile to bathe. Her servants were on her side walking along the riverbanks. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her servant to see what was inside. There, she saw a child and immediately knew he was one of the Hebrew babies. She felt sorry for the child and she decided to keep him.
The child’s sister, who saw what just happened, ran towards the princess and asked her if she wanted to get a Hebrew woman to take care of and nurse the child. The princess agreed and the girl got the baby’s mother. She took the child and nursed him.
When he got older, he was adopted by the princess. She named him Moses, for he was drawn out of the water.
Moses grew up and developed a heart of concern for his people. It is possible that throughout his childhood and being in the care of her own mother while he was growing, they’ve already briefed him about his own blood-relation with the slaves of Egypt. He acquired the compassion of his nation and it made his heart melt. One day, while he was watching them at their hard labor, he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his people.
He looked around the place to check to see eyewitnesses. When he saw it was clear, he proceeded to kill the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. On the next day, he went out and see two Hebrews fighting. He tried to rebuke them but was stopped in track for they told him, “Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?”
The Pharaoh also heard of this incident and tried to kill Moses. Afraid of his life, Moses was confused and didn’t know what to do so he ran off through the desert and found himself in the middle of nowhere. He was sitting down by the well near the town of the Midianites.
And here, he met with Zipporah.
see the full story in the Bible: Genesis 2-18
Seven daughters of the Midianite priest came by the well and tried to fetch water for their father’s flock. Some rude shepherds came by and drove them away, but Moses got up and came to their rescue and watered their father’s flock. The sisters went home and their father asked why they came back early. They told him they were helped by an Egyptian man.
(It could have been hard to distinguish the difference between Egyptians and Midianites because they were already mingling with each other for so long that their faces became similar, so they must have known he was Egyptian based on the way he dressed and all the markings on his face).
“The Wife of Moses”
Jethro (also known as Reuel), the Midian Priest, came to a conclusion and sent his children back to the well to take this man who helped them from harm come home and celebrate.
“And where is he?” Reuel asked his daughters. “Why did you leave him? Invite him to have something to eat.”Exodus 2:20
Moses agreed to stay with them because there was nowhere to go to anyway. He stayed there long enough to get Zipporah, one of the seven sisters, from his father her hand in marriage.
Their love grew and Zipporah gave birth to a son, and Moses named him Gershom, saying, “I have become a foreigner in a foreign land.”Exodus 2:22
Zipporah helped Moses heal from the wounds of his past. Jethro even gave Moses his flocks to tend. This woman and his family became his life and they remained in Midian until God talked to Moses.
“Bridegroom of Blood”
The Israelites groaned and suffered during these period. God heard their cry and remembered His covenant with their ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Moses was tending the flocks of his father-in-law, Jethro. He led them near Horeb, the mountain of God. Then the angel of God came to Moses in the form of fire burning within the bush. He was curious and came to see what was happening to it.
When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.”
“Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.”
Then he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.Exodus 3
God told Moses that He heard the cries of the Israelites. He planned to take Moses in charge of pastoring the Isralietes away from Egypt as he pastors his father-in-law’s flocks.
After debating with the Lord about not being qualified to do the task, and God showing him how to do it right, he accepted the command.
So he went back to Egypt, his childhood home, took his wife and sons with him on a camel. And they started their journey.
On the way, they stopped at a lodging place to take the day rest, but the Lord came to them and about to kill Moses.
The Scripture was written as “At a lodging place on the way, the Lord met Moses and was about to kill him.”
It is debatable whether the HIM was meant to be Moses or his son.
The him could mean Moses himself for he was going to represent God throughout Egypt but he was not qualified because he did not follow everything that God has commanded. It could also mean that the him in the scripture was his second born son, Eliezar, because he was not yet circumcised despite the covenant of the Lord for His people.
Nevertheless, Zipporah, with her quick thinking got them all spared.
But Zipporah took a flint knife, cut off her son’s foreskin and touched Moses’ feet with it. “Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me,” she said. So the Lord let him alone. (At that time she said “bridegroom of blood,” referring to circumcision.)Exodus 4:25-26
If you read it literally, Zipporah seemed a little upset and you can tell about her reaction that she was disappointed.
It was not written in the Bible how she really felt, but we can see that she was only trying to protect her family. Even though she did not know why the Lord nearly strike them down, she was knowledgeable enough to be familiar with the covenant of God about circumsicions and how He spares the life of anyone who follows Him.
If it wasn’t for her quick thinking, Moses would have never made his way back to Egypt and the Exodus won’t be happening anytime soon.
“Zipporah met with his husband in the wilderness”
Moses sent back his family to Zipporah’s hometown. There, she met with his father Jethro and he saw his grandchildren. The firstborn Gershom, named after Moses being a foreigner in their land. And the youngest Eliezar, for he became the help of God.
They stayed away for a long time until Jethro learned about everything that Moses had done for his family and his people. Probably on the way to the mountain, Zipporah told his father how God has shown His wonders through Moses, how he tended the Isralietes away from Egypt for being slaves, and took them into the wilderness.
Jethro took Zipporah and her children with him and they met with Moses on the foot of mount Sainai. Even though the Bible did not tell us if she greeted him even a slight “hello”, or with a faint smile, she came.
We Reflect on Zipporah because:
She cares for Moses.
Zipporah lived her whole life with his family in Midian. She was happy living with her sisters and all their silly games. But because she cared for Moses, she went with him back to Egypt to take action on what the Lord has commanded him to do: tell Pharaoh to let his people go. Together with her family, she travelled through the desert and into Egypt.
We give up everything for the ones we care about. The love that we share to others is a reflection of goodness in our hearts. Let us not be weary of caring for others.
She has a discerning spirit.
Zipporah, when the wrath of the Lord was upon her family, thought fast of a way to take care of it herself. She circumcised his son, one thing that Moses should have done himself. But because of her concern and her knowledge about the God of the Hebrews and of her ancestor Abraham, she kept the tradition and her family was spared.
This gift is within us. We just have to let God show us or talk to us about these things that we cannot answer for ourselves. The gift of discerning is hard to practice because of many little details that confuses our minds.
So if you have it, take care of it and use it for the glory of God.
We can be a blessing for others.
25 A generous person will prosper;Proverbs 11:25-26
whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.
26 People curse the one who hoards grain,
but they pray God’s blessing on the one who is willing to sell.
13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.Romans 12:13
We can correct someone who is going ashtray.
20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.James 5:20
6 Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.Galatians 6:1
We came to serve.
28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”Matthew 20:28
God gave us purpose.
16 But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.Exodus 9:16
2 “I know that you can do all things;Job 42:2
no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
21 Many are the plans in a person’s heart,Proverbs 19:21
but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.Romans 8:28
We are scarred, not complete. We are flawed, not perfect.
But we can be an aid for others and they can heal from us. Because God made a way to use us for His purpose. And his purpose is for the goodness of all His people.
There will also be people around us who will help us to recover from our weaknesses. So let us remain to be a helper, for God blesses everyone who does good.
Who knows? You might be in the aid of someone who will be a great help for you in the future.
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