“You are a bloody husband to me!”
Can you hear her words echo in the desert wind? Zipporah. Wife of Moses. These words of hers have the sound of accusation. As if a fault lies somewhere hidden below the surface. Scholars often point to Zipporah as bitter, spoiled, and possibly the controlling factor of Moses’ decision in not circumcising their son. Why do we so often tend to see the negative in others and not look at the events surrounding their circumstance? Let’s ponder a moment what could have been going on at their stopping place in the middle of the desert.
Zipporah lived in the Midian desert with her family. One day, she and her sisters were being mistreated while trying to water their sheep when this dashing young man in princely clothes shows up to save the day! In time Jethro’s daughter and the young prince marry. Mazel Tov, Zipporah! Now she finds herself married to an Egyptian raised Israelite who fled the palace to save his own life. Two cultures from the same forefather were merged together with this union. It’s hard to know how much of the teachings from his mom that Moses put into practice within Pharaoh’s home. But he knew of them. He knew of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He cared enough for his bloodline family to defend it physically. This unique couple lived their lives tending sheep and toiling the land. For Zipporah, it’s all she had ever known. For Moses, from the windows of luxury he had watched others working hard, toiling in the African heat. Yet he learned from his bride the art of living off the land. And he learned to be a shepherd.
Then came the day Moses met God out in the middle of their desert. Although he recognized the holiness of God and covered his face, he did not run. He listened and obeyed. And that began a new chapter in his life.
Can you imagine the shock Zipporah must have had the day her desert prince entered their tent with a story about hearing the voice of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? And then he added, “O, by the way, we are going to Egypt to tell the Pharaoh to set free all of his Israelite slaves.”
Take a breath Zippy! “Let’s get this straight. The Unseen God talked to you, from a bush that was on fire but did not burn. He is wanting you to go back to a country where a death warrant is on your head, give commands to the king, and walk away with a million people following?” Kudos to Zippy for boldness to travel to a foreign, hostile land just because Moses believed!
On their way to Egypt, Moses gets sick and nearly dies. Only one thing could save him. Circumcise the boy. Only one person was well enough to do the task. Zipporah. The quick, minor surgery on her own son saved the life of her fugitive husband. She, like Moses, did not run but stood in the gap. When everything was falling around her, something from within rose up and gave her the strength to face the adverse circumstance.
Ever been there? I have. Often. Those times when, whether a test from God, an attack from Satan, or just events of life comes against the man of God. When he is basically knocked off his feet, who usually is left to stand in the gap? The person who has vowed ‘until death’. Or those times when it seems everything is against your child, parent, best friend, church body, etc. Whatever the fight, it challenges everything within you.
I still see one such night clearly as if it were yesterday. Kids were now teens. Each busy that night doing their own things. We were in the midst of transition and had no idea where our next assignment would take us. Challenging time for us all. And it happened. My husband went off to our room. In my mind, I thought nothing of it at first. Then I was drawn to follow. Walking into the room, I found him lying on the bed. He was able to whisper to me, “Pray for me.” Immediately intercession began. After a few minutes, I walked out and told the kids, “Pray for dad. Pray like you have never prayed before! And pray NOW!” I went back in the room and dropped to my knees. All I could get out was, “Not now Lord! Don’t take him. It’s not time yet. We need more time.” And I wept. My vigil continued until I felt a release.
Where had those words come from? Spirit. About thirty minutes after my vigil, my husband came out and asked what had happened. Then he proceeded to inform me that a dark being came in and was attempting to choke the life out of him during that time.
In Zipporah’s culture, circumcision was done by the new bride. The foreskin was tossed to the ground as the bride pronounced, “You are a bloody husband.” This was Zipporah’s understanding of blood covenant. This was her act of accepting her position as one with Moses. And she aptly rose to stand in the gap. Moses chose to follow God’s voice. She chose to follow him.
So often the families of those in leadership are judged by others who have preconceived ideas as to what that role looks like. Perfection is often expected. Or maybe it’s the concept that each child should operate in the same gifting’s or callings of their parents. And have the same wise answers. But that is not God’s way. Nor should it be expected.
Maybe you have the tendency to judge someone’s action without knowing the full story. Step back. Take a breath. Listen to God’s voice of grace first. Just like there is usually more to your own story, there probably is to theirs as well.
Maybe you are familiar with the judgments of others. Find who you are in Him and rise above other opinions. The more time we spend with Him in a true intimate relationship, the more we become like Him and start walking with an unoffendable heart.
Or maybe you are facing a situation that was not of your choosing. One that causes you to take action and rise above. Have a friend or family member that needs Christ? Do warfare. Have a body of believers needing a visitation? Pray until it happens. Whatever the situation – choose to stand in the gap. Stand, without judgment, until released. Life will come forth!
Whether they had chosen to circumcise one son in Moses’ custom and one in Zipporah’s, we do not know. But we know she didn’t run from the ordeal. Once again, my research of the wife of Moses has shown me truth. It’s the truth of walking in MY calling – next to my Moses. There might be several things I see differently than he does, and I might not have that mountain top conversation with God, but I still have to know who I am and what I am called to do. And in that confidence, resting in the strength of My Center, I am able to rise above other’s opinions and stand!
Rise up to the Zippy factor! Walk in the confidence of His calling. Lean into that Center of your life because HE is that center. He is the strength when there is nothing left to hang on to. When we keep that focus, something will rise up from that Center at the time of need and will give us strength to stand.
Be blessed today!