Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Z is for Zipporah

A Devotional by Margot Cioccio

Exodus 2: 21 Then Moses was content to live with the man, 
and he gave Zipporah his daughter to Moses.

 ....he sat down by a well.

There are many examples of meetings at wells found in the bible. A well was where you went to find a wife. The young maidens would have to get water for the mothers for the house as well as to water the animals. In the desert regions the wells and water sources were controlled by priest/kings sometimes called the shepherd kings. There were codes of conduct regarding hospitality shown to strangers, travelers, or resident aliens who settled in a community. Communities grew up around a viable water source. You can do with out a lot of things but water is not one of them. It was really a matter of life and death in many cases for those traveling through the deserts. 

A host was to provide at very least water, food and shelter to a stranger. A stranger was to accept what was offered. It was an insult to the host to not accept what was offered. It was an insult to the guest to not provide standard hospitality. We see this in the story of Jesus where the woman washes his feet with her tears. The host in that case had not provided the customary service of washing the feet of the guest. Luke 7:36-50 Simon the host has not provided water to wash the feet of Jesus or oil to anoint his head.

Our bible woman today is Zipporah who becomes the wife of Moses. 
Moses killed an Egyptian who was beating a Hebrew man. Moses was part of the Pharaoh's household where he had been adopted by the Pharaoh's daughter who found him floating in a basket in the river while she bathed. 
It is a rich story that you can find starting in Exodus 2. 

Moses fearing for his life flees to Midian and he sat down by a well.  
There he meets the 7 daughters of the priest of Midain. He helps protect them from a bunch of shepherds who were giving them grief at the well. He drives them off and draws water for the girls to water their flock. The take him home to their father Reuel, later he is called Jethro which is more of a title meaning excellency. 

He is a son of Esau and Basemath amazing there's a family tie here. Did Moses just pick a random well or did he head to Midian knowing he had family in the area. It was probably the providence of God being that he was raised in the Pharoah's household and probably did not know all that much about the family and it's relations. I happen to think the family tree and how things connect is interesting. So here's the verse where we find out that Reuel is Easu's son. It may be that is the Sr. Reuel and the one who is Zipporah's father is a son or grandson named after him. In any case the there is family heritage to be traced. 

Genesis 36:4 (NKJV)
4 Now Adah bore Eliphaz to Esau, and Basemath bore Reuel.

Zipporah is a no nonsense kind of gal as we see in Exodus 4:24 And it came to pass on the way, at the encampment, that the Lord met him and sought to kill him. 25 Then Zipporah 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!” 26 So He let him go. Then she said, “You are a husband of blood!”—because of the circumcision.

Maybe you are wondering what just happened. Moses has seen the burning bush and has decided to go back and free his people from Egypt. On the way the Lord is going to kill him. Hmmm wonder why. It would seem that he had neglected to do the proper circumcising of his son and some how Zipporah figured out what needed to be done in the nick of time. I think she is the only woman to have preformed a circumcision. It was kind of a guy thing.

Before you rush off to get circumcised so God won't decide to kill you. Let remind you that God was always much more concerned with you heart then removing a flap of skin from a male organ.

Jeremiah 4:4
Circumcise yourselves to the Lord, And take away the foreskins of your hearts, You men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, Lest My fury come forth like fire, And burn so that no one can quench it, Because of the evil of your doings.”

Deuteronomy 30
6 And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love theLord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.

Colossians 3:11
where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.
 Romans 3:29-31 (NKJV)
29 Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also, 30 since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. 31 Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.

So Zipporah is truly zippy and a quick thinker. Her name means bird. She does fly to rescue her husband and son. 
Its not clear how much of the 40 years treck she was part of. It seems she may have gone back to her home in Midian.  In Exodus 18 Jethro (his title of excellency)brings the family to visit Moses. He is amazed by how God has delivered Moses and the people from Israel. 

10 And Jethro said, Blessed be the LORD, who hath delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of Pharaoh, who hath delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians.
11 Now I know that the LORD is greater than all gods: for in the thing wherein they dealt proudly he was above them.

It is not clear if Zipporah and the kids stayed or just visited. Moses was a busy guy. There are  Gershonites who are put in charge of the fabric of the tabernacle. Not sure if this is Moses son or perhaps a Levite relative he may have been named after. It would appear they returned and lived among Israel and were counted among the Levites. 
14 Now the sons of Moses the man of God were reckoned to the tribe of Levi. 1 Chronicles 23   15 The sons of Moses were Gershon and Eliezer. 16 Of the sons of Gershon, Shebuel was the first. 17 Of the descendants of Eliezer, Rehabiah was the first. And Eliezer had no other sons, but the sons of Rehabiah were very many.  

So we have come to the end of the A-Z for this year. I hope you have enjoyed these posts. I could probably come up with more on Zipporah but I have this growing stack of books I need to read, thanks to my pastor and my dad. I am blessed by the wonderful supportive people in my life. I still have a few more books that have been strongly suggest that I read but I think I will finish this stack first. I even have math books on Linear Algebra and Precalculus, yikes flipping through them I will probably need buy the dummies guide to math as well and work my way up to these. I stopped with math at making change and balancing the check book. 

I do write and post Monday thru Friday and this is actually my 485th post so there is no shortage of good stuff to read here.  In July I will have been at this for two years. I am delighted by the new followers who have joined us during this years A-Z challenge a little sad that we did not make it to 50 followers, but who knows the day is not over. 

Thanks to all of you who posted encouraging comments during the A-Z I am thrilled when people participate and interact. 

I pray Lord that you would bless each of these readers and blog followers. That they would be like trees planted by a water source. Let their roots would go deep into your word and cause their lives to magnify you because they have chosen to be doers of the Word. I bless them each with a hunger and a sense of wonder that will allow them to discover the riches and hidden treasures in your Word. Stir them to rise up and be overcomers and campions in their generations. Let them make a difference for your Kingdom for your honor and glory. Amen
Thinking I'll start into Psalm 119 tomorrow it should take us through the month of May. 
See you tomorrow. 

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