Thursday, June 11, 2015

A lesson from Moses' wife

Call it my obsessive nature or whatever you want; when something gets stuck in my head, I can't let go. Exodus 4:24-26 is one of those "things". 

 On the trip, at an overnight campsite, it happened that the Lord confronted him and sought to put him to death.  So Zipporah took a flint, cut off her son’s foreskin, and threw it at Moses’ feet. Then she said, “You are a bridegroom of blood to me!” So He let him alone. At that time she said, “You are a bridegroom of blood,” referring to the circumcision

If you aren't familiar with Exodus, I need to let you know that this passage is like a weird disjointed "oh and by the way" kinda thing. Previously, the Lord tells Moses how things are going to go down when he goes before Pharaoh. Immediately following, Aaron and Moses are reunited. My initial thoughts are really no more than "Where did THAT come from?" I mean, what on earth did Moses do that God was suddenly trying to kill him and WHY isn’t it recorded?


So I did a little research…


I was surprised to find a LOT of commentary on this strangely placed passage. The majority of commentaries say that Zipporah (Moses' wife) didn't like the practice of circumcising baby boys when they are 8 days old. Her "people" have the custom of circumcising at puberty as a passage to manhood or prior to marriage. It seems that she went along with circumcising the older son, but not the younger. According to everything I read, Moses tried to "keep the peace at home" and postponed the younger son's circumcision...and went against God's direct command to circumcise his son at the time dictated by God. This angered God. Some commentaries say that Moses got sick. Others say that the word used here is the same as the word used when God wrestled with Jacob. Either way, Moses' life was in danger. He was helpless to rectify the situation.  Zipporah circumcises the boy but she does not refrain from letting Moses know that she is none too happy about the whole thing.

There is the whole lesson here for Christians on the danger of marrying a non-believer (but that is a post for another day). The message I want to drive home today goes something like this...

God chose Moses to lead His people. Moses loved and followed God, but his wife followed other gods. She pitched a fit when it came time to circumcise the younger son, so Moses chooses to pacify her and postpone son's circumcision....thus cutting himself off from the nation of Israel (and God). So, God being God, gives Moses a lesson in obedience. In true "Lord of All Creation" style, God gives the unsubmissive wife the responsibility of making things right. In the end, she obeys God, saves Moses, know the rest of the story.

How does this apply to you and your marriage? Do you help or hinder your husband when it comes to following God’s commands?

I believe that God gave me a great responsibility when He gave me the preacher. I have known men whose ministries/lives/careers were richer, fuller and more fruitful because of their wife's support... and I have witnessed wives completely destroy their husbands. Therefore, I am excited to have this very vivid example of what can happen when a wife demands her husband choose between making her happy and making God happy....

and I am certain that it applies to ALL wives and not just pastor-wives.

Pray with me?

Father God, thank you for all the ways I am different from my husband, and for all the ways he is different from me. I believe that you created us exactly as you intended and that we are meant to complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Help me to be a godly wife. Help me to always point my family to you. Give me the courage to be submissive to my husband’s leadership, trusting always that You are guiding him. Fill my heart so that I can give him the love, encouragement, and respect he needs to succeed. Help me to be the wife you created me to be.


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