Women Of The Bible
Read – Exodus 2:15-20
*It’s here we are introduced to Zipporah. Zipporah was the daughter of Reuel or Jethro as he was also known, who was described as a prince or a priest of Midian. The Midianites came from the descendants of Abrahams children from his second wife Keturah. They had retained the worship of the true God. Zipporah was one of Jethro’s seven daughters. The Bible does not mention Zipporah’s mother.
Read – Exodus 2:21-22
*After some time had passed Jethro gave Zipporah to Moses to be his wife. Verse 22 tells us they had a son named Gershom.
Read – Exodus 4:18-20
*Moses had been in Midian for 40 years when he was given instructions from God to go back to Egypt. Notice in verse 18 that he asked his father in laws’ permission to take his wife and sons with him. Jethro had been kind to Moses all those years before and given him refuge and here Moses is returning the courtesy. By this time, they had a second son named Eliezer.
Read – Exodus 4:24-26
“On the way from Midian, Moses received a startling and terrible warning of the Lord’s displeasure. An angel appeared to him in a threatening manner, as if he would immediately destroy him. No explanation was given; but Moses remembered that he had disregarded one of God’s requirements; yielding to the persuasion of his wife, he had neglected to perform the rite of circumcision upon their youngest son. He had failed to comply with the condition by which his child could be entitled to the blessings of God’s covenant with Israel; and such a neglect on the part of their chosen leader could not but lessen the force of the divine precepts upon the people. Zipporah, fearing that her husband would be slain, performed the rite herself, and the angel then permitted Moses to pursue his journey.” Patriarchs and Prophets, E.G. White, p255-256
*There must have been some discussion between Zipporah and Moses over the decision to not circumcise their second son. But when they had this experience with the angel, Zipporah knew exactly what she had to do. You can almost sense her shock of the event in what she says in verses 25 and 26. It was after this event that Moses thought it would be safer for Zipporah and their sons to return to her father.
Read – Exodus18:1-8
*The news of the exodus spread far and wide and Jethro upon hearing the news set out to meet and to restore to Moses his wife Zipporah and their sons. This must have been a joyous occasion. The Bible does not indicate the length of time that Moses and Zipporah were apart but there was much rejoicing and celebration when they came together. Read verses 9-12
Read – Numbers 12:1-2
“Zipporah was treated with ill-disguised contempt. Though called a “Cushite woman, the wife of Moses was a Midianite, and thus a descendant of Abraham. In personal appearance she differed from the Hebrews in being of a somewhat darker complexion. Though not an Israelite, Zipporah was a worshiper of the true God. She was of a timid, retiring disposition, gentle and affectionate, and greatly distressed at the sight of suffering; and it was for this reason that Moses, when on the way to Egypt, had consented to her return to Midian. He desired to spare her the pain of witnessing the judgments that were to fall on the Egyptians. When Zipporah rejoined her husband in the wilderness, she saw that his burdens were wearing away his strength, and she made known her fears to Jethro, who suggested measures for his relief. Here was the chief reason for Miriam’s antipathy to Zipporah. Smarting under the supposed neglect shown to herself and Aaron, she regarded the wife of Moses as the cause, concluding that her influence had prevented him from taking them into his counsels as formerly.” Patriarchs and Prophets, E.G. White, p383-384
*The reason for Miriam’s jealousy goes back to Exodus 18:13-27 when Jethro advised his son in law in how to managed the Israelites without consulting Aaron or Miriam. Miriam directed her dissatisfaction of this event towards Zipporah and treated her with disdain. We discussed the outcome of this in our last devotional. God was not pleased with how Zipporah was treated.
When you think about it, Zipporah’s only point of reference as wife to Moses was being a wife of a shepherd during the 40 years he dwelt in Midian. Before that he was prince and leader in the royal Egyptian court. When Zipporah was reunited with him at Sinai, he had just led over a million people out of Egypt and had experienced the mighty hand of God. Zipporah must have wondered at times who she was married to as Moses roles in life changed so dramatically. It must have been no easy task for her to assimilate into the Israelite community as a Midianite even though she believed in the same God. Zipporah in the end had to be adaptable, which would have brought many challenges. What can you take from Zipporah’s story and apply to your own life?
Power Text – Psalm 27:3
“Though an army may encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; Though war may rise against me, in this I will be confident”.