“I’m not surprised that you don’t recognize my name; I am only mentioned three times in God’s word. However, I served the God of my husband, and I know I helped him to honor his God as well. Moses was my husband, a man like no one I had ever known. One day, in Midian, while my sisters and I were watering our father’s flocks, some shepherds came along and tried to push us away from the well. This Egyptian was resting at the well when these thugs tried to bully us, and singlehandedly he drove them away! When we told our father, he insisted we find him and invite him to our home.”
“Moses stayed on and helped my father, Jethro. They got along well and respected each other. My father gave me to Moses to be his wife. I knew I had married a great man when he told me the stories of his life in Egypt and how his God had protected him. God gave us two sons, Gershom and Eliezer”
Her arms were muscular, her hands were strong. She was a shepherdess after all, and her tanned skin, the lines in her face revealed, a life spent outdoors. As she continued I wondered at the things she had seen. What burdens had those shoulders carried during her life with Moses?
“My life with Moses was a hard one” she continued. “There were times when we were apart from him, when it seemed better to have the security of my father’s house. When we joined Moses after he had led his people out of Egypt, my father was his adviser and mentor. My father even came to recognize Moses’ God as the one true God. It all began one day when Moses came back from keeping the flocks. He told us the most fantastic story.”
“He said there was a burning bush that the fire did not consume. When he moved closer to see what was going on, his God spoke to him, and showed him marvelous things. God commanded him to rescue his people from Egypt! Even though he had been educated in Pharaoh’s house, and he was a strong man, Moses was humble. The things he had experience had caused him to avoid attention. But he was convinced that it was God’s will for us to return to Egypt and that he would be with us.”
“We prepared for travel and headed back to Egypt as a family. I believed Moses served a great God, nothing like the gods of my people. This was the true God. I feared him but I also trusted his power to protect us because my husband obeyed his call. I guess I trusted in my husband’s God mostly because I believed my husband.”
“But then, we stopped for the night, and Moses became deathly ill. He was convinced that God was going to kill him. I was beside myself with fear. What would I do if Moses died now, and why would his God call him to rescue the Israelites and then kill him on the way? There was only one way I knew Moses had been disobedient to his God. Our son had not been circumcised. Moses explained the covenant God had made with his ancestor Abraham, but Moses had not completed his obedience in this.”
“I knew I had no choice. I could think of nothing else to do, so I took the flint knife and circumcised our son myself. I did not know how or why, but I knew it had to be done. Moses was going to speak for his God; he had to follow the command that God said would be the sign of his promise. I knew Moses’ God would help me. At that moment, I knew the one true God was my God as well. At last, there was no division between Moses and me. I lay the foreskin at Moses’ feet and I told him, ‘Now, you are truly my husband’!”
A Bible study about Zipporah can be found on The Women Speaks page.