Day 27 – What a Wife! What a Mother!

Holy daily devotions blogging commitment! I didn’t quite finish reading the passages, then completely forgot to write anything down here. And it’s the next day.

Well, I can’t afford to get behind, so I am going to finish reading and jot down a few notes. Something’s already caught my attention. In fact, I could write about a number of things, but this passage stands out:

At a lodging place on the way, the LORD met Moses[or “him”] and was about to kill him. But Zipporah took a flint knife, cut off her son’s foreskin and touched Moses’ feet with it.“Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me,” she said. So the LORD let him alone. (At that time she said “bridegroom of blood,” referring to circumcision.) Exodus 4: 24-26 NIV


Believe it or not, when I read that passage, I couldn’t remember being stumped by it before, but it stumps me now!

So I will look it up in two Study Bibles I keep at hand for this express purpose:  passages that stump me.

Here’s what I learned –

From the burning bush, God more or less reiterates the covenant he established with Abraham. Evidently, Moses forgot to carry out the covenant sacrament, having his son circumcision – which carries with it a pretty hefty punishment: death. [By the way, it may be that the LORD was after Moses’ son Gershom, not Moses (it’s not clear in the Hebrew).]

Zipporah recognizes this problem and addresses it just in time. What a wife! What a mother!

Zipporah is the daughter of Jethro, the Midianite Priest and a descendant of Abraham. Whether she learned about the covenant from her father or from Moses, she knew immediately what was bothering the LORD and took care of it.

Another interesting few passages I’d never paid much attention to. Now I have.

Now I can go to sleep!

Readings: Exodus 3:1-4:31, Psalm 16:1-6, Proverbs 5:1-6, Matthew 18:1-20. See About for what I’m up to with these daily posts.


7 thoughts on “Day 27 – What a Wife! What a Mother!

  1. I think it’s really good to deal with the tough stuff and have it out to God, though there is the chance He’ll come back as He did with Job! Re NT Wright, I haven’t the foggiest. I’ve never been a real detailed person regarding Scripture, but more of a systematic person. I love looking at the trends and threads in Scripture – as well as the application. Maybe that’s wrong, but it’s how I’ve always done it.

  2. I always hunger, it seems, for someone to tackle the tricky and bothersome parts, but more successfully than the “Hard Sayings of…” books that didn’t really help me, at least back at the time I read them.

    I understand that the good parts matter more, and that the overall message of God’s nature, our nature, and the possibility of salvation is clear even though other bits are muddled… and yet, I feel like it’s unfair to just dismiss or gloss over the troubling bits…

    And I’m not talking so much about you and this blog series, but sermon series and books and such.

    As for Lot, yeah, I’m with you on that one. Offering his daughters was an awful awful thing to do. And even if it was culturally acceptable, if daughters were property and hospitality trumped child-care, it’s still wrong.

    On the other hand, what do you think of N. T. Wright’s conception of righteousness as being about a status of belonging, of being in the covenant, of being vindicated, and not about being morally perfect?

    It seems to me that there are two competing or overlapping definitions or standards of righteousness in scripture — sometimes it does seem to be about being a member of the faith community and trusting God, and other times it does seem to be about moral perfection.

  3. Actually, I was stumped by the things you raised, but was too darn tired to deal with them the other night. I mean KILL Moses? What’s that? All along as I’ve read, things have bothered me (like LOT who offered to throw his girls out to be raped? I am pretty sure God got him out of Sodom for Abe’s sake, not because he was righteous – otherwise, he would have gone down with the city… and Calvin disagrees with me).

    But on some days, it’s easier to find one little point that’s interesting than deal with the negative when you do this day after day (and don’t have time to think)!! There are a few things I may come back and deal with for myself when I have time. But I am getting so much out of concentrating enough to find one thing that strikes me … good or bad.

    Your comments are always welcome. Hey, someone has to comment! I wish others would jump in and add their two cents. HEY OUT THERE!!! ADD YOUR TWO CENTS!!!

  4. Of course. And yet, when I smell something that smells like injustice, it’s okay to inquire… I remember talking about this kind of thing with my late therapist, and talking about the dwarves in The Last Battle, who were so dead-set against being deceived again that they thought they were still sitting in a filthy stable in the dark eating rotten turnips even though Aslan had transformed everything into light and goodness… and Joe encouraged me that it’s not my job to pretend or convince myself that what tastes and smells like rotten turnips is really something fine and delicious — even if I know that it must be. He assured me, too, that in the end I will see the good and recognize it as good; there is something dangerous about redefining good in order to “justify” God — better to let the mystery and the stink stand, and wait for his own vindication.

    Can you tell it’s hard for me to be interested in the one positive thing in a passage, or even the thousand positive things? For whatever reason, it feels pretty important to me in these last few years to hold firmly to my (fallen) sense of smell.

  5. There’s some things that bothered me about the story, too. I didn’t spend any time (because I didn’t have the time) investigating the obvious concerns with this passage such as your point. I just pointed out one positive thing. One thing I know is that we don’t know the whole story, either. Who knows what happened “off the page” to put the story in context? To your point in an earlier comment, God doesn’t have to defend himself. Whatever he did, it’s righteous.

  6. This is the Lord I don’t understand. Why should it be a person’s responsibility to figure out what’s BOTHERING him? Why does he act first in some cases, without communicating?

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