It amuses me when fellow believers tease me (sometimes harshly) because of a loyalty to scripture. Some tend toward lazy prayer, offering to the Father only feeling and opinion with no biblical base. They frustrate easily and falter in faith for lack of proper foundation…yet I’m too “deep” or “extra” because
no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. ~ 2 Peter 1:20-21 NASB
Conjured prayer is powerless to the alternative of offering the Father back His own word. Moreover, feeling and opinion more powerfully connect with scripture. This ridicule now inspires me to encourage the saints to seek the Lord through bible study to enrich, empower and inform their prayer lives. The word works, y’all! Trust it.
I mention this first to introduce to some in this way and present to others altogether Zipporah, the word intercessor. She’s important in scripture for her act of intercession more than being Jethro’s oldest daughter or Moses’ dark-skinned wife. Though the daughter of the Midianite priest, her intercession doubled as obedience to the true GOD and saved Moses’ life to deliver his people from Egypt.
Jethro gave Zipporah to Moses to wed (Exodus 2:21-22). Soon after, Moses experiences the burning bush and learns his life’s mission and calling — to deliver Israel from Egypt (Exodus 3). Concerned for his lack of influence, Moses asks about the contingency plan if Pharaoh won’t hear him and God gives him the “magical” staff (Exodus 4:1-13). Moses learns how to use the staff, and petitions the Lord for speaking help. God in response appoints Aaron as Moses’ mouthpiece (Exodus 4:14-17).
Now on his way to obey God’s directives with his wife Zipporah and their sons, Moses gets release from Jethro to leave (Exodus 4:18-23). En route, they arrive at the lodging place and God met Moses and sought to kill him (4:24). Before I tell you how Zipporah steps in, let’s read verses 22-23.
Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the LORD, “Israel is My son, My firstborn. So I said to you, ‘Let My son go that he may serve Me’; but you have refused to let him go. Behold, I will kill your son, your firstborn.”’
God gave Moses these first words to speak when he met the pharaoh — a promise to kill the first-born. The slight irony here is that to satisfy God’s wrath, Zipporah circumcised their son Gershom and threw his foreskin at Moses’ feet.
Then Zipporah took a flint and cut off her son’s foreskin and threw it at Moses’ feet, and she said, “You are indeed a bridegroom of blood to me.” So He let him alone. At that time she said, “You are a bridegroom of blood”- because of the circumcision. ~ Exodus 4:25-26 NASB
There are several points of interest we will not address here — Moses’ dual identity and knowledge of Hebrew circumcision, His sharing this information with Zipporah or her getting it from her father Jethro, why Moses’ sons were not circumcised, how Zipporah knew circumcision was the necessary act in the moment, how the principle of blood sacrifice applies individually, and the power of Jesus’ sacrifice to appease God’s anger against us.
THE POINT: Zipporah knew to circumcise her boy to end God’s anger with Moses. She had at least one thing to help her — the knowledge of God’s word Moses would bring to pharaoh, to kill pharaoh’s first-born son if pharaoh did not let God’s people go. We also know Zipporah did not sign up for this; we know this because of how she “cursed” Moses as a bridegroom of blood to her.
THE ENCOURAGEMENT: Be all God’s required of you, praying Royal One. When “Moses'” charge and “Israel’s” deliverance are on the line, step in and offer the sacrifice. It takes knowledge of what pleases God to intercede like this. And to please God we need real faith that comes through disciplined hearing of His word. Let them tease while they watch God honor His word through your prayers. See what you see, and head off God’s anger at the pass where He lets you see and apply sacrifice.
The blood is a powerful spiritual weapon, shed on our behalf to keep God’s wrath from us.
There’s a function of intercession that does the same…by God’s word…and with power to stay His hand immediately.
Selah, and love to all.