Feb 19, 2023
“On the way, at a place where they spent the night, the Lord met him and tried to kill him. But Zipporah took a flint and cut off her son’s foreskin, and touched Moses’ feet with it, and said, ‘Truly you are a bridegroom of blood to me!’ So he let him alone. It was then she said, ‘A bridegroom of blood by circumcision.’ Exodus 4:24-26:
But all things must be done properly and in an orderly manner. —1 Corinthians 14:40
Blood is so important to God that it is mentioned in the Bible around 700 times. David referred to the “incorruptible” blood. Peter spoke of the “precious” blood, and John wrote of the “overcoming” power of the blood.
When Zipporah and her sisters spotted Moses the first time, they thought he was an Egyptian, and in many ways they were right. Moses had been in the household of Pharaoh in Egypt since infancy. His mannerisms and customs were shaped by his Egyptian upbringing. In fact, he most likely dreamt in the language of Pharaoh. Everything about him was Egyptian, except for one thing. Unlike his Egyptian peers, he was circumcised. Circumcision was not the same medical practice it is today, but circumcision was a sign of the covenant God had made with Abraham and his descendants. Zipporah had borne two sons to Moses, but he had failed to perform circumcision on his sons. Egypt had caused Moses to forget his roots—his identity—as a descendant of Abraham. Alas, he had forgotten his blood!
When Zipporah saw her husband dying before her eyes at the hand of the Lord, she made a split second decision to circumcise her son and throw his foreskin at the feet of her husband. This has to be the bloodiest scene in the book of Exodus since the massacre of Hebrew male children in chapter 1. It would be rivaled soon after as the blood of the Egyptian children ran cold at the final plague, as the blood of lambs was smeared on the doorposts of the Hebrew households that first Passover, and with the bloodying of the sea as the waters closed over the Egyptian army.
“On the way, at a place where they spent the night, the Lord met him and tried to kill him. But Zipporah took a flint and cut off her son’s foreskin, and touched Moses’ feet with it, and said, ‘Truly you are a bridegroom of blood to me!’ So he let him alone. It was then she said, ‘A bridegroom of blood by circumcision.’”
“You are a bridegroom of blood,” Zipporah declares as she tosses flesh at Moses’s feet. With the prowess of The Lion King’s Mufasa to his son, Simba, Zipporah’s actions roar, “Remember who you are.” You, Moses, are of the bloodline of Abraham. As such, you should have circumcised your son soon after his birth. Remember who you are; you are a bridegroom of blood. The trappings of Pharaoh’s house made it easy for Moses to forget Abel’s sacrifice, the ram who saved Isaac, and the Hebrew blood that ran through his veins. These people he was going to save were his own people, God’s chosen people by blood.
In order to complete his assignment, Moses had to die. At least, the Egyptian in him had to die in order for the “bloody,” Israelite Moses, in his truest identity, to fulfill the purpose for which he was born.
Through Zipporah’s quick-thinking actions, she evoked the covenant by demonstration so Moses would remember his roots. If he was going to Egypt to free his people, his identification with Egypt had to die. The flesh and blood in the hands of his wife Zipporah would not let Moses forget.
The church is married to a bridegroom of blood. The upcoming Holy Week takes us reluctantly down the bloody path to the Cross. Maundy Thursday leads us to a last Supper and afterwards to a garden where Judas Iscariot has blood on his hands. Blood and water flow from the side of the bridegroom in those last moments on the cross. After the resurrection, Jesus invited Thomas to touch him in the bloody parts, his hand and his side. We who are in Christ cannot deny the sacrifice, the pain, the very life that runs through our souls in the blood of Christ, our resurrected Lord.
We must remember who we are—bride of Christ, circumcised in our hearts, dead to sin, our flesh perpetually cast at the feet of Jesus in confession and repentance. That’s who we are: dead because of our sins and alive because of Christ, through his life and by his blood.
Like Moses, we may have been called by God into some specific ministry. Also, like Moses, we may have some sin in our lives we haven’t dealt with yet. There is one person you can’t lie to or fool no matter how long you have been sitting in this church.
God will likely bring the sin to our attention, so we recognize it and repent (or turn away from it). Then we can move forward in the good graces of God
Covenants are one of the most important themes in the Bible—they are the key to God’s redemptive plan to restore humanity to its divine calling.
God is about order.
Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. This goes for everything from personal choices, to ministry.
thank you for your love,
Rev. Kenn Blanchard
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Zelle - pastor@SpeakLifeChurch.net
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Rev. Kenn Blanchard