Scripture: And Moses was content to dwell with the man, and he gave Moses his daughter Zipporah. Exodus 2:17 ESV
Observation: Continuing the story of Moses confronting a man abusing a fellow Israelite, when the attacker calls out Moses for acting superior when just a day earlier he killed an Egyptian for beating a Hebrew, Moses panics. He then learns that the news has traveled fast and that Pharoah seeks his life. So Moses flees to the land of Midian (2:15).
We then find Moses resting by a well in this foreign land, watching another conflict unfold. This time, the scuffle involves the seven daughters of the priest of Median and scoundrel shepherds who chase away the daughters to steal the water they had drawn for their father’s flock. Moses intervenes and saves the shepherdesses and even waters their sheep. When the daughters return home, their father, Reuel (whose name in Hebrew means “friend of God”), questions how they returned so quickly. Explaining that an “Egyptian” rescued them from attackers and watered their flock, Reuel urges his daughters to seek the man and invite him to join them for a meal (2:18-20).
The author provides no timeline for the next step of Moses’ journey. Instead, he abruptly tells his audience that Moses is content to dwell with Reuel. Thus this priest of Median gives his daughter Zipporah (whose name in Hebrew means a “female bird”) to Moses as a bride (2:21). Indeed, Zipporah would later take flight and leave the nest to travel with Moses to Egypt (4:20).
Takeaway: Moses is a quick learner. Having overstepped his position of authority in exacting his understanding of justice by executing a cruel Egyptian, in this next conflict, he wisely focuses on rescuing the victims and caring for their needs. Resultantly, as the Lord orchestrates, Moses finds refuge, rest, and restoration under the care of his host family—and a new start on life.
What does this mean for you and me? When we make poor decisions that set us back in life, if we will wait on God, he will, in due time, lead us into similar scenarios where we will have the opportunity to make better choices that lead us to restoration and renewal. Indeed, we worship a loving God who redeems our failures and works all things for our good according to his purposes (Romans 8:28). Our part, like Moses, is to stop running and find rest and forgiveness in our Savior so that when the time comes, with his help, we will make the right choice.
Prayer: Father God, we thank you that your Son made the right choice in offering his life to redeem ours. Like Moses, would you please help us learn from our mistakes and wait on you, our Redeemer, to lead us to new opportunities where we will make the right choices with your Holy Spirit’s help? Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling