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2020 Lenten devotion #7 – A bridegroom of blood

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“At a lodging place on the way the Lord met [Moses] and sought to put him to death. Then Zipporah took a flint and cut off her son’s foreskin and touched Moses’ feet with it and said, ‘Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me!’ So he let him alone. It was then that she said, ‘A bridegroom of blood,’ because of the circumcision.” (Exodus 4:24-26)

God has come to speak to Moses in the burning bush on Mt. Horeb (Exodus 3:1-4). Though Moses doesn’t think he’s up to the task, God insists, equipping and empowering him to go and speak to a hard-hearted Pharaoh.

Before the mission can commence, though, Moses’ wife Zipporah must circumcise their son,  prompting her to call her husband a “bridegroom of blood.” For some reason, Moses had not circumcised his son, but his wife knew they weren’t going anywhere until they took care of that part of God’s covenant. Moses cannot assume his role as leader and law-giver of God’s people unless he and his family are compliant with the covenantal law themselves. For Zipporah, the daughter of Jethro for whom Moses tended sheep, her marriage just got a lot messier as her husband took on his role as leader of the Hebrew people. Both her marriage vows and God’s promises involved a bit of blood!

In our roles as spouses, parents and believers in the Lord, we must always apply God’s commands and promises to our own lives before we impose them on others. We must understand the depth of our own sin and the abundance of his great love for us before we communicate that with others. 

The New Testament image of Christ as the groom and his church as he bride is one way to understand his commitment to us and our salvation. He gave himself up for the church so “she might be holy and without blemish” (Eph. 5:27). He becomes a “bridegroom of blood,” sealing God’s covenant for us.
Jesus also reminds us to take care of the log in our eye before we worry about the speck in someone else’s eye. In other words, get your own act together before you worry about another person’s life. 

Great advice we can track all the way back to Moses!

Thank you, Lord, for being a bridegroom of blood to me. Let your commands and promises shape my life. Amen. 

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