by Judy Webb
This story in the first chapter of Exodus has me captivated. I read and re-read verses 15-22 in order to better understand them. My various commentaries are not in agreement here.
"The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live." (Exodus 1:17)
One source stated that the two leaders of the midwives were Egyptians, as their names were of that origin and because they would be more likely to obey the vicious command to murder Hebrew baby boys. Another stated they were Hebrew woman as their names were Hebrew names and their fear of God would never allow them to obey a such murderous edict.
Either version was enough for this writer to take it to the next level. It would be such fun to compose a short story about these two women, filling in the blank spots where fact is lacking and just follow scripture and see where God's Word and our imagination takes us. Any way we look at it, their courage and faith are a fantastic story, and one we can all learn from.
Is this scripture instructing us to ignore the rules the law of the highest leaders of the land and do what we want? No, but it is reminding us that God’s law is the highest and we are not to deviate from following His word. Shiphrah and Puah were faithful to play a vital role in God’s plan. They laid their own lives on the line by doing so.
This was a political maneuver that did not work out as planned by the evil leaders. Have you ever had to decide between an easy choice and a faithful one? Acts 5:29 reads: “We must obey God rather than human beings.” Read the story to see what their struggle was about. (Acts 5) A lesson to take away from this story is about changing the course of history. Maxwell leadership Bible tells us, often, it’s men and women with no power and little social standing who most significantly reshape this world.
Lord, give us the courage of Shiphrah and Puah when we need to stand firm. Plant your truth deep in our hearts and fertilize it with strength and faith. Amen.