shiphrah and puah: to whom do you answer
Open Your Bible
BY Diana Stone
Text: Exodus 1:15-22
In Exodus, we read of two midwives who were ordered by Pharaoh to kill male Hebrew babies immediately after birth.
There are several truly amazing parts to this short story. Shiphrah and Puah made enough of an impact to be recorded for all time, with names mentioned. When we take a closer look, their story and testimony of faith is a powerful message to us all.
In those days, Pharaoh was the most powerful leader in the world. Calling the midwives to him for direct orders showed what an honored position they held in Egypt. He gave them a direct order, “Kill male Hebrew babies.”
What did the women do? “The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live.” Which, in itself, it pretty amazing. They defied a king, a man who was so callous he could give orders to kill babies that might be an inconvenience to his kingdom.
Imagine what he could have done to them.
We have no idea if what they said next about Egyptian versus Hebrew women in birth is true (verse 19), but they didn’t back down from what they decided to do – nor did they justify it. They would not kill babies. Their profession was to deliver, to save, to help.
Their fear and love of the Lord and His laws (even before God gave us the Ten Commandments) took precedence over anything an earthly leader would order them to do. Even if it meant death; God’s law was first. Other lives, no matter how small, took priority over their own.
Shiphrah and Puah were simple midwives. Their occupation was relatively ordinary. They did not expect that the Lord would use them to do mighty things. But Sisters, He is The Lord! God saw them and their faithfulness, and He used their obedience and their humble position to save the Hebrew race, likely to spare Moses’ life, and thus, to continue a lineage from which our own Savior would be born.
He sees you there, too. Walk in obedience right where He has you today, and remember, He is The Lord to be revered above all.