shiphrah and puah: to whom do you answer

Exodus 1:15-22

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.

Post Comments (9)

9 thoughts on "shiphrah and puah: to whom do you answer"

  1. A lot of universities are doing good things for the development of their students and provide them opportunities to get the best education that will help the student in their future life to make the things easy. So we all need to find out the best areas of study that will be helpful for us to make the things perfect in our life.

  2. Nicole says:

    Betsy, you are so right. Society puts their own laws and expectations on us to do and be a certain way, and sometimes it contradicts with what and how God wants. It’s up to us to step out boldly and do what we know God would want us to do. Its a daily struggle to remember that His name is above every name and His way is the only way.

  3. Jackie says:

    What an amazing story!!! First time ever hearing it!

  4. Betsy says:

    As I read this, I realize that I God has given me two honorable positions in life as wife and mother. Like the Pharaoh, who gave the midwives such a harsh order that clearly dishonored me, I am constantly being pushed, pulled, and ordered around by the world and my own sinful desires. Too often, I am tempted to disobey God in my honorable positions by being selfish and putting my own self centered desires above the needs of my family. I pray that God helps me to love Him and His laws more so that I can obey Him better!

  5. Yosh says:

    Thank you for your encouraging words Sarah!

  6. Abby says:

    You see me God where I am, fighting a good fight of faith, walking in obedience right where You have me today and I remember You are the Lord to be revered above all.

    The Lord knows how much I am trying and also I have been praying. Lord teach me to trust in You with all of my heart and not to lean on my own understanding. I want to be still Abba knowing that You are still God over my circumstances. I want to be able to be at rest in your perfect peace.

  7. Janet says:

    I'd never paid attention to these names before today! I guess this is just proof that when God says He knows your name, He notices, He really does!!! What a testimony! What a way to live!!

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