Lent Day 26

“Then Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, gave this order to the Hebrew midwives, Shiphrah and Puah: ‘When you help the Hebrew women as they give birth, watch as they deliver. If the baby is a boy, kill him; if it is a girl, let her live.’ But because the midwives feared God, they refused to obey the king’s orders. They allowed the boys to live, too. So the king of Egypt called for the midwives. ‘Why have you done this?’ he demanded. ‘Why have you allowed the boys to live?’ ‘The Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women,’ the midwives replied. ‘They are more vigorous and have their babies so quickly that we cannot get there in time.’ So God was good to the midwives, and the Israelites continued to multiply, growing more and more powerful. And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own.” Exodus 1:15-21

Shiprah and Puah…I have been reading about these two ladies for the past seven days in a nightly devotion. We can find them in Exodus 1:15-21. The King of Egypt was fearful of the Israelites becoming too strong of a nation. Therefore, the Egyptians made the Israelite's bondage harsher, but this did not remove the King’s fear. He ordered the midwives, one being Shiprah and the other Puah to kill the Israelite males when they were born.

The midwives feared God and did not obey the king’s orders even knowing this could cost them their lives. Pharaoh summoned the midwives and inquired, “Why have you done this? Why have you let the boys live?” The midwives answered Pharaoh, “Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women; they are vigorous and give birth before the midwives arrive.” (Exodus 1:18-19)

This answer did not receive wrath or immediate death for Shiprah and Puah. Instead, it received kindness from God both for them and the Israelite nation. The scripture states, “the people increased and became even more numerous. And because the midwives feared God, He gave them families of their own.” Some scholars and commentators have suggested the midwives were barren and this is what the scripture means by “he gave them families of their own.”

These two ladies challenge me to search within myself. Am I willing to follow Jesus even when there is opposition from others?

Dear Lord, may I have the courage of Shiprah and Puah to stand firm in the  Your commands even when there is opposition. In Jesus Name, Amen

Written by Dawn Whitmore

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