But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread; so the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites 13 and worked them ruthlessly. 14 They made their lives bitter with harsh labor in brick and mortar and with all kinds of work in the fields; in all their harsh labor the Egyptians worked them ruthlessly.
15 The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, whose names were Shiphrah and Puah, 16 “When you are helping the Hebrew women during childbirth on the delivery stool, if you see that the baby is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her live.” 17 The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live. 18 Then the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and asked them, “Why have you done this? Why have you let the boys live?”
19 The midwives answered Pharaoh, “Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women; they are vigorous and give birth before the midwives arrive.” 20 So God was kind to the midwives and the pHimselfncreased and became even more numerous. 21 And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own.
22 Then Pharaoh gave this order to all his people: “Every Hebrew boy that is born you must throw into the Nile, but let every girl live.”
On yesterday, we saw Pharaoh’s fear rising to the point of “oppression” as he enslaves the Hebrews. Verse 14 tells us that he “They [the Egyptians] made their [the Israelites] lives bitter with harsh labor in brick and mortar and with all kinds of work in the fields; in all their harsh labor the Egyptians worked them ruthlessly.”
A great principle to always keep in our hearts regarding sin is that it is a horrible task master. It has been said that “sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay.”
We could easily placed the word “fear” is this statement. “FEAR will take you farther than you want to go, FEAR will keep you longer than you want to stay, and FEAR will cost you more than you want to pay.” Fear must be cast down by the Word of God! Pharaoh will find this out as his heart of fear will cost him and his nation greatly.We see this in today’s passage as his fear continues to spin out of control.
The king’s plan is not working because he is in opposition to the plan of God. Pharaoh’s fear empowers him to take a further step downward as he orders the midwives to kill every boy baby as they come out of the womb and allow the girls to live. WOW! So much that could be said but focusing on fear today. 🙂 Fear will even cause us to believe that we need to destroy the lives of others in order to keep our self-centered and self-indulgent focus on our own lives.
Pharaoh is not only coming against the Hebrews but the GOD who has called them by name and chosen them for himself for relationship and purpose. The GOD who is Sovereign and rules over all things (Psalm 103:19). Ephesians 1:11 tells us that the Lord “works all things according to the counsel of His will.”
God has divinely in place midwives who fear the Lord in place. These women have hearts to obey God rather than man no matter how much power man falsely believes he holds. It will take some time but Pharaoh will come to know that God holds the power of the entire universe in His hands and even as king, he cannot stop the plan and will of God. The enemy thinks he is in control but God will use the Israelites’ suffering and pain to cause them to desire the deliverance that only God can give.
The midwives follow God and life instead of the enemy, king and death and allow the boys to live. When questioned by the king the midwives respond that “Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women; they are vigorous and give birth before the midwives arrive.” Sometimes we hear it taught that these women lied. May I submit to you that since our God has the power to bring about all kinds of things that is beyond human reasoning and turned water to wine, healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, raised the dead, etc.
I have no doubt that the Lord knew the hearts of these midwives to reverence, honor and obey Him and He caused the Israelite women to have quick deliveries. Our faithful God further honored their faith with kindness and increase:
“God was kind to the midwives and the people increased and became even more numerous. And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own (verse 20).” God honors faith with the manifestation of His blessings in ordinary lives who are willing to put His glory on display.
I am sure that the midwives had no idea how God would deliver them from the king’s orders just as sure as we sometimes have not the slightest idea what to do and this causes us to fear. While we do not know the every specific detail of what to do, our God has instructed us that it always begins with Him. He has given this instruction in Proverbs 3:5-7:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him,
and He will make straight your paths.”
Reverential fear of the Lord, faith was the response of the midwives and surely, it will be effective for us. There is no failure in our God!
No Matter What, do not cast away your faith in God! Trust Him all the way and watch for the manifestation of His power in your circumstance!
His glory on display through your life!