God, You are on my side;
I will not fear.
Help me walk in Your ways – always
Focus of the Month: “Ordinary Women with Extraordinary Hope”
Many vocations require quick decision making, hard choices and even life or death decisions. Off the top of my head I think of First Responders, Emergency room nurses and doctors, surgeons and even politicians.
The men and women in these roles are faced with choosing an action or having a mindset that often affects another’s life. Good or bad; Life or death. And every action will hold a consequence. Good or bad; life or death.
Truth is, every one of us makes this type of decision every single day. Every time we confront a controversial issue, stretch out a helping hand or choose to be silent – we are selecting a response to something. The question that beckons is, are we choosing life or death?
God’s Word is full of stories of women, just like us. Each one had a different road to walk. Some made decisions revealing bravery or courage, while others chose paths of deception or malice. Today we look at two women who risked their lives to choose life and honor God in the midst of the very real threat of death. Meet Shiphrah and Puah:
Then the king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other Puah, “When you serve as midwife to the Hebrew women and see them on the birthstool, if it is a son, you shall kill him, but if it is a daughter, she shall live.” But the midwives feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but let the male children live. So the king of Egypt called the midwives and said to them, “Why have you done this, and let the male children live?”The midwives said to Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women, for they are vigorous and give birth before the midwife comes to them.” So God dealt well with the midwives. And the people multiplied and grew very strong. (Exodus 1:15-20)
These women, serving as midwives, were commanded by the King of Egypt to make sure the male babies, of the Hebrew women, were killed at birth. Why? Because of a fear that the Hebrew nation was growing too quickly and might overtake the Egyptians. Pharaoh, King of Egypt, wanted to make sure that he would remain in power. But, Shiphrah and Puah loved God. They feared God and knew His power was great. They chose to please HIM and not man, knowing this risk could cost them their own lives.
Because of their reverence and submission to the Lord God Almighty, scripture tells us ‘God dealt well with the midwives. And the people multiplied and grew very strong.’ Their actions led to life! The Lord was on their side. They did not fear God in a frightening, desperate way…but in a trusting, holy way. How beautiful to choose God’s way when man’s way clearly opposed God’s word.
Not every decision is a literal “life or death” scenario as in this scripture reading. But our choice to honor God’s Way or man’s way is. When we can grasp the Hope we have in Him, the love He has for us and the reverence He is worthy of…our choices will reflect this.
Do your everyday decisions reflect a heart bowed in reverent fear of the Lord? Will you stand out in a crowd and choose ever-lasting life over accepting cultural norms? I know God is faithful to protect me as I walk in His ways just as He protected Shiphrah and Puah. I want to trust Him in all things.
I am thankful for the lives of these two women. They encourage me to be bold in my faith, to stand up against choices that contradict God’s word. Even when it’s hard.
I want God to deal “well” with me.
Holding Fast to Hope,
Scripture References: Psalm 118:6; Exodus 1:8-14; Exodus 1:15-21; 1 John 4:18