Have you ever wondered what life would be like as a slave in a foreign country? Maybe there is slavery in your heritage, and you’ve heard stories about how your ancestors were treated. Maybe you’ve been a slave yourself or known a former slave.
Wikipedia defines slavery as “any system in which principles of property law are applied to people, allowing individuals to own, buy and sell other individuals, as a de jure form of property. A slave is unable to withdraw unilaterally from such an arrangement and works without remuneration.”
When we are introduced to Shiphrah & Puah, they are in the presence of the Pharaoh of Egypt. In his arrogance, he instructs these midwives—who are also his slaves—to KILL every baby boy at the moment of his birth. Can you imagine?
Their job was to help mothers deliver healthy babies, and their boss—a man with a god complex—tells them to kill all the boys.
“The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live.” (Exodus 1:17)
These were “rebel” midwives, and it was not long until Pharaoh found out the boys were not being murdered a he’d demanded. He was irate and ordered Shiphrah and Puah to appear before him to explain this affront to his authority.
To disobey the Pharaoh was to court death. To kill babies was unconscionable. What would they say?
Their response was creatively cunning: “The midwives answered Pharaoh, ‘Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women; they are vigorous and give birth before the midwives arrive.’” (Exodus 1:19) 😳🤣
The truth is that they feared God and let the babies live, and because of this, God blessed them and gave them families of their own.
These rebellious midwives were a blessing to the Hebrew people, and without their resolve to obey God, Moses would have died at birth.
You can read the story of Shiphrah and Puah in Exodus 1.
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Photo by Julie Johnson on Unsplash