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. And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families. (Ex 1:15-21)
Can you imagine the difficult position these women faced? They are faced with the pressure of killing an innocent baby to keep out of trouble with the king of Egypt or honoring God and protect these little ones made in God’s image. Will they do what the king has deemed necessary to preserve Egypt’s way of life or will they honor God? We know the rest of the story and we’re relieved. They “feared” God and did what was right by letting them live. This was not without risk, however. They risked the punishment, perhaps death, at the hands of the king. Instead, God protected them from the king’s hand and blessed them with families of their own.
There may be times that you face a decision in which you have to “pick” a side. Will you follow the law or will you fear God? Most of the time we can honor the law. God tells us that every king and every ruler’s authority comes from God so that we can submit to our governing authorities. But there are sometimes exceptions. This issue faced by the midwives is one such exception. Will you obey God rather than men?
Now, I want to do something a little different and frame the above words into a different, but similar, context.
Then the politically correct said to women, “When you find out you’re pregnant, if it is a child that shall inconvenience you, you shall abort him, but if it is not an inconvenience, he shall live.” But some women feared God and did not do as the culture directed them, but let the “inconvenient” children live. So many of their friends called the women and said to them, “Why have you done this, and let these “inconvenient” children live? They will ruin your lives!” The women said to their friends, “Because God gives life. It is His prerogative to take, not mine.” So God dealt well with the women. And the people multiplied and grew very strong. And because the women feared God, he gave them families. (adapted from Ex 1:15-21)
There was an excellent video I watched the other day that was posted on Facebook. It takes the president’s words in his argument for gun control and applies them to the abortion issue. It is worth the time to watch.
Lord, give me grace to do what is right in your eyes rather than in the eyes of men. Would you bring a fear of God upon our nation and allow us to see our hypocrisy with regard to the issue of abortion? Would you give us boldness to stand up for the innocent and seek justice for the oppressed. As we do, would you give us grace towards our adversaries, that we might show them the dignity of their status as image-bearers of God and win them over to Jesus. In Christ’s name we ask and pray. Amen.