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. Exodus 1:20-21
One moment in history defined by one risky decision unfolds into a story where generations are spared and God is able to release an entire people group from slavery. In Exodus 1, Shiphrah and Puah are remembered for their simple but courageous act of faith which begins an epic story of Israel’s exodus from Egypt.
So many questions arise:
1. Why are these two women mentioned by name?
2. Would Moses have been born if it were not for these women sparing the lives of the Hebrew babies?
3. Perhaps the women who hid Moses were inspired by the midwives’ story of being the first women to stand up for the lives of newborn children?
Although details are left out, the beauty of this chapter is that two unlikely women went down in history for fearing God over their corrupt leadership. And their decision to follow the way of their Almighty God over the commands of evil authority resulted in unleashing God’s story.
The same is true with us. Although most days we don’t think about how our decisions matter in the grand narrative of God’s story in this world, every little decision and interaction we make because we fear God over those in this world, unleashes God’s story. It doesn’t always look like God’s story is going to win. For these women, their actions also resulted in Pharaoh [commanding] all his people, “Every son that is born to the Hebrews you shall cast into the Nile, but you shall let every daughter live” (Exodus 1:22).
However, even when we don’t see how God’s story is unfolding, we can believe every courageous step of obedience can and will make a difference in the long run. Take a moment to look back on your steps of obedience in following Jesus. How have they made a difference over time?
By Yvonne Biel