SHIPHRAH AND PUAH

11 09 2008

If Moses is one of the most influential and prominent person in the Bible, then Shiphrah and Puah would be two of the greatest heroes in the Bible. These two women are relatively unknown characters. In Exodus 1:15-22 their job description and acts of heroism are mentioned. They are midwives who were ordered by Pharaoh to kill newborn Hebrew boys, allowing only the newborn girls to live. In spite of that emphatic decree, they refused to commit infanticide because they feared God. One of those baby boys who was allowed to live would eventually be “drawn out” (thus the name “Moses”) of the Nile River and raised in the household of Pharaoh. Who were these women and what can we learn from their fearless life saving efforts.

1. These are women who feared God
They had a respect for a higher authority than Pharaoh. It was this holy reverence or “the fear of God” that motiviated their decision not to kill the newborn boys. Their motive for action (or inaction?) was very wise, for the fear of the Lord is the beginning of all wisdom. Proverbs 9:10

2. These women are courageous
It’s one thing to say you believe in God and the values that He has established, it’s another thing to put your life on the line to obey the God you say that you believe. It’s one thing to give a testimony among believers; it’s another thing to live that testimony among unbelievers. These women were courageous enough to disobey a direct order from the most powerful tyrant in the world at that time. The next item surprised me upon a closer examination of these valiant midwives.

3. These women were Egyptian
It makes sense. They had Egyptian names. Pharaoh trusted them at a time when no Hebrew was trusted. Exodus 1:19 lends itself to the possibility that these midwives could be “Surgeon Generals” for all childbirths in Egypt. Obviously, they could never handle all births among the quickly growing population of the Hebrews, even before you add births among Egyptians. They obviously had a core of hundreds of midwives. Perhaps that is why Pharaoh believed their “story” and did not have them executed.

4. These women were blessed.
God “made them houses” (Exodus 1:21). Perhaps these were younger women who had not yet started families. Perhaps they married Hebrews and became mothers in Israel. Perhaps God blessed their houses 80 years latter and their children and grandchildren were among those who walked with Moses through a parted Red Sea.

What can we learn?
1. Satan’s cruelest weapons are aimed at children.
Leave it to Satan to hate the weakest and most vulnerable among us. Why? Satan knows if he destroys the innocence of childhood, he would make the world more corrupt. Even if it involves infanticide. Satan knows if he could seduce the living children to accept evil, then he could control the future. Abortion, child abuse, neglected children, parental drug abuse, disconnected fathers, cartoons that introduce demonic activity, schools that are amoral and politically correct, music that promotes violence and sexual promiscuity, television programs and movie stars that sanction immorality, internet pornography, the rise of teenage gambling, materialism, and the lack of character training, to name a few. There is obviously a much deeper level of wickedness.

2. The fear of the Lord should dictiate our priorites in perilous times.
It was true of Shiphrah and Puah and God blessed. They feared the Lord more than they did Pharaoh. We should render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s but live with the awareness that our Kingdom is not of this world.

3. Real heroes live in the shadows
Very few knew of the contribution of Shiphrah and Puah in God’s over all plan of redemption. God has many, many heroes of faith that only Heaven will reveal. They will be rewarded on the basis of being good and faithful.

4. Sight sees the immediate power, but faith sees the real power.
The real battle is not against flesh and blood. Although the secular needs our attention, the spiritual needs our diligence. We live in a sight world and are tempted to react to what we see. We are commanded to live by faith.

Moses was born in perilous times, but God took Satan’s worst and turned it into victory. Standing in the gap, born for such a time as this, were two women; Shiphrah and Puah.

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2 responses

18 01 2009
carl

very good my friend. glen does a great job with the website.

18 01 2009
carl

very good my friend. glen does a great job with the website.

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