November 7, 2017

Proverbs 1:7 (NLT) — 7 Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.

Do the names Shiphrah and Puah ring a bell with you? If there is a bell in heaven these two ladies rang it with loud clarity. So much so that it got God’s attention. Here is their story:

Exodus 1:15–21 (NLT) — 15 Then Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, gave this order to the Hebrew midwives, Shiphrah and Puah: 16 “When you help the Hebrew women as they give birth, watch as they deliver. If the baby is a boy, kill him; if it is a girl, let her live.” 17 But because the midwives feared God, they refused to obey the king’s orders. They allowed the boys to live, too. 18 So the king of Egypt called for the midwives. “Why have you done this?” he demanded. “Why have you allowed the boys to live?” 19 “The Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women,” the midwives replied. “They are more vigorous and have their babies so quickly that we cannot get there in time.” 20 So God was good to the midwives, and the Israelites continued to multiply, growing more and more powerful. 21 And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own.

Here we have two women amongst the millions of Egyptian and Hebrew women and they got God’s attention because they feared God and refused to obey the king of Egypt’s orders. In other words they feared God more than man; even a real powerful man. God is so impressed that he protected these two women from being put to death by the king. He records their names and their story for us because he is so impressed by their allegiance to Him. He even blesses them with children. From what I understand midwives were usually women who could not have children. I believe story  was recorded to inspire us to obey God in spite of the odds against us. I mean if two midwives are willing to risk their lives to obey God surly we who have the Holy Spirit living in us can do the same, right?

I mean where did they learn to fear the Lord? If the Hebrews did talk about their God the midwives thinking could have been: “Well if your God is so great why are you slaves and why are you being punished. Can’t your God deliver you?” But apparently they weren’t thinking that way. Perhaps they heard the story of Noah.

Hebrews 11:7 (HCSB) — 7 By faith Noah, after he was warned about what was not yet seen and motivated by godly fear, built an ark to deliver his family. By faith he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.

Maybe they heard the story of Abraham and his son Isaac.

Genesis 22:12 (NLT) — 12 “Don’t lay a hand on the boy!” the angel said. “Do not hurt him in any way, for now I know that you truly fear God. You have not withheld from me even your son, your only son.”

Maybe they heard Joseph’s story.

Genesis 42:18 (NLT) — 18 On the third day Joseph said to them, “I am a God-fearing man. If you do as I say, you will live.

My guess is that they heard these stories and that is what inspired them to live in the fear of the Lord. Just think the nation of Israel today owes its existence to people who feared the Lord. Most of us today are probably Christians today because someone feared the Lord enough to tell us about Jesus. How many people will be Christians because we feared the Lord enough to tell them about Jesus? Why not let the stories from the word inspire us; after all isn’t the word of God inspired?

The midwives didn’t let the fear of man keep them from saving lives and neither should we. If there is a bell in heaven lets make sure we are ringing it:)

Be Inspired Hilltop!


  1. Mary Anne Frank says

    I have read this story many times and it never occurred to me that the midwives were Egyptian and not Hebrews. Wow that really puts a different take on these verses. Lots to ponder…. thank you, Pastor Dan for this.