Have you ever been in a situation that began great but then something happened to change the atmosphere? It may have been something subtle that grew over time or an event where you just knew it would be different from then on. That’s where Puah and Shiphrah find themselves, in a situation they did not plan for or expect.
Even though the Israelites had been living in bitter conditions in Egypt, they had continued to thrive and grow in numbers. Puah and Shiphrah were the lead midwives for the Hebrew women as well as for the Egyptians’. Their skills were sought after by both nations because they were the best in their field. They also trained others to help them with all the work. They were not only the bosses but the icons in midwifery.
Wouldn’t that be a great place to be in your industry? At the top of your game and being recognized for it? That was exactly where Puah and Shiphrah hung out. But, for them life was not perfect. Neither had children of their own. In fact, that was common for this profession and the reason many women entered this type of work, so they could be redeemed through helping others.
These women knew what it was to sacrifice comfort, time, and resources to get the job done. They were strong in their skills and strong in their faith (Exodus 1:17). Hardship was part of the way of life for the Israelites and they matched every opportunity to do well in what God had called them to do.
Then Pharaoh calls Puah and Shiphrah before him. He had devised a disturbing plan to rid himself of the threat of ‘these Hebrews’ (Exodus 1:10). He orders them to kill the male children as they were being born.
Imagine, the most powerful man in the most powerful country giving you a direct order and you ignore it. Their decision was easy. They feared God more than Pharaoh so they did not do what they had been instructed to do (Exodus 1:17).
But what of the consequences for not obeying Pharaoh? Has there been a time in your life when you knew the right thing to do but there were circumstances that gave you pause or caused concern? These thoughts may have crossed their minds; they may have left and discussed in private what they should do. We are not told exactly how they planned to get away with not killing the babies.
But we can speculate. . .
As leaders, they needed to have a plan that included orders for every midwife in their organization. Imagine that business strategy meeting. Whiteboards loaded with brainstorm ideas (well, written on papyrus), an email campaign to explain the situation (word of mouth over tea), and creating a fan base that would do what they instructed (mothers with new born boys).
Their sphere of influence suddenly encompassed the nation of Israel. Wow! Talk about a business explosion. Everyone was listening to what they were saying and following their direction and leadership. There would be no killing of the baby boys; and, they would no longer celebrate births or draw attention to circumcision ceremonies. Everything would be covert from pregnancy through delivery and more. This is the first-time civil disobedience was recorded, they created the resistance.
Your sphere of influence may grow too as you stand up for what is right no matter the consequences. God is looking for you to stand up. As you trust Him with each step, each little task He asks you to do, then your influence grows too. What started out as something small grows into connections that propel your business forward in miraculous ways.
Question: Would it be easy for you to decide between doing what the government, your boss, or a superior wanted if it went against what God told you to do? Would it be easier for you to quit or to fight?
Be filled to overflowing,