For the next several weeks on Tuesdays and Fridays, the Spiritual Formation Branch will share devotions, paying particular attention to key women in the Biblical story. Today's devotional comes from ninth-grader Caleb Nykamp.
Shiphrah and Puah
The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, whose names were Shiphrah and Puah, “When you are helping the Hebrew women during childbirth on the delivery stool if you see that the baby is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her live.” The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live. Then the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and asked them, “Why have you done this? Why have you let the boys live?
The midwives answered Pharaoh, “Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women; they are vigorous and give birth before the midwives arrive.”
So God was kind to the midwives, and the people increased and became even more numerous. And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own.
For my devotional today, I wanted to recognize that it is women's history month. Thus, it is important to make a devotional centered around some notable women in the bible. Shiphrah and Puah were Hebrew midwives who defied the pharaoh's orders and saved hundreds of babies' lives.
In Exodus 1, the pharaoh was scared that the Israelites had too big of a population. As a result of this, he ordered all newborn babies to be executed after they are born. Because Shiphrah and Puah feared and worshiped God, they defied the pharaoh's orders and made an excuse to the pharaoh that the Israelites had already hidden the babies by the time they got there to execute them. Shiphrah and Puah were not the only midwives that did this; however, they were the only ones noted down.
The Hebrew midwives' disobedience was also the first-ever recorded event of civil disobedience. Because Shiphrah and Puah both feared God, he protected them from any harm. Another notable thing about this passage is that the name of the pharaoh was never mentioned once in this entire chapter, and only the names of Shiphrah and Puah were mentioned. This was completely unordinary as the women in the Bible were usually never recognized before the man.
The story doesn’t stop there. Through Shiphrah and Puah’s courage and boldness to do what is right, God continued the work of salvation. Through the courageous actions of women like them, the baby Moses was also rescued. God used the faithful actions of Shiphrah and Puah to rescue his people. God continues to use the actions - sometimes big and sometimes small — of faithful women and men to continue the work of salvation in the world today.