These two women in the Bible that if I had to guess, you have likely never heard of before! There are not many details given about these two ladies in Scripture, but what we’re given is so valuable, that you will not want to miss what they have to teach us!
Recently, I shared about two sisters, Leah and Rachel, who were both married to the same man Jacob and the comparison challenges that came with. Years later in the Bible, Leah and Rachel’s children from the house of Jacob had relocated to Egypt and were multiplying by the day and becoming a great nation.
Exodus 1:7 said that, “the children of Israel were fruitful and increased abundantly, multiplied and grew exceedingly mighty; and the land was filled with them.”
This verse is just a fancy way of saying the Israelites were having A LOT of babies! This, of. course, scared the Egyptian leaders that God’s people would grow bigger and bigger and overthrow them. So this is where we are going to land in the second half of Exodus chapter one, and focus on two moms of the Bible: Puah and Shiphrah.
They don’t start out as moms in this story, it begins with them as midwives, that had the job of helping the Israelite women deliver all of these babies they were having!
I’m sure you’re thinking like I did when you read their names, Puah and Shiphrah, that you likely don’t remember these two odd names as main role women in the Bible. If I am honest, neither did I, and if I read about them before this, I just skipped right over it! However, as I was studying, I felt like the Lord stopped me on these two ladies, Puah and Shiphrah, because there is something valuable that we as moms don’t need to skip over….
In Exodus 1:12 it says that the Egyptians made the Israelites become their slaves, “But the more they afflicted them, the more the Israelites multiplied and grew.”
The King of Egypt must have been getting desperate to suppress the growing Israelites at this point, so out of desperation, he calls on the Hebrew Midwives, Puah and Shiphrah. He tells them when they deliver the Israelites’ babies, they are to kill all of the baby boys and let the baby girls live.
Exodus 1:17 says: “But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the King of Egypt commanded them, but saved the male children alive.”
The world’s definition of fear from the English dictionary is “to be afraid of (someone or something.)” But the only person with this kind of “fear” in this story, is the Egyptian King. He feared the Israelites growth and them gaining power so much, that he resorted to thinking that killing babies was the answer to save his people. This is a worldly fear that distorts the truth of God’s Word.
The fear of the Lord that these two women had was something far greater than worldly fear! It is God-fearing, life-altering fear that brings wisdom. So with every baby boy born, Puah and Shiphrah, would ask themselves, “Do I follow a man or do I follow God?” And they chose to fear the Lord and follow God over and over again, letting these baby boys live.
At this point as you are reading and may be thinking, this is a great story and I am glad these two women were so amazingly brave and let those sweet baby boys live, but what does this story have to do with me as a mom in this season of my life?
Well, keep reading, because this story has everything to do with being a mom today! This is what I wrote down in the margin of my Bible when I first read this story:
“I must do as these two women and fear the Lord more than anything, to raise up my children for Jesus. There is always a choice: Will you choose to please God or will you choose to please the world?”
The world today is screaming all kinds crazy things we must do as moms, in the same way the King was telling these midwives to take lives of innocent babies to solve a problem…I think we have heard that one before with the growing abortion argument, that is completely based on worldly fear and absence of the wisdom that God created ALL life, just as much as He created the light of this day that He gives you to live and breath.
The world is telling us to let our children decide what gender they are….seriously?! It’s pretty basic stuff here that the world is trying to distort and complicate. God made man and he made woman differently but to fit together, what’s so confusing about that? The answer: fear and sin.
Now I’m even having to have conversations with my second grader about what homosexuality is and what the Bible says about it, because he hears about it at school and everywhere you turn. When we can’t even get the one man and woman for life thing down like God intended for marriage, and abandonment is at an all time high, no wonder kids are fearful and confused!
We MUST choose to fear God like Puah and Shiphrah. To follow God over the world. You have to be in the Word of God, because the devil is a smart cookie and will try to trick you into thinking some of these sins today are “normal” and you should be ashamed of yourself and be considered mean or close-minded not to accept them. NO! We must be parents who stand up and say, “NOT US!” “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord,” and then actually have the courage to go against what the world says and do it!
Don’t read this and think that agreeing with it means you are taking action and doing something about it. Saying something and acting on something are very different things, and your kids will quickly know the difference! So get in your Bible, because that will set the clearest path to choosing to follow God over the world.
Remember, the Lord rewards those who fear Him and remain in awe of Him. This leads to a life of wisdom and obedience, full of joy and favor from the Lord!
This favor is displayed at the end of Puah and Shiphrah’s story in Exodus1:21,
“Because the midwives feared God, He provided households for them.”
You see, in this day, women who became midwives were typically known to be barren women, unable to have children, but God blessed them in a life-altering way by giving Push and Shiphrah families and children of their own. They had likely spent many years trying to have a child or maybe thought it was hopeless from the start, but nonetheless, they did indeed become moms of the Bible, because of their great wisdom and obedience to God.
You and I may already have the kids, but do we want continued blessing and favor over our family for generations to come? I know I do.
Here are 3 truths to remember we must choose to please God OVER pleasing the ways of the world, that will ultimately lead to a life of wisdom and obedience, full of joy and favor from the Lord!
- Remember the world considers truth to be ever-changing.
- The entire mindset of what is true for you, may not be true for me or what is true today, may not be true tomorrow, is just RIDICULOUS and hard to follow. Leading me the next point…
- Remember God’s Word is UNCHANGING truth.
- In our world today, you have to study God’s Word like never before to know the real TRUTH. Ask God for His wisdom and strength, as you stand firm on Biblical TRUTH, so that you can teach it to your children!
- Remember your kids are watching you.
- So who will you choose to follow? Let your kids see you take action by reading your Bible and hear you speak up for Biblical truth, both in your home and in your circle of influence!
“If you please God, it doesn’t matter who you displease. If you displease God, it doesn’t matter who you please.”– Adrian Rogers
The bottom line is, just like Puah and Shiphrah, no matter the cost, following God was more important than following any human being or trend. That is a healthy fear of God, knowing “If you please God, it doesn’t matter who you displease. If you displease God, it doesn’t matter who you please.” And pleasing God will lead to a life of wisdom and obedience, full of joy and favor from the Lord, that can be passed down from generation to generation, as we show our kids how to choose to follow God everyday over the world!