Removing Unfounded Fear
It was a boy! No one else knew yet, not even his mother. He was seconds in the world and I had a choice. I knew what I was commanded to do. This child had to die or I could lose my livelihood. The King’s orders had been clear. If this child lived, they would certainly track it back to me.
But those eyes. That soul. I knew he had been made in the image of Almighty Yahweh. I could not do such evil, though it may cost me my life. I would rather die than live knowing I had done such a thing.
“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.” (Exodus 1:15-18, New International Version)
We all remember Moses, Aaron and a whole generation of men who left Egypt alive. But do you remember the names of Shiphrah or Puah? Probably not.
I’ve read this story close to a dozen times, but today these women’s names stopped me in my tracks. These two unsung heroines chose a clean conscience over their own safety. And God saw them.
How quickly our society chooses security over conscience. We care what people think about us. We change our choices or appearance to please a family member or friend. We care how news outlets might spin our words.
In trying to make everyone happy, no one is happy. Someone always has an opinion. We can’t win. We find ourselves playing a game of covering our bases; living in a prison of our own making.
How many of you long for true freedom? The kind of freedom where peace floods your soul and what people say doesn’t stick.
This isn’t a pipe dream.
This is what you were designed for.
Not freedom to do whatever you please, but power to not cower to outside voices that go against your inner conscience.
We don’t have to let our fears hijack our liberty. We don’t have to play the same game that has thwarted the destinies of so many others in scripture. Let’s learn from their mistakes.
Pharaoh feared losing control. Though his land was laid bare by plagues and his sorcerers outwitted by two nobodies born into slavery, he thought his track record of getting his way could somehow win against the Living God. His only fear was losing. And yet, lose he did.
The Israelites had lived in bondages for so long, they didn’t know what it could feel like to wake up and make a decision for themselves. They feared their cruel task masters over the promise of deliverance. (Exodus 6:9) Their bondage mindset cost them the party of the century. They were the generation who walked out of Egypt after 400 years in slavery, but most of them were too discouraged to celebrate their fresh freedom. They spent 40 years in chronic whining, rather than vibrant jubilee.
How were those two midwives so different from people who experienced big mercy? How were they able to put their own needs aside and do the right thing?
It boils down to what they feared most.
“The midwives, however, feared God…” (Exodus 1:17)
Some of us care too much about what we will wear tomorrow or how we can earn more likes online. These two unsung midwives feared the God they served more than their very own lives.
What we fear most will define how we live our life.
Do we really want to sacrifice true inner freedom at the altar of another human’s whims? I promise you, they came into this world same as you and me, and they will leave this world just the same. Are we going to let outside variables and factors of no eternal consequence, though maybe scary in the moment, determine how we live our one and only life?
What is this life but 100 years, maybe? But eternity with a seared conscience? That would be unbearable.
No one can live your life but you. Know, dear sister, He sees you. You're not forgotten. Those hidden sacrifices are seen. They matter. May you live rooted today in this true reality.
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®