Birth of Moses – Exodus 1:1-2:25
But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread – Exodus 1:12a
If you didn’t know that this verse was found in the Old Testament, you might assume that it was from the book of Acts, describing the spread of the Early (yet persecuted) Church. Indeed, one of the themes throughout scripture is the idea that when God’s people are persecuted, they only become strengthened in resolve and number.
We are particularly inspired by the actions of the midwives, Shiphrah and Puah. In an effort to thwart the murderous intent of the Pharaoh, they allowed the boys to live, crediting it to the strength of the Hebrew women who (according to the midwives) didn’t need their help! Their act of subversion gives us an example of what it means to submit to the higher calling as a subject in the Kingdom of God.
It’s interesting to note that while we don’t know the name of the Pharaoh who was in power, the names of these two women are carefully preserved in scripture. In an ironic twist, God reminds us that our understanding of significance is backwards and upside-down. Historical significance is not determined by power or influence, but by the resolve to do the right thing in the face of oppression. Not only do Shiphrah and Puah find their names recorded for all of humanity to learn… but they are granted the blessing of having children of their own.
What pressures do you face each day? How do the kingdoms of this world attempt to press you into their molds and agendas? How can you be more like Shiphrah and Puah, subverting the kingdoms of this world with the Kingdom of God?
to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;
9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.