Pharoah underestimates the power of women – especially that of Shiphrah and Puah. The biblical story captures their bold decision in one sentence: “But the midwives feared God; they did not do as the king of Egypt demanded them, but they let the boys live” (Exodus 1:17). Following God’s way was more important to these midwives than following Pharoah’s way.
Shiphrah and Puah remind us that disobedience can be a holy choice. Just love sometimes demands defiance. When we know in our hearts that the mandates of the powerful will do harm, especially to the most vulnerable among us, God calls us to a different path. When unquestioning obedience leads to injustice, it’s time to try something else.
History is filled with examples of people who have defied orders of the powerful in support of the vulnerable. Those people chose to follow God’s way and reject the ways of human cruelty.
This excerpt is from the Bible study “Just Love” by Christa Compton and Gladys Moore in the July/August 2020 Gather Magazine.
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