Puah and Shiphrah [Part 1]
Are you ready for some good news?
You can always say no to the devil.
Today’s Text: “Then the king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other Puah, “When you serve as midwife to the Hebrew women and see them on the birthstool, if it is a son, you shall kill him, but if it is a daughter, she shall live.” But the midwives feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but let the male children live.” (Exodus 1:15–17, ESV)
Ever heard of Puah and Shiphrah?
These unheralded women bravely defied Pharaoh’s command to kill all the Hebrew male children. A Pharaoh who “knew not Joseph” became jealous and fearful of the proliferation of the Hebrew people so he called upon the leaders of the Hebrew midwives to carry out his genocidal plan. But Puah and Shiphrah refused.
When Pharaoh realized later that infant Hebrew boys had lived, he inquired of the midwives who, in turn, lied saying: “Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women, for they are vigorous and give birth before the midwife comes to them.”” (Exodus 1:19, ESV) Puah and Shiphrah weren’t only brave enough to disobey the pagan king; they also mocked Egypt while lying to the Pharaoh!
What’s the story about?
On the surface, it’s about the sanctity of life and the bravery of two unheralded women. But, deeper, it’s about the spiritual battle that began in the Garden of Eden.
After Adam and Eve’s sin, the Lord explained the consequences to the man and woman and then prophesied to the serpent: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”” (Genesis 3:15, ESV)
From that moment on, the slithering Accuser yearned to discover the Hebrew boy that was “the seed of the woman” that he might kill the child before the child grew into a man who would crush the serpent’s head.
The murderous intent of Pharaoh originated in the hatred of hell against the specific offspring who would bruise the headship of evil. In other words, Satan didn’t know who the Messiah would be so he tried to kill them all. Pharaoh’s fear would be mirrored centuries later in another jealous ruler, Herod, who slaughtered innocent Hebrew baby boys in his hope of destroying the newborn king of the Jews.
But the infant Messiah was not killed. He was hidden away. No one would take His life from Him – He would lay it down of His own initiative in His timing. Puah and Shiphrah point to the day in which every believer could, in Jesus name, say no to the Tyrant. You have victory in Christ. And that’s the Gospel!
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