Our verse for today comes from Exodus 1:17, ” But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the male children alive. “
The role of the midwife is not the most common of occupations. According to the latest US census, there are about 2.5 million registered nurses and around one million medical doctors in our country. But according to statistics on midwives, there are less than ten thousand certified to be a professional midwife. Personally, I’ve met dozens of doctors and nurses, but I can only remember encountering one midwife, and that’s even with my wife giving birth six times. Even in scripture, where you might think this do-it-all, part doctor, part nurse sort of role could be more commonplace, it is only mentioned three times. And of those three, here in Exodus, concerning the birth of Moses, is the only time the midwife is given anything more than a passing mention. And what an exception it is. The king had a special meeting with the head midwives to instruct them to kill the Hebrew males as they were born, carrying out his plan to control the Israelite population and prevent any possibility of an uprising by the people. But these midwives, after four hundred years in captivity, after so many generations of oppression and slavery, still feared the God who had yet to deliver them. And to what end?
Having watched their parents and grandparents and so many others before them live and struggle and die without so much as a whisper from God, these midwives now were commanded to kill the babies that they were employed to deliver. But fearing God more than the king, valuing what was right and true more than even their own lives, these midwives risked the wrath of the king of Egypt to save the lives of these helpless infants. And one of them turned out to be their deliverer, Moses. These unknown angels of mercy, one of whom welcomed a future giant of their history into the world, remained anonymous, but changed the course of mankind. It’s possible among the lowliest of professions and the most obscure of callings. It’s possible where there’s obedience, and where the fear of God is what’s expected to save us.
As we seek Him today, ask God for the realization that you are where you are for a significant reason. Pray that He will bless you with a fear of Him that surpasses any you might have of man or his ways.