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MIDWIVES WHO FEARED THE LORD

Daily Devotional Exodus 1:11–21


Sara McKinney was born without hands. One day she came home from school and announced she wanted to play a musical instrument. Settling on the trombone, she learned quickly and practiced hard, using prosthetics with myoelectric fingers. She ended up in the regional Honors Band. She also participated in gymnastics, swimming, and horseback riding. Sara achieved beyond what anyone expected, including the doctors who told her mother that her daughter would have a “miserable life.”


The midwives, however, feared God . . . they let the boys live.

EXODUS 1:17


Every human being is made in the image of God, and so every life has value. The Israelite midwives feared the Lord and thus believed this as well. When Pharaoh decreed that Israelite boy babies should be killed at birth, these courageous women disobeyed. The historical context was the Israelites’ slavery in Egypt (vv. 11–14). Though they were worked “ruthlessly,” they multiplied because God blessed them. God’s favor only increased the Egyptians’ fear and dread. They responded by making the slaves’ lives even more bitter. The Pharaoh’s order to murder the Israelite baby boys was a strategy of extermination (vv. 15–19). If they could get rid of the men, the women could be absorbed by force. The brave midwives resisted, however. Why? They feared the Lord (vv. 17, 21). They knew all life is sacred to Him as the Creator. Unlike false gods, the true God does not delight in death, especially the slaughter of the helpless and the oppressed.


The midwives obeyed God from a position of weakness, that is, they risked their own lives to honor God and save the babies’ lives. Their fear of the Lord had practical implications, and God gave them a practical reward. The Israelite population continued to increase, and the midwives were given families of their own (vv. 20–21).


Go Deeper


What are some practical ways the fear of the Lord might impact your life? How would this play out in your personal life, your church, or your community?


Pray with Us:


Dear God, we want to live as Your worthy followers. Help us to stay faithful and obedient, walking humbly before You every day of our lives. Keep our eyes focused on You and on the truth of Your Word. Guide our steps today.

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