ID 30576842 © Veda Gonzalez | Dreamstime.com

As the book of Exodus opens, the author drops his readers into a cauldron brewing with evil. The Israelites living in Egypt have been enslaved and Pharaoh has commanded his citizens to kill every Hebrew baby boy. 

At stake is the life of Moses, the deliverer, and ultimately Christ, because if Israel is wiped out, there will be no tribes, no nation, no priests, no kings, and no Messiah. 

Did the men of Israel rise up and fight this threat?

No. 

Instead, God highlights five females in this passage.

Shiphrah and Puah: Scholars believe these ladies headed up a force of midwives in the Israelite community. Pharaoh commanded them to kill the Hebrew baby boys. They refused, and God blessed them with families of their own.

“The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live . . . So God was kind to the midwives and the people increased and became even more numerous. And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own.” Exodus 1:17, 20-21 NIV

Jochebed: When Jochebed birthed Moses, she knew something distinguished him from her other two children, “and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months (Exodus 2:2).”

The Message puts it this way, “She saw there was something special about him and hid him.”

Ever try to hide a nursing baby—for three months? Dirty diapers. Leaking breasts. She must have had some serious help. Then she hid him in the one place the Egyptians would never look—the Nile, “But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him (Exodus 2:3-4).” Genius.

Miriam: Only a youngster herself, Miriam had guts to approach Pharaoh’s daughter. Most girls would be tongue-tied if Kate Middleton came to call. Can you imagine speaking to a real princess—and she’s the daughter of your worst enemy? And the conversation centers on your infant brother whom she is sworn to kill?

Miriam thought quickly on her feet too, “Then his sister asked Pharaoh’s daughter, ‘Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?’ ‘Yes, go,’ she answered. So the girl went and got the baby’s mother (Exodus 2:7-8).”

Pharaoh’s daughter: This woman deserves a lot of credit. She sized up the situation immediately. A quick peek in the diaper confirmed Moses’ status as a Hebrew. This princess managed to stand up to her father and win the adoption of a Hebrew child. 

Each of these women, young, old, slave, and royalty, affirmed life. Each did so in a different way: civil disobedience, motherhood, protector, and advocate. Note that three of these were working women. One used her authority. Another was just a child. God used them all to give and to sustain the life of Moses. 

God gives every woman the role of life-giver whether she actually births children or simply nurtures whoever God puts in her path. Yet in today’s culture, women have sadly become life-takers. Life-taking wounds His precious daughters deeply. This was never God’s design for His beloved daughters. Listen to this short audio: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EdTjLZPnvKM . 

Reclaim your role as life-giver. Pray about how to fulfill this calling. Adoption? Foster care? Volunteering? Motherhood?

And while you pray for direction, give life.

Life-giving words. 

Life-giving touches. 

Life-giving actions.

Embrace your role as life-giver. 

Workout of the Week: Life-Giver

Memory Verse: “The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live.” Exodus 1:17

Meditation Passage: Exodus 2

Do It: Embrace your role as life-giver.

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