Take A Stand Like Shiphrah And Puah

Mention the book of Exodus and immediately the name “Moses” comes to the mind of most people. Having been used by God, he is indeed prominent. However, before Moses was born, there were two very outstanding ladies in Exodus.
Take A Stand Like Shiphrah And Puah
Source - Image owned, uploaded and copyrighted 2015 by the author, Peter P. Macinta (BrotherPete).

Many people know about Moses and how God used him in a mighty way to bring the children of Israel up out Egypt. Even his brother Aaron is familiar to a lot of people. But before these men ever came along there were two ladies that need to be recognized, especially in our time when there is a great amount of pressure from society upon everyone to “fit in.”

Those two ladies are Shiphrah and Puah. They are mentioned in Exodus 1 as the Hebrew midwives. Because they bear Egyptian names there is disagreement among commentators as to whether these

ladies were Egyptians or Hebrews. I side with those who say they were Jewish because of the grammar of the text, for reasons such as Egyptian midwives most likely would not serve Hebrew women. In addition to this, Egyptian names are found in Genesis for Joseph and perhaps others.

Shiphrah means {1} “fair” and Puah means “splendid.” They really fulfilled their names by their actions as recorded in Exodus 1:15-21. When looking at that passage, I felt led of the Holy Spirit to express this story of Shiphrah and Puah in the following sentence: Feeling the pressure, they feared God and found His favor.

I. Feeling The Pressure 15-16

“And the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, of which the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah: And he said, ‘When you do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the stools; if it be a son, then you shall kill him: but if it be a daughter, then she shall live.’”

For the purposes of this message, while Shiphrah and Puah will represent the true disciples of Christ, Pharaoh will represent the world system. With that, it is noteworthy to point out that the harsh command that Pharaoh gave the midwives was fueled by a fear of the Jewish people, for it is written in verses 8 and 9, “Now there arose a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph. And he said unto his people, ‘Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we.’”

This points to the spiritual truth that basically the world reacts in various ways with out of a negative fear toward Christ, and this fear has its focus upon ethnic origin of the flesh of Christ, the Jews, and also upon the spiritual seed of Christ, His true disciples. The fact that Christ is the primary target is underscored by Pharaoh’s command to the midwives to kill every male Hebrew child at birth.

Th world system tries to do away with Christ in various ways either by rumor or directly. For a few examples of the former, there are elements of the world that would declare that Christ is a myth, or was really an illegitimate child of Mary, or that He was married or a h-om-ose-xu-al {2}. Some examples of the latter might be the removal of Holy Bibles from certain buildings, manger scenes, and so on.

Then, there is the killing, either socially or physically of anyone who would call themselves a Christian. Again, rumors are often the tool used to make Christians social outcasts. But, sadly, there is also the physical killing of Christians throughout the world.

However, usually intimidation is tried first. Christians around the world are daily intimidated by others. Mention hell and you are sure to find someone to say a loving God wouldn’t send anyone to hell. Despite what the Holy Bible says, some will declare God made hom-ose-xu-als or that hom-ose-xu-als have no choice. Seeking God for needs is unloving because everyone is fine just the way they are whether they are autistic, or have Down’s Syndrome, and so on.

But let us consider the plight of today’s godly mothers, or at least the ones that aspire to godly goals. Today’s mothers are intimidated into getting abortions, or are told they should have had an abortion by someone who thinks they are more perfect than the mother’s child. 

Parents that homeschool are often intimated by some who erroneously think that all homeschooled children have no social life. However, those that need to send their children to school often find some of the school systems, children’s literature, teaching their children not to trust their parents. There have even been cases where parents have packed a splendid lunch for their child to eat but the lunch was confiscated by the school because it was not good enough, leaving the impression in the child’s mind mom and dad do not know what they are doing.

Just a few more things, especially for women. Those who have had felt God telling them to stay home and just be a mom have been intimidated by others to get a job. Contrary to Holy Scripture, the world system tells parents they should not physically discipline their children. And, when it comes to wives, it tells them not to be submissive to their husbands. Now, for those that think that is easy for me to say being a male, the Word of God tells me I am to be submissive also in various ways. But, as you are about to see, there are times we must not submit to human authority.

II. They Feared God 17-19

“But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive. 18 And the king of Egypt called for the midwives, and said unto them, ‘Why have ye done this thing, and have saved the men children alive?’ 19 And the midwives said unto Pharaoh, ‘Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are lively, and are delivered ere the midwives come in unto them.’"

There was plenty to fear from Pharaoh, and there are a lot of Pharaohs in today’s world intimidating many, especially Christians, in many ways. However, we need to take a stand just Shiphrah and Puah did. They chose to fear God and not man.

They chose to disobey Pharaoh and to obey God. While we are to submit to human authority, there will always come a time when we will be confronted with either obeying

God or obeying man. We of today have no excuse. We have numerous testimonies in God’s Word where people feared God and not man. When they had to, they disobeyed man.

Another point very relative to our time is that these ladies stood for human life. All godly people have stood for life down through the millenia. It might take a while for some new converts to Christ to understand, but eventually if they really believe God they will become pro-life. This is not only true for the unborn, but should be also true for everyone else. In other words suicide and assisted suicide are things that true Christians know they should not be a part of.

So, these ladies chose life and not death. They were true heroines and wonderful examples to others. And, in choosing life and not death for others, they chose life and not death for themselves.
They were protective of life and the ways of God. Comparing verse 19 with with wording of verse 17 it is apparent to me that these ladies were not telling Pharaoh the truth in verse 19. As we examine Holy Scripture we see that there are cases where God’s people, or those who would become one of God’s people, may not have to tell the truth. Consider Rahab hiding the Hebrew spies in Joshua 2:1-6. Consider the wording in Colossians 3:9, written to a group of Christians, that states we are not to lie one to another. 1 Kings 22 and other passages points out the principle that those who are liars themselves or / and chose to believe lying will be lied to by the permission of God.

III. And Found His Favor  20-21

“Therefore God dealt well with the midwives: and the people multiplied, and waxed very mighty. And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that He made them households."

Given the fact that the phrase “Therefore God dealt well with the midwives” is in one sentence and that “He made them households" are in another sentence I would say this means these ladies began to experience various blessings of God before they were given families. While we do not know exactly what all that included, we have other examples in Holy Scripture of those who feared God being blessed in various ways before what we might consider as the main blessing. Rest assured that if we fear God, we will be somehow blessed in our daily activities.

Not only were they blessed, by they had the blessing of seeing their fellow Hebrews blessed. The Jewish people began to multiply. Applying this to today’s Church, whenever we fear God, obeying Him rather than men, we will, by God’s grace, be edifying the Body of Christ.

Before there story concludes note that Holy Spirit through Moses, the human author of Exodus, is very careful to once again mention that the midwives feared God. We then see that one of their ultimate rewards was that God gave them their own families. As we fear God, and continue to fear God, we will be continually blessed until when we receive the ultimate reward, the very presence of God Himself in the New Jerusalem (please see Revelation 21 and 22).

Without a doubt, the mighty acts of God through Moses are quite outstanding in the book of Exodus, the humility of Puah and Shiphrah in their submission to the fear of God and not the fear of man is just as important and outstanding. While many might admire, and perhaps inspire to be like, Moses, even Moses had to follow in the steps of Shiphrah and Puah by humbling himself and fearing God. May God grant to anyone reading this the desire to be like these two ladies in that they would chose to fear God and not man in this evil generation.


{1} From an electronic version of Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance by James Strong incorporated in the Online Bible program, and so throughout the article whenever the ancient language is referred to and no other authority is cited.

{2} These words are purposely broken apart to avoid unwanted advertisements, and so throughout the article as needed.

{A} Please see http://ppm.3eeweb.com/sprv.html .

This article was in the form of a sermon (message) outline with comments. God willing by June 12, 2015, (hopefully much sooner), you should be able to hear the actual message (sermon) by selecting a link at http://www.sapphirestreams.com/life/audioM.html#M363 .

Unless otherwise noted all Holy Scripture is from the 1769 Authorized Version with spelling of some words updated for our time in addition to changing LORD to YHVH as it rightly should be when the text so indicates. An * next to the abbreviation for another translation or version indicates the same for the text presented.

Not responsible for lead picture after date of publication. Not responsible for any advertisements appearing with this article nor am I necessarily in agreement with any of them. The statements of this paragraph hold true not only for this article, but for everything I have placed on the Internet.

Article Written By BrotherPete

I am a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, having served over forty years as a pastor. I graduated from Northeast Bible College of Green Lane Pennsylvania and have a Bachelors Degree in Bible. I am enthused about the Word of God and how it can make a positive change in the life of anyone once it is teamed up with faith and the Holy Spirit. I am happily married. Visit www.sapphirestreams.com.

Last updated on 29-07-2016 601 1

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  • nbillett  28-12-2016
    The liberation God will bring about is, at the same time, a liberation from structures of oppression and the awakening of each person regarding his or her own sin.
    reply 0
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