Resistance to an evil authority
Moses was a type of Jesus. Jesus came to save the world; Moses was to save the Israelites. Jesus brought the New Testament of grace; Moses brought the First Testament of the Law. A whole chapter in the book of Hebrews (See Heb. ch3) talks extensively about these similarities, so I wouldn’t go into that now.
The one thing I’m more interested in is the formation of Moses. How that man came to be. His life story. And of particular interest to me are some women in his life that shaped his existence significantly. I choose to look closely at six of them. 6 women that affected Moses’ life, and by extension, the lives of the entire race of Israel.
I call them the Mo-6. I know it’s cheeky, right. Just indulge me, please.
The first two women are a pair of midwives. Yeah, you know them already- Puah and Shiphrah. You’ve probably glossed over their story at some point while reading your Bible.
Well, if you may, let’s look a little more at their lives and their beautiful contributions to human existence.
To give some background, I’d take you down a portion of my own life. 2018, January to August. I had just come back home from writing my licensing exams to practise as a doctor in the UK and I was job hunting in Lagos for a post to keep myself busy, pending when I returned to UK to work permanently. Fortunately, a friend called and said he was travelling for a month and needed someone to stand in for him at his place of work. It was a mother-and-child hospital and I was to be one of the attending doctors. The best 8 months of my life (at that time)were about to begin professionally.
Fast forward to when I was called to the attend a birth led by the midwife. Oh my goodness. It’s a surreal experience holding a newborn in your hands. Through that period, I held so many newborns I lost count. Made sure to check they were okay before giving them to their parents. That was my job (or at least a part of it).
But the bigger responsibility was that of the midwives. They’re just amazing. Staying with a woman through labor, monitoring the mother and the baby, reassuring the lady that she’s going to be alright.
I once overstepped to perform midwife duties. I only wanted to tell the lady that she’d be fine and that she was progressing well. She asked me to please hold her hand and for two good hours, she wouldn’t let go of my hand. I think I nearly lost the pulse in my palm that day. Another day, a woman once bit my fingers because she was in so much pain in labour. Don’t ask me how my fingers got close to her mouth.
You bet by now I’ve learnt my lesson that midwifery isn’t my calling. In fact, obstetrics as a whole isn’t my calling at all. These midwives are there through the night sometimes, comforting the mother while waiting for the baby. They’ve done this over and over for years. And each birth is a joy to behold.
Now imagine the shock when Pharaoh gave such an instruction.
Exodus 1:15–16 ESV
15 Then the king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other Puah, 16 “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.”
Wow! Like big Wow!
Pharaoh had guts. Real guts. Like seriously, of all people to ask to be perpetrators of a genocide, the very people whose job was to help mothers birth their babies. How inhumane the thought of it must have sounded to the midwives.
They were torn between their allegiance to Pharaoh as sovereign king, and their dedication to their patients, their human sensibilities, and most importantly, the basic compassion for life.
Should they choose to disobey Pharaoh, it would be tagged “civil disobedience” or worst still “mutiny”, a crime punishable by death! They had to come up with a plan.
Let’s see how they wriggled their way out of the situation
Exodus 1:17-19 ESV
17 But the midwives feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but let the male children live. 18 So the king of Egypt called the midwives and said to them, “Why have you done this, and let the male children live?” 19 The midwives said to Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women, for they are vigorous and give birth before the midwife comes to them.”
I respect women, especially cunning, wise women. Gosh! Their wisdom is amazing. But lest we get distracted, let’s look closely at the reason why this pair of midwives rebelled against evil authority.
It wasn’t because they loved their patients, nor because they had sworn an Hippocratic oath or some ethical code they were to abide by. Neither was it because of sheer compassion for the lives they were asked to murder.
The real reason was because they feared God.
The truth is this. Ladies are, peculiarly, often the object of so many forms of pressure. From peer pressure to societal pressure, the pressure to get married, the pressure to be successful as a wife or mother or even as a career woman. The pressure at work, the pressure at home. All sorts of things. Society lowers the ball for men subconsciously, but raises the bar when it comes to women. A woman usually has to do more to achieve the same success a man will achieve.
Now, top that pressure with an irrational expectation from someone in authority. Say a boss at work, a lecturer in school, your husband/boyfriend/partner. The expectation to be subservient. The expectation to compromise your standards. The expectation to give in to something that obviously doesn’t sit well with you.
You then build a complex for ladies in such positions. A complex that says you don’t have a choice. A subconscious, societally-ingrained complex that makes you want to do what is expected of you by these authority figures, as opposed to what is right.
My sister, let me tell you something!
You have a choice.
Repeat after me. I have a choice!
Yeah. Puah and Shiprah were put in such a compromising position by Pharaoh. But the truth is they quickly realized that they had a choice. Some people will argue that they told Pharaoh a lie, but what is that lie compared to what Pharaoh was asking of them?
Pharaoh still got his way around killing the Israelites’ male children, but at least, Puah and Shiprah saved some, one of which was Moses.
Destinies are tied to your life, Dear Lady. Destinies are tied to the small decisions you make on a daily basis. And the compromise you give in to today can have ripple effects on a generation.
So, will you be a Puah-and-Shiprah-kind-of-lady and say NO to negative pressures and evil constituted authorities?
Or will you just give in?
Stay woke, Fam.
And oh, I forgot to add. There is a reward. Yeah. God always rewards people who choose Him over the world
Exodus 1:20-21 KJV
Therefore God dealt well with the midwives: and the people multiplied, and waxed j very mighty.  And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that he made them houses.
God made them houses, Fam. He established them. And I pray for you, that He will establish You as well in Jesus name.
woke blessed, Fam