“The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, whose names were Shiphrah (Sifrah) and Puah (Pua), ‘When you are helping the Hebrew women during childbirth on the delivery stool, if you see that the baby is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her live.’ The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live. Then the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and asked them, ‘Why have you done this? Why have you let the boys live?’ The midwives answered Pharaoh, ‘Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women; they are vigorous and give birth before the midwives arrive.’ 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.”
The King of Egypt came up with yet another plan to curb Hebrew population growth. He turned to the Hebrew midwives, two of whom, are mentioned specifically as examples. His demands are outlandish. It is not surprising whatsoever that the midwives refused to carry out the King’s demands.
The midwives proved that they feared God more than they did the King of Egypt.
As a result of their obedience, the midwives were rewarded in two ways.
The first reward that God bestowed on the Hebrew midwives was fertility. What does our text say, “Because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own.” Now, why is that such a blessing? Well, in that time period and especially among the Hebrews, only women not capable of having babies of their own were used as midwives. So, to be given children was a great reward.
The second reward is not as obvious, but it is very significant.
If someone asked you the names of the midwives mentioned in our text, you could and would respond, “Shiphrah (Sifrah) and Puah (Pua).” However, if I were to ask you the name of the King of Egypt, how would you respond? The entire Book of Exodus does not mention any King aka any Pharaoh by name. Many have speculated as to the identity of the King mentioned in our text, but that is speculation. Think of it, the highest official in the land being referred to by folks as old, “What’s his name.” The Pharaoh, whose name was known and feared by millions during that time period, is left unknown to those who read God’s word in 2016.
On the other hand, the two Hebrew midwives are mentioned by name.
What a gracious gift from God to those two God-fearing Hebrew midwives. God records their names as an example. Of course, none of us do anything for recognition, but if God is going to recognize us, He might as well recognize us for Godliness and faithfulness and not acts of the sinful nature.
Those two Hebrew midwives will be forever recognized and remembered as ladies who feared God more than they feared man.
Folks, right now, today, in this season, at this time, how we live is going to be recognized and remembered. Will we be recognized and remembered as so and so or old what’s his name or we will be recognized and remembered as men and women who feared God more than we did man and our lives were the proof in the pudding.
Proverbs 10:7 is very black and white, “We have happy memories of the godly, but the name of a wicked person rots away.” (NLT)