The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live. – Exo. 1:17 NIV
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In a clear demonstration of the ability of the Almighty God to be selective in any of His actions, He had chosen to prosper the portion of Egypt called Goshen, where the Israelites were living more than the rest of Egypt. These were the same people whom famine had driven front their ancestral lands to Egypt with Joseph as the fore-runner – Gen. 45:5-9. The rest had arrived Egypt led by their Patriarch, Jacob, who was later called Israel and there was a total of seventy of them now living in Egypt – Exo. 1:1-5.
They were living in the Goshen part of Egypt based on the request Joseph had presented to Pharaoh (Gen. 47:1-6) and for a long period, during which Jacob, Joseph and all his brothers had passed on, the Lord had greatly multiplied and prospered their descendants so much so that the land was filled with them – Exo. 1:6. Their prosperity was so much that it brought fear on the new Pharaoh, just as it could have done to any other nation in similar situation. According to the scriptures, he did not know Joseph as he did not witness or experience the time of Joseph or whatever his contributions to the development of Egypt may have been – Exo. 1:7. His fear was mainly the possibility of the alignment of the Israelites with potential enemies and the likelihood of them leaving the country as free citizens. He was convinced they, as Egyptians needed to be proactive before the situation gets out of control so, in a double barreled strategy, they decided to weaken the military capability of the Israelites by gradually decimating and probably wipe out the male population, and also occupy the people with so much task so as to ensure that they are less likely to have time and strength to plan and effect a rebellion – Exo. 5:6-9.
The latter they could easily achieve as all that was required was a decree from the king and the task masters who themselves were scared Egyptians, were ever willing to quickly implement the order but the former was slightly challenging, since the cooperation of the Hebrew mid-wives will required for its implementation. All they had to do was to kill any male child born to the Hebrew women at birth and spare the female babies, but they instead allowed both to live giving the king the excuse that the Hebrew women are vigorous and usually give birth before they, the midwives, arrived thus making it impossible for the instructions of the king to be implemented – Exo. 1:19. Although that was the excuse given to the king by the Hebrew mid-wives, the bible in the foundation scripture for today’s Devotional gave the true reason as the fear of God that was in the Hebrew mid-wives. To fear God in this instance is their decision to do only what the Almighty God has instructed and laid in them and not what any earthly king had commanded.
Due to this Fear that the Hebrew women had for the Almighty God, the bible states that;
- The Almighty God repaid them by showing kindness to the Hebrew mid-wives – Exo. 1:20a.
- The Israelites continued to increase in number as against the thoughts of Pharaoh and his people – Exo. 1:20b.
- The Lord blessed the Hebrew mid-wives with families of their own – Exo. 1:20c.
Many Christians there are today who are earnestly seeking the kindness of the Lord in all aspects of their lives just as many, in the course of their supposed Christian life, have lost the goodness of God that they were experiencing. To receive the kindness of the Lord is to receive a friendly, generous and considerate action of the Lord in life situations. People who are enjoying this kind of relationship with the Lord tend to experience favour in all that they do. They always present a picture of people who are perfect in all that they do since all they lay hands on becomes successful. People see them as all knowing and ever successful but none of those achievement is due to their ability as they are consequence of the positive intervention of the Most High in all that they do, being their reward for acting with the fear of God in them.
The Hebrew mid-wives could have feared the king that they were seeing, the one who seemed to have all the powers to make and unmake anyone, the one who could give instructions for their lives to be terminated and no one will hesitate to implement the instruction, but they instead chose to fear the God that they could not see – Matt. 10:28. The one who could destroy both body and soul, the one who had the heart of kings in his hands and can direct it the way He chooses (Prov. 21:1-9), the one who is the creator of the earthly king and can terminate with no permission and in summary the Sovereign God – Rev. 3:7.
The question to be answered by the Christian today who seeks to benefit from the kindness of the Lord is, “who did such Christian fear when he/she was in similar situations or is fearing at the moment or will fear if found in such situations?” Most Christians today have chosen to fear the earthly kings and gods and so really should not expect to receive the kindness of the Sovereign God
The same scripture points out that the Hebrew mid-wives were given their own families because they protected the joy of the family of others. It is simply impossible to have what you have deprived others, from the Lord. It is not possible to bring sadness into the lives of people and expect to have joy in your life. Surely, whatever is sown is what is reaped and in multiples – Gal. 6:7-9. The one who is pleading with the Lord unsuccessfully for a particular thing should not be guilty in some way or the other, of deliberately denying someone else of some advantage or the other, even when it is the right of that person to have it. Christians must learn to expect from life what they have put into it as no prayers or spiritual activity will change that natural law. Again, whatever a man does, that is what is harvested and in multiples.
You may be one of those who are quick to accuse the Lord of not showing kindness to you or not granting that long desired request but instead of blaming everyone, the start point could be to question yourself whether you have operated sufficiently in the fear of the Lord. To fear Him is to avoid anything that He would not want done and do all in your capacity to implement all that He wants done. That is when you can also enjoy His kindness as He equally rewards you with what you have done to others. May God put in us all the Spirit to fear Him in all that we do in Jesus name. Amen.