“But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the male children alive. So the king of Egypt called for the midwives and said to them, “Why have you done this thing, and saved the male children alive?” And the midwives said to Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women; for they are lively and give birth before the midwives come to them.” Therefore God dealt well with the midwives, and the people multiplied and grew very mighty. And so it was, because the midwives feared God, that He provided households for them.”
Exodus 1:17-21 NKJV
It is easy to find oneself daunted, overwhelmed by the powers that be, by the authorities, those further up the hierarchy. In many places, the government has the upper hand, and dictates to those underneath what is, what will be, and what is expected.
I entered the book of Exodus this morning, and I found a great example of civil disobedience in the persons of Shiphrah and Puah, two Hebrew midwives. The children of Israel had become great, and had become a threat to the Egyptians. God had blessed them, just as He had promised Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and they had become numerous.
Pharaoh, fearing the potential that the status quo would be overturned, ordered that the midwives would kill all the male children upon birth. He hoped the post-term abortons would eliminate the threat, and reduce the potential of the children of Israel someday going to war with them. He was like an ancient Margaret Sanger using Planned Parenthood to limit the number of black people in the bygone era of America.
But, the midwives feared God more than those in authority.
I believe that a time is coming when those who profess to believe in God, who profess to be the called out ones, saved by the blood of Jesus, will be forced to decide if they are willing to cede to the hierarchy of authority of government, or fear God.
There are those even today who desire that certain parts of the Bible not be preached, that certain passages and verses be deemed hate speech. We are entering a time when people will not tolerate sound doctrine.
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”
II Timothy 4:3-5 NKJV
We will enter a season when even standing for the Gospel: that Jesus died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, will be forbidden from many pulpits because “we don’t want to tell people they are sinners.” Those that dare to stand for the truth will be persecuted, will be hauled before the authorites.
But remember this: God is for us. The Lord remembered the midwives and took care of them. Likewise He will be faithful to those who fear Him, and stand for the word of God.
We are standing on the cusp of a new year, a likely new national leader, far less tolerant of Christians, and a world that appears to be teetering on the brink.
We still have the Gospel, the tried and true, we still have the Lord, faithful and true, always present. Let us go forth into the coming year with boldness, and willness to stand against those in authority when what they order us to do runs counter to the word of God.
The early disciples were faced with just such a choice, but chose God despite the beatings and the threats.
“So they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.””
Acts 4:18-20 NKJV
All but one of these early disciples died naming the name of Jesus. In the centuries since, millions have gone to death persecuted for that Name. Let us be faithful and represent all those who have come before us. We have a great message of salvation and transformation. We must be faithful to serve our faithful God.
“I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.”
II Timothy 4:1-2 NKJV
We have entered perilous times, that is for sure. I look at the passage in Second Timothy chapter four, and it is like a checklist of all the things bad that are happening in this world.
“For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!”
II Timothy 3:2-5 NKJV
But meditate on this:
“Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.”
Revelation 3:10-12 NKJV
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