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Shiphrah & Puah: Unlikely Heroes

“The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live… 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.”1

Shiphrah & Puah were Hebrew midwives during a very difficult time in Egypt. Pharaoh had decided that the Israelites were growing too large in number, so he ordered all the baby boys to be killed at birth. However, these two women feared God and defied the kings command by letting the baby boys live. Was there risk in their decision? You bet there was! They could have been killed, but they feared God above all else and in turn received God’s kindness and blessing.

Their example reminds me of what Oswald Chambers said. He said, “The remarkable thing about fearing God, is that when you fear God, you fear nothing else, whereas if you do not fear God, you fear everything else.”

We can learn a couple important lessons from these two midwives. First, when we choose to obey God and fear Him above all else, He will care for us. It is not always easy to stand for what is right, especially when there may be serious consequences, but this is the kind of bravery that pleases God.

Secondly, Shiphrah and Puah valued the life of these unborn children. They were not related to these families (except in that they were all Hebrew), but they were willing to risk their own lives for the sake of these little ones. Their actions are a perfect example of Proverbs 31:8-9 which says: “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”

The injustice in our world is great. Just as in Egypt, our unborn babies are at risk. We are confronted with opinions everyday that oppose what God has said. But God has given us a Spirit of power, and just like these women, we can choose to stand for what is right. God will care for us and bless us when we fear Him above all else.

Suggested prayer: Dear God, the injustice in our world may be great, but you are greater. You have given us your Holy Spirit to empower us to stand for what is right in your eyes. Help me fear you above all else, so that my actions will bring glory to you. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. In Jesus’ name, amen.


  1. Exodus 1:15-21 (NIV).

Today’s Encounter was written by: Crystal B.

All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.