The Midwives Feared God
Exodus 1:17 (ESV) – But the midwives feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but let the male children live.
We read in several places of Scripture to obey the rulers and authorities God has placed over us (Romans 13:1; 1 Peter 2:13-14). These individuals and institutions are placed by God for our good. They serve a role in different capacities. Parents raise and develop their kids. Civil authorities like police officers, mayors, lawmakers, schoolteachers, baseball coaches, and employers serve a purpose. Church leaders have God-given authority over us in certain things. None of these people have ultimate authority, but because God has placed them there it means we obey them in their spheres of authority.
But there are also times when we must not obey them. There are times when we may not be able to submit to their authority. There are times we must rebel. We see that in our text today. In Exodus 1, the Hebrew midwives are instructed by the king of Egypt to kill all Hebrew boys. They refuse to obey. We read in Exodus 1:17, “But the midwives feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but let the male children live.”
The Hebrew midwives did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them. They let the Hebrew boys live. Why? Because they feared God more than they feared the king. But doesn’t the Scriptures say we are to obey those in authority over us because God put them there? Yes, we should. But God putting them there doesn’t make them infallible. When obeying earthly authorities leads us to disobey God’s commands, we rebel. God is the ultimate authority. We do not disobey Him in order to obey someone else.
There are different examples we could give of this. A police officer doesn’t have the right to cancel your high school math test. Your parents don’t have the authority to cancel the speed limits for you on the road. The grocery store manager doesn’t have the authority to make you wear an LGBTQ+ flag shirt. They may fire you if you refuse, but they can’t make you obey. Your allegiance is to the Lord.
Be careful to guard your heart. Put away all fleshly impulses to be a rebel for rebellion’s sake. But prioritize the obeying of God over all others.
When others try to lead you astray, rebel against them. They are no longer fulfilling their godly purposes in their roles.
Reflection & Journal:
- Why is it important to think about topics and passages like today’s devotion?
- What do the actions of the Hebrew midwives teach us about rebellion against authorities?
- How might you be forced to rebel against authorities at some point?
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