Theological Commentary: Click Here
Notice the change within the context of Egypt as we jump from Genesis to Exodus. No longer is the story being written out of the perspective of respect. No longer do we see Pharaoh’s and Joseph’s relationship affecting the story. Of course, over 400 years have gone by, so why would those relationships affect the story? That would be like us in the modern day respecting one another because of the relationship of people who live before America ever became a country in the first place! It makes sense that Pharaoh would now be afraid of the massive number of Hebrew people and forget about Joseph. I don’t fault the Pharaoh at all for being fearful of these Hebrews. I will fault him for many things in this story, but not this.
What I do want to lift up out of the story today is the respect that these midwives have for life. They know Pharaoh’s order. They no doubt know the consequences for disobeying Pharaoh’s orders. Yet, they don’t obey Pharaoh anyways. The Hebrew babies continue to be born and live! These midwives are willing to put their own life on the line for the sake of the life off these babies.
There isn’t any reason for these women to do this other than their respect of life. They are Egyptian midwives, so it isn’t like these Hebrew people are family. The midwives are not likely being paid great sums of money to turn their heads the other way. The Hebrew people are being treated as slaves, so I wouldn’t expect them to be overly wealthy. As I just said, the Hebrew people are looked upon as slaves, so it isn’t like they command much respect in Egypt, either. These midwives are letting the Hebrew children live simply because it is the right thing to do.
I want to lift this up today. Here is a group of people who are willing to disobey the orders of superiors when the orders are not just. This is a group of people who are willing to compromise their own livelihood – perhaps even life – for the right thing. They are not getting their ethics from the expectations of the culture around them. They are judging right from wrong from a code of ethics that dwells within them.
God loves them for it.