‘Fear of God’ is a very familiar term among Christians. In fact, it has become so familiar that it has lost its true significance. There are many people in the Bible who have feared God, but I was particularly touched by the way the ‘midwives’ feared God.
Exo 1:17 - The midwives feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded but saved the male children alive
Looks simple, isn’t it? But truly, it wasn’t. After the death of Joseph, his brothers and the entire generation, children of Israel were fruitful and increased abundantly and multiplied and grew exceedingly mighty. However, there were challenges in their way. There was a new king in Egypt who did not know anything about Joseph or his good works.
He was a cruel king who did not fear God. He felt insecure to see the rising number of Israelites. He was afraid they might war with the Egyptians. And he began to afflict them. He persecuted them. When none of them seemed to work, he took an even harsher stop. He commanded the 2 Hebrew wives, Shiphrah and Puah, to kill the new born babies if they were a son.
It was at this critical hour, the midwives demonstrated their fear of God in action. They refused to obey the king’s commandments. How easily they could have compromised? After all, it is the king’s order so I must do. They could have thought this way. Rather they refused.
They feared God in the midst of persecution. Either obey king of God! This was the option in front of them. They chose to obey God and disobey the king at the risk of their lives. Since the king was already were angry and displeased with the Israelites, their disobedience at this moment would be at the cost of their lives, or at least at the cost of their job, their living.
Nevertheless, they had the courage to fear God amidst unfavourable situation. They had a deep conviction that there was a God to whom they must give account, a God that honors those who love Him and obey Him.
And didn’t God honor them? Names of these ordinary women have been preserved in the Holy Bible for thousands of years.
How do you fear God? Do we fear God only till a point of danger? Or are we ready to risk our profession, our lives, or anything it may cost to stand for God?