Women in the Bible

The Heroic Hebrew Midwives

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Pharaoh and the Midwives, James Tissot, C. 1900 WikiArt

When admired women of the Bible are discussed, names like Esther, Ruth, and Deborah are mentioned. These faithful women were used by God mightily. But these aren’t the only Godly women in the Bible. There are many women who obeyed God and impacted history. Some were named, and some remain nameless in the Word of God. 

Shiphrah and Puah are heroes of the faith. Two ordinary Hebrew women used by an extraordinary God. Shiphrah and Puah were Hebrew midwives. Puah means “splendid or radiant” in Hebrew. Shiphrah means “beauty or harmony” in Hebrew. What beautiful names for two Godly women. 

In the first chapter of Exodus we learn about the oppression of the Israelites by the Egyptians. The king of Egypt did not like that the Israelitess had grown to such a large number. He feared that if war broke out, the Israelites would join an enemy army, fight against Egypt, and leave the country. So Pharaoh put slave masters over the Israelites and forced them into hard labor.

Pharaoh’s oppression backfired. The more the Israelites were oppressed, the more their numbers multiplied. The Egyptians dreaded the Israelites and worked them ruthlessly. The Israelites had to make bricks, and work in the fields. This was hard backbreaking labor.

Pharaoh came up with another plan to decrease the numbers of the Israelites since harsh labor was not working. 

The Hebrew Midwives obey God.

15 The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, whose names were Shiphrah and Puah, 16 “When you are helping the Hebrew women during childbirth on the delivery stool, if you see that the baby is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her live.”17 The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live.18 Then the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and asked them, “Why have you done this? Why have you let the boys live?”  Exodus 1:15-18, NIV 

Pharaoh vastly underestimated these women by thinking they would follow his orders. Shiphrah and Puah took an enormous risk by refusing to kill the male babies. They were just lowly midwives, yet what they did was daring. Because of their fear of God they protected the Hebrew baby boys. 

19 The midwives answered Pharaoh, “Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women; they are vigorous and give birth before the midwives arrive.” Exodus 1:19, NIV 

It’s assumed that Shiphrah and Puah lied when answering Pharaoh. This may not be the case. Many Bible commentators say the midwives lied, and some say they did not. Verse 19 gives their answer, and we are not told anything further on whether or not what they said was true. Maybe it was partly true. If the midwives did lie, was it justified?

20 So God was kind to the midwives and the people increased and became even more numerous. 21 And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own. Exodus 1:20-21, NIV 

God blessed the midwives because they feared Him and obeyed Him. God did not bless them for lying. He blessed them for their faithfulness. God always knows our heart and what is motivating our actions. Shiphrah and Puah were rewarded for their incredible faith with families of their own. 

And so the Israelites just kept increasing. God blessed the Israelites during harsh oppression by continually multiplying their numbers. When Pharaoh’s oppression increased, God’s goodness increased more. These two incredible ordinary midwives were a part of God’s extraordinary plan. 

Shiphrah and Puah stood up to evil because they loved God. As a result, the Israelites grew in great numbers, and the groundwork was laid for Israel to be set free from the Egyptians. The stage was also set for the birth of Moses, the prophet who would lead his people out from Pharaoh’s enslavement.

God used two seemingly insignificant regular women to participate in His perfect plan for Israel. 

These precious women inspire me to fear God, not man.

Love you all,

Meghan 

If you need prayer send your prayer request to meghanewhiteauthor@gmail.com

References

https://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Puah.html

https://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Shiphrah.html

https://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/shiphrah-midrash-and-aggadah

https://www.chabad.org/parshah/article_cdo/aid/3555182/jewish/Who-Were-Shifra-and-Puah-the-Hebrew-Midwives.htm

Persecution

Day of the Christian Martyr

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June 29th is the anniversary of the Apostle Paul’s martyrdom according to church tradition. To remember the many who have lost their lives for the cause of Christ, Voice of the Martyrs honors a martyr each year by telling their incredible story.

Most of these martyrs will never get talked about on any news media. They aren’t Christian celebrities. Many are missionaries who have laid down their lives because of their love of Jesus.

This year Voice of the Martyrs is honoring Rocio Pino. In 2011 Rocio was gunned down by Marxist Guerrillas on the doorstep of her house. She left behind a husband and two daughters. Rocio’s family lived in Columbia’s Guerrilla controlled Red Zone. Rocio faithfully shared the love of Christ with the Guerrillas.

“All who come here will hear about Christ.” Rocio Pino

Learn more about Rocio’s story and many other honored martyrs at Voice of the Martyrs. Click on the link to register and Voice of the Martyrs will send you all kinds of resources including prayer slides, discussion guides, and short videos all related to Day of the Christian Martyr. https://www.persecution.com/martyr/?_source_code=EM21F8

Around the world, more than 340 million Christians live in places where they experience high levels of persecution, just for following Jesus. That’s 1 in 8 believers, worldwide. (Open Doors USA)

An average of 13 Christians killed every day. That’s nearly 400 Christians dying every month. Just because they follow Jesus. (Open Doors USA)

May we always remember the persecuted church, our brothers and sisters in Christ, in our daily prayers.

Today we honor the martyrs. We are grateful and inspired by their faith, dedication, and love for Jesus and others. God bless their legacy and the families they left behind. God will keep blessing the advancement of the Kingdom until the return of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.

Love you all,

Meghan

Link to Open Doors USA. They support persecuted believers in more than 60 countries.

Link to Voice of the Martyrs. They serve persecuted Christians around the world.

https://www.persecution.com

Family, Trials

There’s Always Hope

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The first morning glory of the season greeted me bright and early today in the garden. It’s fun to grow a new variety like these gorgeous pinkish purple ones. Tom gave me these seeds among others at Christmas. I love watching seeds sprout, grow, and eventually flower. It’s very rewarding.

A new flower gives me hope. My garden is no longer a brown desolate wasteland. Now it’s full of new life. Vegetables, herbs, flowers, and fruit are thriving. I didn’t have much hope of planting anything just a few months ago. I didn’t think I would have a garden this year with Tom’s hospitalization and health issues.

God brings hope and blessings in the midst of trials.

Since you all have graciously followed along on our journey of my car accident, and Tom’s hospitalization, and a lot of unknowns, I wanted to give you a little update. Tom had his hernia surgeries yesterday. I sat in the surgery prep area with Tom as nurses came and went asking questions, taking his vitals, and getting him ready.

The anesthesiologist came in, looked over Tom’s blood draw results, and was very concerned with his kidney function. He let us know that Tom is high risk, and rattled off a bunch of potential really horrific things that can happen going under anesthetic and having surgery. My heart sank. Fear whispered in my ear, “something bad is going to happen to Tom“.

Tom was not worried and reassured me that he will be alright. I told fear to take a hike, like forever. The Holy Spirit said to me, “I’ve got Tom. Do not fear“. It was another faith test. I could not see the end result and I was told awful scary things. But God said, “Keep trusting Me“.

The surgeon stepped in the room and went over the anesthesiologist’s serious concerns and asked Tom what he wanted to do. Tom told him that he felt good, and healthy, and that he was ready. The surgery was a success and went better than the surgeon expected. That’s a big praise.

Tom came home last night. There are all sorts of tubes and pumps in his three large incisions. He’s in a lot of pain, no surprise there. He’s been very nauseous and thrown up several times. Sorry if that’s too much info. Gotta keep it real. You have to go through the hard ugly stuff to get to the good.

Today is a new day with new hope just waiting. New opportunities for God’s grace and mercy are here. I’m praying Tom will have less pain today on his path to healing. I’m still praying for his kidneys to completely recover.

The Lord can breathe new life into anything. What appears to be a lost cause can be fertile ground for new life, for hope.

We stand on The Rock. We trust God to completely heal Tom. Through the ups and downs God is faithful. Thank you so much for your prayers!

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13, NIV

Love you all,

Meghan

Salvation

The Narrow Path

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Photo by Krivec Ales on Pexels.com

We wanted to hike to the top of Diamond Head on our Hawaiian vacation. Our itinerary was filled with snorkeling, kayaking, and sight seeing. Hiking to the top of an iconic volcanic crater was a must. The path started out at the ground level smooth, paved and relaxing. Within minutes the path began to curve and wind. No longer paved, it became rocky and uneven.

The trail was not super difficult, yet not super easy either. I had to pay attention since there were numerous switchbacks along the way. There’s a large steep staircase that brings you up 560 feet. I had to stop and catch my breath after climbing those steps.

After climbing another set of stairs there is a 225 foot long tunnel. I am not a fan of enclosed dark spaces. There was no way around the tunnel. I had to go through it to continue on my journey to the top. Once we made it through the creepy dark tunnel it felt like a small victory.

There are several look out points where you can take a break and enjoy the view. When Tom and I finally reached the top it was all worth it. The views were stunning. We could see Waikiki Beach, and downtown Honolulu. Everywhere we looked was absolutely gorgeous. The beautiful blue Pacific Ocean looked like it had no end. Taking the narrow path was worth it.

Following Jesus is the narrow path.

13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

Matthew 7:13-14, NIV

Jesus is the only way to the Father. “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6, NIV). Following Him is not the easy road. The narrow road can be treacherous, steep, and winding. To stay on the narrow path we must fix our eyes on Jesus. He is leading the way and we must follow.

There are dark tunnels and the only way through them is to trust where He is taking you, even when you cannot see. Jesus will get you to the other side of that darkness. And when you are tired and cannot take another step He will pick you up and carry you.

When you are afraid as you look at the steep drop-offs, He will comfort you, and reassure you that you can in fact make it. The only way to get through the narrow path is with Jesus.

Our faith is tested on the narrow path. We must humble ourselves, lay down our pride, take up our cross and follow Him. The longer we are on the narrow path the more we become like Jesus. Little by little, step by step.

There are blessings along the narrow path, provision, and beauty. The narrow path leads to life. Jesus is life. Our time here on Earth is brief and it will come to an end. Those who have placed their faith in Jesus will be in Heaven with Him forever.

My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. John 14:2-3, NIV

The Broad path leads to destruction.

The road to destruction is wide. There are plenty of people on this path. This road is all about self, and making our own way. Doing our own thing. We have no need for Christ on the broad road.

This wide open path is easy, effortless. There is no thought of the narrow path here. Do what you want. Make your own way. It’s difficult to wander off the wide path. There’s plenty of space to do absolutely anything you want without much consequence.

The way of the broad path is not a happy one. Destruction is where it leads which is eternal ruin in Hell. “But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 8:12, NIV)

Jesus is not on the broad path. He is calling us to Him on the narrow road. It’s our choice to make.

I was on the broad path before placing my faith in Jesus Christ. Everything changed once I met Jesus. My eyes were opened to see just how beautiful Jesus is, and how sinful I am. His shed blood saved me and set me free.

Jesus died for all. “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:2, NIV) But not everyone will place their faith in Christ.

The only path I want to be on is the narrow one because Jesus is there. No matter the difficulties, no matter the hardships, there is no place I’d rather be then with my wonderful Savior. Jesus is life.

Only a few find Jesus.

I think it’s interesting that the island of Oahu averages around 250,000 visitors per day yet only 3000 each day hike to the top of Diamond Head. It’s a great illustration of the ease of the wide path with very few finding the narrow path. Sure, many tourists see Diamond Head and it’s beauty, yet they go right past it not wanting to take that narrow path to the top.

Jesus spoke the words in Matthew 7. He is telling us to choose Him because He is life. What appears to be hundreds of ways to Jesus is a lie. The narrow gate is the only entrance. That means placing your faith in Jesus Christ. All other ways lead to destruction.

There is hope for those on the broad road to destruction. In Matthew 7:7-8 Jesus says to ask, seek, and knock. He is ready and waiting to answer our prayers. Jesus does not want anyone to perish. “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (1 Peter 3:9, NIV)

The narrow path can be lonely and difficult but Jesus is there, and He is leading us home.

Love you all,

Meghan

If you need prayer please email me at meghanewhiteauthor@gmail.com

Joey Flynn's Extraordinary Tale

It All Started 3 Years Ago

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Three years ago today I published my very first blog post. I had no idea what I was doing. I dipped my little toe in the blogging world on April 24, 2018. I did not know where to start. I did not know what to write. But I knew I had to do it. After praying about it for several days an idea came to mind. I wrote about how unqualified I am to write.

Unqualified

The reason I started this blog was because of my children’s book, Joey Flynn’s Extraordinary Tale. I never wanted to be a writer. I had zero writing dreams or desires. Writing was nowhere on my radar, but God had a different plan. 

Why Did I Write A Children’s Book?

I am terrible about promoting my book. There is a link on my home page and that’s about it for self promotion. I’ve just never been comfortable with pushing my book. If you are a Kindle Unlimited subscriber you can get my book for free. Several times a year I give away the Kindle version.

Three years goes by fast. A lot has happened in these brief years. I have learned a lot about my faith, and about myself. The first year of my little blog, I hardly wrote. Maybe once or twice a month. I bumped it up the second year. Now, I try to write a weekly post. It doesn’t always happen and sometimes I just don’t want to write.

To stay motivated to keep writing, I try and think of just one person. That maybe, just maybe, one person will read my post and be encouraged. My goal is the same today as it was in the beginning. Encouragement for the Believer, and plant seeds of faith for the Non-Believer.

I want to be as honest as possible about my own struggles, weaknesses, and triumphs. When I share parts of my life I pray that someone sees they are not alone. Christians are real people, with real issues, with real hope because of Jesus.

I just want to say “Thank you!” to each of you. Thank you for reading, following, and supporting my little blog. It’s my tiny corner of the world, so thanks for hanging out with me. Each of you are a blessing to me.

I’m always happy to pray for you. Please don’t hesitate to share your prayer requests with me. It’s a privilege to pray. meghanewhiteauthor@gmail.com

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I love you guys.

Love,

Meghan

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. Ephesians 2:20, NASB