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

God, Trials

Where Are You God?

A number of years ago I was at the end of my rope. I was frustrated, discouraged, and looking for answers. I had prayed all the right prayers and read all the right Bible verses, yet things were not going the way I wanted.

Where are you, God?

In an instant, I saw large red fingerprints on everything. My family, my home, my children, my problems, and concerns all had fingerprints. They were God’s fingerprints. He showed me that He was in fact at work in my life. From the smallest detail to the largest concern, God’s hands were holding it all together. I just hadn’t seen it.

I was so busy looking at my problems that I took my eyes off of God. He graciously reminded me that He was there the whole time. He was always there. My problems did not disappear that day. Something bigger happened. I was encouraged. My hope was restored. Peace came back in my heart because I knew God was handling it all.

God did not shake His head at me, and tell me, “How dare you!”. He lovingly showed me His presence in my life. God’s patience and kindness is overwhelming.

There are times when I know in my head that God is omnipresent, but I don’t always feel that in my heart. I am not always going to feel it, and that’s O.K. I have learned when I don’t feel God, I can trust the truth of His word, the Bible.

“For I, the LORD, do not change” Malachi 3:6, NASB

God never changes, ever. We can trust God fully and completely knowing He is constant.

“and I give them eternal life, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.  I and the Father are one.” John 10:28-30, NASB

We cannot be taken out of God’s hand. Jesus and the Father are one. Those of us in Christ cannot be taken out of His mighty hand.

God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5b, NIV

God will never leave us, ever. God will never abandon us or give up on us.

These are the verses that come to mind when I don’t necessarily feel God. The Holy Spirit reminds me through His word, the truth. God is omnipresent. God loves us. God will never abandon us. God is always working in our lives, even when we can’t see it.

I have also learned to press in to God when I can’t see Him. I know He is my source for everything. I know when I ask Him to help me, He will. God is faithful. God’s love and care does not change based on my feelings. I’ve heard it said that if you do not see God that He did not move, you did.

When we feel far from God it is an opportunity for our faith to grow. Every time I go looking for Him when I can’t see Him clearly, He shows up.

God is as close as your next prayer.

Love you all,

Meghan

Heavenly Father,

You are perfect, awesome God. Thank you for your love and grace. I lift up all those who feel far from you today. May they experience your amazing presence and peace. Touch their hearts and lives. Give them eyes to see You.

In Jesus Name,

Amen

Faith, Trials, Uncategorized

Every Act of Kindness Is Big

Last week I was shopping at my local Aldi. I got there when they opened in search of water and maybe some toilet paper. My expectations were low. There was no water or toilet paper to be found. I asked the manager when the next shipment was arriving.

“Later that morning”, he said. “I have two packages of toilet paper in the back. Do you want them?”

Absolutely!

Once he loaded the t.p. in my cart, I made sure to ask the two women near me if they needed any.  They both were O.K., and on the hunt for paper towels.

The manager then said to me, “Give me your cell number. I will hold water for you once the shipment arrives and I’ll text you when it’s ready.”

Say what? Kindess? You mean I don’t have to wrestle someone for water?

A few hours later I recieved a text from the store manager that my water was ready. It was a good thing he saved it for me. As soon as the water was put out, it was gone within minutes.

This act may seem small. In the grand scheme of things it is. In that moment, it was a big deal for me. God bless that kind manager. He didn’t have to do that. But, he did.

In God’s economy kindess matters. We are given opportunities every single day to make a difference. Sometimes they seem small, almost insignificant. God knows the big picture. One act of kindness can change someones day, even their entire outlook on life.

In the book of Acts we can see one very small verse, with one very simple act of kindness. Paul is being transported on a ship to Rome to appeal to Caeser. Read Acts to get the entire incredible story. Anyway, there’s a massive storm and ultimately they run the ship aground. Everyone bails out and gets to shore on the island of Malta.

“The islanders showed us unusual kindness. They built a fire and welcomed us all because it was raining and cold.” (Acts 28:2, NIV)

276 men had been at sea in a terrifying storm for two weeks. When they arrive on the shore of an unknown island they were met by kind islanders who had built a fire to warm them in the cold and rain. Sounds like no big deal. It’s one verse, and most of us are focused on every other part of this amazing story, that we miss the kindness of the islanders.

God used the islanders to bless these men, including Paul, after surviving a horrific storm.

God wants to use you today. It may seem small, but it’s not. We are looking for some big, grand gesture. And sometimes we get those chances to participate in the larger, flashier blessings. Those are very important too. I’m talking about the seemingly small daily things. The little things that can have a massive ripple effect for something larger.

Thanking the grocery store workers who are working tirelessly right now.

Giving another customer your package of toilet paper from your cart.

Checking on elderly friends and neighbors.

Praying for those infected with the virus and their families.

Praying for the doctors, nurses and all hospital staff who are putting themselves in harms way to save lives.

Thank your pastor who feels all the responsibility and stress to care for their hurting flock. Pray for them too!

The list is infinite.

God has opportunites set up just for you so He can use you. We get to be a part of what God is doing. He wants to use regular people like you and me to bless others. No act of kindness is too small or too big. If there is an oportunity to bless another human being, take it. Ask God to open your eyes and soften your heart to those who might need some help or a kind word. We can make a difference.

“Do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Luke 6:31, NIV)

Love you all,

Meghan

 

 

 

 

Photo by Porapak Apichodilok on Pexels.com

 

 

Faith, Trials, Uncategorized

This Too Shall Pass

This is the verse from Proverbs. No, it must be from Psalms. That’s not it either. This too shall pass is not in the Bible. Many of us assume it’s found in the Bible because it sounds like something right out of the Old Testament. My mom said it often. Maybe your mom said it too. My mom said it because she had to deal with really difficult circumstances throughout her life. She learned that she would get through, by the grace of God. You are going to make it too!

In such a stressful time full of so many unknowns I see so much good. Families are spending more time together. No practice. No running out the door to go to school, or anywhere. Many are now either working from home or have been laid off. I’m not saying being laid off is good, but the free time is. A giant pause button was hit on our lives around the world.  

We have some extra time to just be. We are so busy doing that we have forgotten the importance of just being. The love God has for each of us is not based on what we can accomplish in a day. God’s love for us has no strings attached. God loves us right where we are at, just as we are. We can’t earn His love. God offers His love freely to us. 

If your life has been radically interrupted like most of us around the globe, use this time to spend with the Lord. Just be with Him. Ask Him the hard questions, He’s got answers if we’re ready to listen. Do you know Him? He already knows everything about you. Do you know Jesus as your savior? 

“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)

This time of crisis will end. Let’s make the most of being stuck at home. Have fun with your kids or grandkids. Stay in your p.j’s because you can. Turn off the news now and then and watch something funny. Laughter is a fantastic stress reliever. Take a social media break. Maybe choose one day where you don’t go online. Read a book. Take a walk. Pray often. Read your Bible. Check on elderly friends and neighbors. 

Our lives seem to go from one responsibility to the next, and sometimes with little or no break between. When was the last time you had nowhere to go? When was the last time you sat for more than five minutes? I’m talking to all of us that are always doing and have forgotten to just be. 

We’ll have plenty to do soon enough. Take it each day. That’s all we can do. Trust God who is completely worthy of trust. If you start to worry, stop and pray. Give those worries to the Father. He can handle it. 

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7, NIV)

This too shall pass. This crisis will end. I know the restrictions are getting tighter in some places but let’s do our part. Follow the guidelines the best you can. Be patient. It will end. God will carry you through. Trust Him. Lean on Him. Cry out to Him. He’s got you!

We’re all in this together. Rich, poor, famous, and regular folks like me have to follow the same restrictions to help combat the coronavirus. We can do this! We will make it!

Be wise. Be discerning. Trust God.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”(1 Timothy 1:7, NKJV)

Love you all,

Meghan 

 

 

Dear Lord,

Thank you that you are faithful and trustworthy. We can fully rely on you to carry us through hard times. Give us your peace when we start to worry. Give us your presence when we feel alone. Give us your protection when we feel afraid. Help us to make the best use of our time and learn what we need to out of this crisis. Help us to come out of this better, stronger, and with bigger faith. We thank you and praise you!

Amen

 

If you need prayer please email me!

Faith, Trials, Uncategorized

Keep Calm and Carry On

This iconic message, recognized globally, was originally designed by the British Ministry of Information in 1939. Before England had entered the war they were prepping for the worst. The British government was expecting a massive aerial attack from the German’s at the onset of war. The blitz didn’t start until about a year later. Keep Calm and Carry On was stored away to be used when things got really bad for England. The poster never came out of storage and was forgotten. About 60 years after the end of WWII an original poster was discovered in the bottom of a box from a book auction. 

The book shop owner displayed the poster and started reproducing and selling copies. Keep Calm and Carry On just took off after that first copy was found. The copyright is expired so that’s why we see so many variations of Keep Calm and Carry On.

The intent of the message was to reassure people during WWII. To create a mindset. To persevere. To be resolute. Determined. The first German air raid on London lasted for 57 consecutive nights. Bombings, night after night. 

Though this poster was never used during the war, I can only imagine what people in London experienced. Keep Calm and Carry On sends a message to the enemy and to yourself. We refuse to give in to fear. We’re going to make it, no matter how bad things get.

This poster immediately came to my mind as panic sets in around the world with the threat of coronavirus. Here in America store shelves are being emptied of water and of all things, toilet paper. The only other time I’ve seen it worse at the stores is when Hurricane Harvey hit Houston. Everything was empited at the stores, everything. 


All things may appear to be completely out of control. Please be assured God is still in control.

God is always on the throne.

God is not surprised by the virus.

God is not fearful or overwhelmed.

God is faithful.

God is completely trustworthy.

God loves you.

Most of us know the story of Job in the Bible. Job was a Godly man.

“There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job, and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil.” (Job 1:1, ESV)

Job had seven sons and three daughters. He had servants, and tons of animals. Job was blessed and respected. 

 “so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the east.” (Job 1:3b, ESV)

God allowed Satan to test Job. He ends up losing his children, his animals, his servants and everything in between. Yet Job never cursed God. (Spoiler alert: Job gets back twice as much as he had before.)

The Lord speaks to Job.

 

Where were you when I established the earth?
Tell Me, if you have understanding.
Who fixed its dimensions? Certainly you know!
Who stretched a measuring line across it?
What supports its foundations?
Or who laid its cornerstone
while the morning stars sang together
and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

Who enclosed the sea behind doors
when it burst from the womb,
when I made the clouds its garment
and thick darkness its blanket,
10 when I determined its boundaries
and put its bars and doors in place,
11 when I declared: “You may come this far, but no farther;
your proud waves stop here”?

12 Have you ever in your life commanded the morning
or assigned the dawn its place, 

(Job 38:4-12, HCSB)

I have never made a planet, or a star, or the moon. I don’t even have the capabilities to create anything even close to that. I am not God. There is one God and He made everything and He holds it all together. Nothing surprises Him. 

We are all going to make it through the coronavirus. Let me give it the scientific name, COVID-19. Now I feel really smart. 

As Christians we can shine our light by keeping calm and carrying on. Let’s not panic. Keep trusting the One who holds it all together. And if you’re feeling afraid, cry out to Him. God loves you so much, and wants to comfort you, and give you His perfect peace.

Keep calm and carry on!

 

God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
    and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
 though its waters roar and foam
    and the mountains quake with their surging. (Psalm 46:10, NIV)

 

Love you all,

Meghan 

 

 

 

Dear Lord,

You are the perfect Father. Your love and care for us is overwhelming. Please give peace to your children right now. For those who have the virus, please heal them. Stop it’s spread. Please end this quickly Lord. For those who don’t know you as Savior, draw them to you. Save them. Help us all to do our part to be wise and discerning. To follow your leading, and to keep trusting you. Provide basic needs, proper healthcare, and finances wherever it’s needed. You promise to provide all of our needs and you always do. Give wisdom to local, national, and international leaders. Thank you Lord. We trust you.

In Jesus name,

Amen

 

Please email me if you need prayer!