Summary: God was in control of the situation the Israelite's were in, and He is in control of our situation as well.

God Is in Control

Exodus 1:15-22

- Last week, we began our study in the book of Exodus.

- It’s a study that I’m excited about because we’re going to be focusing on God’s honor all through this series.

- Honoring God as a church and individually is our focus for this year.

- Today, we’re going to look at the first instance where God shows Egypt and the Israelites that He is in control.

- He does it through the actions of two women named Shiphrah and Puah.

- They were 2 women who believed that God was in control, and as we’ll see in the text, they proved it through their actions.

- One of my favorite hobbies is reading books about the Civil War.

- Even though I support the Union, and I’m glad we won the war, one of my favorite Generals did not fight for the Union…he was a Confederate.

- The courage of Civil War leader Thomas Jackson is amazing.

- A fellow Confederate General told his troops during the Battle of Bull Run, “There is Jackson standing like a stone wall…Rally behind the Virginians!”

- This earned him the nickname, “Stonewall Jackson.”

- Historian Mark Brinsley wrote, "A battlefield is a deadly place, even for generals; and it would be naive to suppose Jackson never felt the animal fear of all beings exposed to wounds and death.

- But invariably he displayed extraordinary calm under fire, a calm too deep and masterful to be mere pretense.

- His apparent obliviousness to danger attracted notice, and after the first Manassas battle someone asked him how he managed it.

- ‘My religious belief teaches me to feel as safe in battle as in bed.'

- Jackson explained, ‘God (knows the) time for my death. I do not concern myself about that, but to be always ready, no matter where it may overtake me.'

- He added pointedly, ‘That is the way all men should live, and then all would be equally brave.'"

- As you can see, Stonewall Jackson is a man who understood that God is in control, no matter how dangerous the situation is.

- I believe the same can be said about these 2 Hebrew midwives.

- So in what ways do we see that God is in control in this passage?

I.) God gave courage to two women- Vs 15-17

- Last week, we looked at how fast the Children of Israel grew in number.

- They were growing so fast, and there were so many of them, that Pharaoh became concerned.

- He tried to stop their growth by giving them extra work, but God was in control of the situation, and continued to bless them with growth.

- Once Pharaoh realized he wasn’t going to be able to stop them from bearing more children, he decided to take a different approach…

- Instead of stopping them from having children, he would instead let them give birth, but if it was a male child, they were to be killed.

- So, Pharaoh was resorting to murder to try to solve his problem.

- But instead of doing the dirty work himself, he attempts to enlist the help of two women, Hebrew midwives named Shiphrah and Puah.

- There’s a difference of opinion among religious scholars about whether these women were Egyptian or Hebrew…

- The text says Hebrew midwives, which could either refer to Egyptian midwives who were assigned to the Jews, or Hebrew midwives assigned to help their own people.

- Either is possible, and it doesn’t really take away from the story if you interpret it one way or the other…

- However, I believe the evidence supports them being Egyptian women, for a couple of reasons.

- First, the Jewish historian Josephus, when writing about these women, refers to them as Egyptian.

- He was considered an expert on Jewish history, so his record holds strong merit.

- On top of that, it was the opinion of the early church that these women were Egyptian.

- Second, it’s more likely that Pharaoh would have trusted Egyptian women to perform the dirty deed, as an act of service to their country and their king…

- Imagine if he asked Hebrew women to murder their own friends and family’s babies…

- I’m pretty sure they’d have a very difficult time with that.

- So, if they were Egyptian women, there are some important things we need to notice.

- First, we read in vs 17, “But the midwives feared God…”

- Think about that.

- We’ve got 2 Egyptian women who have been raised in a pagan nation.

- But then you have the Children of Israel, raised to serve and follow God.

- How on earth do we find 2 Egyptian women who fear God?

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