Reflection: Puah and Shiphrah
For further reading see Exodus 1:1-22
Shiphrah and Puah are early examples in the Bible of resistance to an oppressive government. A situation we are familiar with has happened. One ethnic group within a country has become larger (the Israelites here), making others afraid. Those in power seek to reduce their numbers, in this case by killing baby boys at birth. Shiphrah and Puah as midwives are ordered to carry this out. But they recognise that in this case the government asks them to participate in evil. In order to save these children and their people, they disobey this law and even lie in order to protect them. We are told that in saving these babies they pleased God. Shiphrah and Puah show courage and moral wisdom. Different principles can come into conflict. It is good to obey civil law, and to tell the truth. Yet sometimes we are called to resist evil power.
Question: Can you think of other examples in which it has been good to resist those in power – why was it necessary in these cases?
Prayer: Lord, help me to always put my allegiance to you first. Give me wisdom in when to obey and when to resist. Amen.