Saturday, May 08, 2021

2021.05.08 Hopewell @Home ▫ Exodus 1:15–21

Read Exodus 1:15–21

Questions from the Scripture text: Who speaks to whom in Exodus 1:15? What are the names of the midwives? What is the name of the Pharaoh? What does he tell them to do to whom (Exodus 1:16)? Whom did the midwives fear more than Pharaoh (Exodus 1:17)? What did they do to the male children? Who calls for them in Exodus 1:18? What does he ask them? What do they say about the Hebrew women (Exodus 1:19)? Whom do they say are not vigorous like this? What were the midwives waiting for to happen before they would arrive at a Hebrew home? With whom did God deal well in Exodus 1:20? What desire/effort of theirs did He bless? What else did He do for them (Exodus 1:21)?

The Serpent hates the child who is in the image of God and has been attacking the woman who would bear him (cf. Genesis 3:1), ever since the garden. When God’s curse upon the serpent included that the woman would bear not only an image-bearing child, but a serpent-crushing child (cf. Genesis 3:15), how great was the dragon’s vigilance to try to destroy Him (cf. Revelation 12:4–5).

This is what we saw in the Fall, and Satan continues to rage against all humanity, and especially male children, who are designed and called by God to be heads of their families, providers, protectors, and heirs. He attacks the man to destroy him, and he seeks to do so by employing the woman. It was this way in the fall. It is that way in this text. It was that way with the foreign wives of Israel and their kings. It is that way with the loose woman in Proverbs. It is that way today with abortive, murdering, mothers and their enablers.

There is a desperate need in the church for teaching and emphasizing the vital roles to which men are called. If we blur, or even demean, the differences, then we play directly into the devil’s hand. If he cannot destroy the males themselves, he still succeeds if he destroys their maleness. And there is a desperate need for females to rejoice in their design and calling to be helpers, not harmers. And to be those who conceive and bear and nourish and nurture both the next generation of sons, and also the daughters who will one day follow their mothers in this high calling.

But what if you are a woman who cannot bear? In ancient Israel, you might become a midwife. Certainly that was the case for Shiphrah and Puah. But the Lord used them mightily for the sparing of far more sons than they could have borne themselves. And many women of varying ages who are not bearing or bringing up children can yet see God’s design, embrace it, and identify ways to participate in it.

The first blessing that the midwives received was what came to the people of God: “the people multiplied and grew very mighty” (Exodus 1:20). Only secondarily did God add to them the blessing of bearing children themselves (Exodus 1:21).

And indeed, how greatly blessed you and I are, today, through Shiphrah and Puah. For, from this people whose sons they saved came our Lord, according to His flesh. Who knows what powerful preacher, faithful elder, godly father, praying mother, or powerfully used midwife might come from among our children? Let us train boys to be boys, girls to be girls, and all to rejoice in the image of God, trusting in Jesus by Whose death and resurrection that image is marvelously and eternally restored!

In what ways is human life under attack? How are you participating in valuing it? In preserving it? In what ways are male and female roles under attack? How are you participating in valuing them? In preserving them? What are you doing for the children in your home and church to participate in God’s making them the next generation of leaders in the battle to image God?

Suggested songs: ARP128 “How Blessed Are All Who Fear the LORD” or TPH128B “Blest the Man Who Fears Jehovah”

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