Monday, May 10, 2021

2021.05.10 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 devil’s fingerprints are all over Pharaoh’s actions. He was the “murderer from the beginning” as Jesus called him (cf. John 8:44), trying to use the woman to kill the man, even in the garden (Genesis 3:1–6). Now, he hopes to do the same by the hands of the Hebrew midwives. It is precisely because man is made in God’s image, from womb to tomb, that Satan would like for the former to be the latter. He’s been at it ever since (cf. Revelation 12), and he’s still at it today even in post-Christian and purportedly-Christian nations (abortion). From Molech to Herod, and everywhere else murder happens, it is precisely that which makes murder so offensive to God (cf. Genesis 9:5–6) that makes it the devil’s number one choice for stopping the being fruitful and the multiplying and the filling of the earth (cf. Exodus 1:7, Genesis 9:7) with the people of God.

And here is the king of Egypt, especially targeting the male children (Exodus 1:16b, Exodus 1:17b, Exodus 1:18b). God had made them male and female in His own image, so the attack on His image is concentrated at the point of distinction. Indubitably, to Pharaoh the males were the greatest threat in insurrection and war, and the females could be used to make “half-Egyptians” easily enough. 

So Pharaoh sought to eliminate the men because they were men and un-woman the women, making them unable to bear or nurture men’s lives. In Shiphrah’s and Puah’s case, he even sought to make them the murderous enders of those lives. And still today Satan attacks with the defeminizing of women and emasculating of men through feminism, and even confusing the two in particular individuals—often, now, perpetrated upon children by their parents! Male and female God created them in His image. Un-male and un-female, the devil attempts to convert them in his own anti-image.

Indeed, the devil’s fingerprints are all over this passage, so that the king of Egypt could have hardly guessed that he was a pawn of the one whose special hatred is for that Seed of the woman who would crush his head (cf. Genesis 3:15, cf. Revelation 12:4–5), and whose hatred has never abated, despite his failure (cf. Revelation 12:17). 

Satan’s twin hatreds of the Godhead and the redeemed manhood in the Seed Who is Christ, fuel his continual rage. He hated Israel, for the Christ would come from them. He hates the church, for they have come from Christ and are in Christ. Just by being male, or female, as God created us; and, by believing in Christ and pursuing likeness to Him; and, by being fruitful and multiplying and filling the earth with renewed image-bearers, we find our heels upon the devil’s head—God Himself hastening the completion of the crushing (cf. Romans 16:20).

For, this passage has God’s fingerprints upon it far more than the devil’s. Never has anyone intended more evil than the devil. Never has anyone intended more good than God, and He will succeed. Though the king built a city for his name, Exodus 1:15 refuses even to mention it, giving instead the vastly more important names of Shiphrah and Puah. Rather than jealousy of women who could bear, the Spirit had given these women the fear of God (Exodus 1:17). He mocks Egyptian weakness by giving the slave women comparatively extraordinary strength (Exodus 1:19), even giving Shiphrah and Puah the privilege of delivering the cutting comparison themselves (pun intended). God gives the midwives their first goal: the continuing multiplication and mightiness of God’s people (Exodus 1:20), and then superadds to them the personal blessing of covenant families of their own (Exodus 1:21).

Oh yes, God’s fingerprints are all over this passage. And all over what He is doing in our day. The blood of the martyrs has ever been the seed of the church. And if you are a Christian, your faith and your family and your faithfulness are the super-abounding goodness and power of God at work even now, wherever you are. Christ would come from the people of Shiphrah and Puah. And, in 2021, He is still building the church for which He will come again. War’s days are numbered. Abortion’s days are numbered. Gender perversion’s days are numbered. The God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.

Name several things that Satan hates about you. How can you maintain and grow in these things? Who will make sure that this succeeds? Where else do you see him attacking God’s image, or maleness or femaleness, or the church? What will you pray and do in response?

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

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