Whose Faith Follow (Heb. 13. 7)
A. C. Hinton, Uxbridge
IT is well to note what is recorded about Shiphrah and Puah in Exodus chapter 1 ; i.e. they feared God and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them but saved the men-children alive, therefore God dealt well with them and because they feared Him He made them houses.
They feared God. This also characterized the people of God at the close of Old Testament times, and having that in common they met together to think about and talk about Him. No doubt they found great joy in this: so did God (Mal. 3. 16, 17).
This continued to mark His people in the New Testament and was the secret of the prosperity of the early companies. It was as they were " walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost " that they were multiplied (Acts 9. 31). Be thou in the fear of the Lord all the day long. Prov.23. 17.
They did not fear anybody else. They dared to oppose the will of a powerful and ruthless king who thought nothing of committing murder to gain his purpose.
It was in such an atmosphere of fearlessness of man— resulting from reverent fear and confidence in God—that Moses was born and brought up, his parents likewise having no fear of the king's decree (Heb. 11. 23). So it is not surprising that in due course lie himself displayed the same characteristic (v. 27).
The fear of man bringeth a snare ; but, in the fear of the Lord is strong confidence (Prov. 29. 25 ; 14. 26). If God be for us, who can be against us ? Rom. 8. 31.
They were in the secret of the purpose of God. This is what justified their disobedience of the king's commandment; he was Satan's servant in trying to obstruct God's purpose. It seems that Satan had previously found it easy to use the first woman (Eve) as-his instrument: now he tried again, this time to fail completely.
How did they know what God's purpose was ? Psa. 25. 14 supplies the answer: " The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him ; and He will shew them His covenant."
They carried out the counsel of God. He had no necessity to use any human instrument at all, but it pleased Him to do so and to choose these humble women to bring to nought the purpose of Satan and Pharaoh and to bring His purpose to pass. As a result the people multiplied (as in Acts 9. 31) and waxed very mighty—the direct opposite of what Pharaoh wanted but just exactly as God intended.
God honoured them. He always honours those who honour Him (1 Sam. 2. 30) : God was not unmindful to forget what they had done but He showed His appreciation, dealing well with them. Oh how great is Thy goodness, which Thou hast laid up for them that fear Thee ! (Psa. 31. 19).
A special mark of divine favour is mentioned, as a direct result of their fearing God—He made them houses.