How dare the midwives, Puah and Shiphrah, defy Pharaoh’s command and not kill the Hebrew babies when they delivered them! Didn’t they realize he was king and therefore must operate in complete obedience to him? Had they no fear of the repercussions of their disobedience?
While they acknowledged Pharaoh as ruler, they submitted to one higher than him. God was their ultimate king. It was Him they honored, refusing to allow these babies’ blood to cry out to the Lord from the ground as Abel’s had done centuries earlier. (Genesis 4:1-16) They operated with the wisdom found in Job 28:28 “The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom.” Instead of bowing to tyranny, they embraced courage and strength to show God as The One and Only God.
Had they been in modern times, Matthew 10:28 might have guided them, “Don’t fear those who kill the body but are not able to kill the soul; rather, fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
Did Pharaoh punish them? Amazingly, he did not. Instead, their loving Father in heaven rewarded them. Not only did He prevent punishment, “Since the midwives feared God, He gave them families.” (Exodus 1:21)
God also blessed His beloved people by making them multiply and become numerous, (Exodus 1:20) in direct opposition to Pharaoh’s desire.
God loved His people and used the obedience of Shiphrah and Puah to put it on display.
Why is Jesus consorting with these women, who were once filled with evil spirits and sicknesses? (Luke 8:1-3)
Having women with “tainted” pasts in His close circle broke all social norms and Jewish tradition.
Can you imagine the looks and whispers?
Joanna’s husband, Chuza, managed Herod’s estate; the same Herod who beheaded John the Baptist. (Mark 6:14) Joanna’s allegiance lay not with the Romans who ruled Israel on earth, but with the God who claimed Israel as His people and served as their True King. (Jeremiah 31:1) As she worshiped Yahweh, so she now worshiped Jesus, God in the flesh.
Despite Joanna’s connection with those who hated Jesus, her worship didn’t go unnoticed by the God who loved her first. (1 John 4:19) He gave her co-workers in ministry so she was not alone. And He rewarded her with the sweetest of privileges…
On Resurrection morning, the women went to Jesus’ tomb to prepare His body, but “…found
the stone rolled away from the tomb. They went in but did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.” (Luke 24:2-3)
“…suddenly two men stood by them in dazzling clothes”, proclaiming, “He is not here, but He has risen!”
“Returning from the tomb, they reported all these things to the Eleven and to all the rest. Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them were telling the apostles these things.”
It makes my heart leap to think, these women, whom society had shunned and discarded, saw angels and were the first witnesses to the empty tomb, the evidence of the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Bless the Lord!
He sees the broken and unwanted and calls them His own, using them for His glory and the good of His kingdom while lavishly demonstrating His love and care for them. What a God we serve!
“If you consider me a believer in the Lord, come and stay at my house.”
Lydia’s resume would read like this: God-fearing woman from Thyatira working in a male dominated industry selling luxury (purple) cloth. First female convert to Christianity. Baptized by Paul. (Acts 16:11-15) Home is a church and work base for Paul’s ministry in Asia. (Acts 16:40)
Lydia had no official leadership titles.
But she didn’t need them.
She was a God-fearing believer. Her capacity and willingness to lead and serve was born not from desire for accolades but from her love for and willingness to follow and obey God.
We’re never told specific “rewards” for Lydia. However, based on watching her in Scripture, I believe the Lord may have rewarded her with success in a mostly male industry alongside the abundantly satisfying joy of simply serving the God she had come to know and love by serving the Church.
Sister in the faith, Co-laborer for Christ, Ministry Partner and most importantly, Friend and Encourager
This description fits, none other than the President of Gracefully Truthful (GT), Rebecca Adams. She’s a homeschooling mom raising seven kids and awaiting the day to reunite with her eighth Treasure who preceded her to Heaven. She’s been married for over 20 years. She’s on staff at her local church. She founded GT and currently serves as the President of our board of directors.
But the role I hold most dear to my heart is as friend and encourager. We share some of the same life struggles. And we pray fervently for, and with, each other over those challenges, right alongside those of this ministry and the lives it touches.
Not only does she encourage me, she does the same for countless other women, serving as a mentor for many. She loves the Lord and His Word and she openly and lavishly shares that with others.
I wish each of you could know her personally, but you can “know her” through her writings at GT. You can see the depth of her faith and her joy in serving the Lord and His people.
Culture would tell you to serve your own wants and purposes, but…
Looking at these “Shes”, it’s evident serving God should be our purpose.
It will look different for each of us, but as we submit to His plans for our lives,
He will guide and reward us for our obedience. And He’ll faithfully bring others alongside us for the journey to encourage us. As She, let’s commit to living His way!
Prayer is central to our ministry as believers in Jesus as we carry eachother’s burdens and intercede for one another. Our team is honored to share the work of praying alongside you!
Authentically living out a life of worship to the God who rescued us from darkness requires accountability and intentionality. Join a GT POD and take the next step in your faith journey!