Bible Study – Exodus 1

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Fear is a predominant feature of this scripture passage:

1.       The King’s fear of the unknown (the Israelites) (1:8-10)

2.       The midwives’ fear of God (1:17)

The contrast between fear of God and fear of other things in this text pushes me to think about how these two extremes play out in my own life as a disciple.  The King of Egypt feared what he didn’t know – specifically, the Israelite people.  If he had taken stock of the situation and learned of the good that God’s people had brought to Egypt during some hard years under Joseph’s leadership, he would have seen that they were no more a threat than his own people.  Yet, because of his fear, the only thing he saw was that there were many Israelites – too many – and that they could be a threat to his sovereignty.  So he spread rumors and lies about the Israelites, and tried to bring about their end.

The midwives were on the other side of the spectrum – a healthy fear of God that inspired their faithfulness to Him, and gave them courage to resist the king’s demand that they kill male Israelite babies. Their faithfulness was honored by God.

How often does a fear of what we don’t know keep us from moving forward, or the possibility of being challenged motivate us to oppose what might push us into new relationships or ways of living?

The healthy fear of God the midwives displayed invites us to live with the confidence that, no matter where we go or whom we encounter, God is with us, and faithfulness to Him will protect and bless us.  It’s not about life being easier.  It’s about being stronger in the face of challenging times.