There were two Hebrew nurses named Shiphrah and Puah. These nurses helped the Israelite women give birth to their babies. The king of Egypt said to the nurses, “When you are helping the Hebrew women give birth to their babies, watch! If the baby is a girl, let the baby live. But if it is a boy, kill it!” But the nurses feared God. So they did not do as the king told them. They let all the boy babies live. Then the king of Egypt sent for the nurses. He said, “Why did you do this? Why did you let the boys live?”
The nurses said to him, “The Hebrew women are much stronger than the Egyptian women. They give birth to their babies before we can get there.” God was good to the nurses. And the Hebrew people continued to grow in number. So they became even stronger. Because the nurses feared God, he gave them families of their own.Exodus 1:15-21
Midwives Jochebed (Hebrew yokheved) and daughter, Miriam, making them as comfortable as possible during the birthing process.
God’s promise is that as a mother is comforted and in turn comforts, so does God comfort us. Whether a physical mother is present in our lives or not, God’s comforting presence is forever present.
Major Points of the Lesson:
- Giving birth is one of many ways to become a mother. The point is this: Many demands are made upon the person known as ‘Mother’. She often finds herself ‘making a way’ when there appears to be ‘no way’, just like Jochebed.
- Jochebed defies Pharaoh’s order to kill the Hebrew newborns, at great risk to her own safety. Jochebed’s faithfulness to God instead of to Pharaoh, opened the way for her to give birth to the leaders of the exodus out of Egypt: Moses, Aaron and Miriam.
- Faith is a spiritual quality within every mother. However, like Jochebed, each mother must choose to have faith in God’s plan for her life, that of her child(ren) and all the children.