Here’s a Monday-morning, wake-your-brain question…
What time period in history contains all these elements:
a man named Joseph who dreamed prophetic dreams
a powerful king with baby phobia who ordered Israelite babies killed en masse
the nation of Egypt
a faithful mother
the hiding of a baby who would become a great leader destined to deliver God’s people out of bondage
God’s calling for a return from Egypt to the land of Israel
What’s your answer? Or, should I stipulate Old Testament or New?
Because it’s all there, both places. Exodus. Matthew. Israel’s 400 plus years in Egypt before Moses led them out—and Jesus’ escape there with His parents in the time of horrid Herod. Just a coincidence? Or flashing foreshadows?
There’s also “Out of Egypt have I called my son,” written both historically and prophetically in Hosea 11:1, and cited in Matthew 2:15.
Astonishing, the fear a “mighty” tyrant can have of the most helpless of creatures, the human baby! Both Pharaoh and Herod suffered such great angst over male babies, it drove them to drastic reaction: Wipe them out! (Ex 1:16; Mt 2:16-18).
Such strong foreshadowing!
But the earlier story held one important element absent from the later: two faithful “insignificant” women who made all the difference…
Shiphrah and Puah. Together they determined to disobey their orders from the most powerful human potentate of their time—and do the right thing (Ex 1:15-18).
Now, this is no light thing. This king is fierce, and they are nobodies—less than nobodies, if that’s possible—mere midwives (servants) to a bunch of slaves (the Israelites, in Egyptian bondage). Getting called before that dictator for disobeying his orders would be like having to directly face, say, Hitler for the same reason.
I can hardly imagine how much I would tremble! But like John Laird Mair, they “feared man so little because [they] feared God so much.”
And they prevailed, because smallness with God’s backing holds tremendous power. And even in those impossible circumstances, God rewarded them with families of their own! (Ex 1:20-21)
For God honors those who honor Him by bravely and faithfully doing what is right in His eyes, despite how “small” they are—and despite how much their knees might shake doing it!
Small = helpless babies + “nobody” midwives = powerful (with God added in).
Because God’s “power is made perfect in weakness” (2Cr 12:10).
And God says, “Those who honor me, I will honor” (1 Sa 2:30).
God, give us courage like these two noble women!
Thanking God this morning for these great gifts:
~His strength in my weakness
~This favorite verse: “When I am weak, then am I strong…”
~The faithful, like the midwives, who inspire me with their courage
~The Messiah who came and will come again
~This season of His Advent, with Him the star of the show
~God’s promise to honor those who honor Him
Seeking the Christ Child (in the Old Testament)
In the weeks leading up to Christmas, I am searching for prophecies and foreshadowings of the Christ child, book by book. I plan to post (nearly) every weekday (leaving myself some margin) a short peek at some hint or promise of the coming baby who would make all the difference. Like the wise men, I’ll be Seeking the Christ Child, but in Old Testament promises and foreshadowings, and sharing what I find. I hope you’ll join me, because if it turns out as rewarding as the past spring’s pre-Easter explorations, this focus could make this one of the richest, most blessed Christmas seasons yet.
Previous posts in this series: