The king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, of whom the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah, and he said, “When you perform the duty of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them on the birth stool; if it is a son, then you shall kill him; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live.” But the midwives feared God, and didn’t do what the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the baby boys alive.
It appears that, on top of all of the other oppression that the Hebrews were dealing with, they also had to deal with government healthcare. Evidently, the government didn’t provide the midwives, it just told them what to do. We see here that what they told them to do ended up being politically and economically driven rather than guided by the wisdom that comes from God.
It is interesting that these Egyptian leaders assumed that they would be able to control the females better than the males. It is ironic that it was through the faith and strength of two midwives that the children of Israel were saved. God can and will use anyone to do His will if they will believe in Him.
Remember that I said that God doesn’t want us to be rebellious against our government. I still mean that, however, it is very important that you understand that that civil disobedience is often required. This kind of disobedience is exactly what we read here with these two midwives. They knew about the governments new healthcare requirements, but they deliberately chose to ignore them out of the fear of God. This gives us God’s pattern concerning when it is right to disobey the government.
When the government chooses to go against God, we as followers of God must go with the higher authority. This is always the rule. The higher authority is higher because he can overrule the lower one. The government does not have the freedom to tell us to do anything they want. We see here that this is especially true in regard to the sanctity of life. If the government tells you to kill another human being, whether young, old, born or unborn, the only right thing to do is to disobey.
By the way, this same rule applies to women in marriage and everyone at work. Never is a woman to obey her husband when she has to go against God to do it and never is a man to obey his employer when he has to go against God to do it. To do anything else would be to give into idolatry because to put another person over God is to replace God with a different one.