Friday, June 11, 2010

Courage...and Fear

15 "The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, whose names were Shiphrah and Puah, 16 "When you help the Hebrew women in childbirth and observe them on the delivery stool, if it is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her live." 17 The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live." (Exodus 1)

I read this and wondered if I would have had the courage to go directly against the king's command?  I like to think I would...hoping that not only do I fear God more than man, but that it is no small thing to take a life, let alone the life of a child.  However, the take-away for us probably isn't to wonder what we'd do if our leaders ordered us to kill.  That's too easy of an answer.  Instead, the take-away here, at least for me, is the answer to this question;

do I 'fear' God enough to always follow Him, no matter what?

The courage of the midwives is admirable, but the source of their courage is rooted in their "fear" of God.  In other words, they chose to follow God rather than man.  So maybe a better question is this;

if someone were to examine my life, would it be marked by following God, or following man?

That's a harder question to ask...and yet it seems, that's the real heart of this passage.  In fact, it's the heart of the gospel of Christ.  Consider these words of Jesus;

"If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25For whoever wants to save his life[h] will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it." (Matthew 16)

Who are you following?  Is your life, (and mine), marked by an unwavering commitment to following Christ?  It's a challenging life to live, and yet it is precisely what Christ has called us to.

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