Bible study, Encouragement/Devotional, Faith, Growth, Lifestyle, Purpose

[Biblical Women’s History Month] What are you willing to risk: Shiphrah and Puah

Here we are again, for the second year in a row, celebrating women in the Bible for Women’s History month. Each week I will be featuring women from the Bible that, although they may not be well known or highlighted often, we can learn how they made an eternal impact in the Kingdom. May we, too, be encouraged by their stories to do the same, right now, even while waiting.

Before we jump in, I have a question for you sis: Do you realize that your very existence is a threat to the kingdom of darkness? Take a few moments to read that again. The fact that you are here reading this means that you are, especially if you have trusted in Christ as your Savior. (Just in case you haven’t yet, stop reading the rest of this blog, scroll down to the bottom of this page where it says Before You Go and do so right now! Best decision ever!)

Now, back to what I was saying. Every child of God is seen as a threat to satan’s kingdom. As we read in Exodus 1, the Egyptians and their new king were well aware of this.

In fact, they multiplied so greatly that they became extremely powerful and filled the land…a new king…said to his people, “Look, the people of Israel now outnumber us and are stronger than we are. We must make a plan to keep them from growing even more. If we don’t, and if war breaks out, they will join our enemies and fight against us. Then they will escape from the country.

Exodus 1:7, 8-10, NLT

As the children of Israel grew in number, the stronger and more powerful they became and thus, more of a threat to others. While the Egyptians thought it had to do with the increasing numbers, we know that more than what they saw in the natural, it was who the children of Israel had in their midst that truly made them extremely powerful. He is God with us. (There is a point worth noting here that will make sense later: wherever there is growth or the potential for growth, there is usually risk involved.) With this increased risk, the Egyptians sought to oppress the children of God by making them slaves and placing them under harsh working conditions, in hopes of wearing them down (Exodus 1:11). Yet, their plan backfired.

the more the Egyptians oppressed them, the more the Israelites multiplied and spread, and the more alarmed the Egyptians became.

Exodus 1:12, NLT

The working conditions didn’t improve for the Israelites–in fact it got worse–so Pharaoh decided to add another part to his plan to stop the growth of God’s people at birth. It started with an order to kill all the Hebrew baby boys. Many know and have heard the story of Moses, one of these Hebrew boys who was born around the time this order was in effect. God eventually raised him up and sent him to deliver the children of Israel from these harsh conditions. However, before we are introduced to him in Exodus 3, we learn about two women who because of their courage were willing to risk it all. It is evident that they knew the truth about how powerful their God was, based on their actions, as we will soon see.

Shiphrah and Puah, who could very easily be glossed over in the beginning of Exodus, were two brave women that played a major role in carrying out the plan of God through Moses, and the male seed in general. In Exodus 1:15, we learn that they are Hebrew midwives. Essentially, their role was responsible for helping the Hebrew women to give birth, in a time where there this child genocide order was in effect. The very Hebrew word for midwife is, yālaḏ, which means, to aid a woman who brings forth”. They were literally in a position to help women birth life. If you have ever birthed a child or been in the delivery room to witness a birth, it is by far one of the most beautiful and equally emotional experiences ever–not without great risk for both mom and baby. (Here is another point to highlight: whenever or wherever God is birthing something or bringing forth something, there usually is risk involved.)

Shiphrah, whose name means brightness and beauty, and Puah, whose name means splendid, glitter, and brilliancy, were placed in a precarious situation, as new demands were placed on them to commit murder of male babies at birth. These women were facing a major decision, involving great risk, where everything was tested and at stake: their jobs, their moral convictions, and their relationship with God. For these two women, based on their actions, it was a no brainer where their true allegiance lied. They were willing to risk it all, unsure of the consequences, because they feared God more than man.

But because the midwives feared God, they refused to obey the king’s orders. They allowed the boys to live, too.

Exodus 1:17, NLT

We live in a world and a time where, as God warned us, there would be those who would call what is evil good and what is good evil (Isaiah 5:20). We have witnessed and continue to witness laws being made by leaders, as in the time of Shiphrah and Puah, to legislate murder, amongst other things. No manmade law can or will stop the plan and move of God. We ought to be encouraged by these two women’s stories and their choice to obey God rather than man.

God calls us to be in the world, but not of it, i.e. not bowing down to its mandates, especially when something is in direct violation to what God has outlined as wrong. A time is coming and is now here where the body of Christ is being called to stand out, stand up and stand firm–to take risks. This may look very different than these two women’s stance, but is still birthed out of a deep conviction and fear of God with great risk.

Is God highlighting an area in your life where He is growing and maturing you, but it comes with great risk?

Is He calling you to birth something or help someone else bring forth something that involves risk?

How is God calling you to stand out, stand up and stand firm in this season?

What are you willing to risk for the cause of Christ and the integrity of the One with whom your ultimate allegiance lies?

Their willingness to risk it all worked in their favor and the plans of God continued to move forward.

So God was good to the midwives, and the Israelites continued to multiply, growing more and more powerful. And because the midwives feared God, He gave them families of their own.

Exodus 1:20-21, NLT

Know that our presence is a threat to the kingdom of darkness. Darkness, however, is only relevant and present when no light exists. Continue to shine the light of Christ as you remember that the greatest attack on satan’s kingdom is obedience to God. I want you to know that whatever risks you are taking or have taken for the Lord are not in vain. Let me leave you with this scripture I came across recently that encouraged my heart.

For He is my champion defender; there’s no risk of failure with God.

Psalm 62:2, TPT

I am sure Shiphrah and Puah knew God as their champion defender. Today, I pray that you know that too. As long as what you are willing to risk is for Him, when you risk it, there is no failure!

But before you go…

***Tomorrow is not promised. Today is all we have. If you are reading this and haven’t accepted Jesus Christ as Your Lord and Savior, would you consider doing so right now? Jesus died so He could have a personal relationship with you and so that one day, when you leave this earth, you can spend eternity with Him. You can say a prayer similar to this:

Dear Lord, I acknowledge that I am a sinner and that I cannot save myself. You showed Your great love for me, while I was in my sinful state, by sending Jesus Christ to die for me. Today, right now, I declare that Jesus is the Son of God. I believe in my heart that God raised Him from the dead. Please enter into my heart, Lord Jesus, forgive me of all of my sins, and seal me with Your Holy Spirit. I choose this day to live for You, all the days of my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

If you said this prayer (or something similar) and you truly meant it, welcome to the family of God! Angels in heaven are rejoicing with you on the best decision you will ever make in life, and so am I! Please send me an email ( or respond to this post so I can celebrate with you!

Then the Lord God made a woman

Genesis 2:22, NLT

Scripture references: The Holy Bible (NLT, TPT)


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Photo credit:,, Photo by Bethany Cirlincione on Unsplash

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