OBEDIENCE AND SUBMISSION
OBEDIENCE AND SUBMISSION
Torah – Exodus 1 – 5
1 – The midwife story of obedience – Exo 1:15-21, “Then the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, of whom the name of one was Shiphrah and the name of the other Puah; 16and he said, “When you do the duties of a midwife for the Hebrew women, and see them on the birthstools, if it is a son, then you shall kill him; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live.” 17But the midwives feared Yahovah, and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the male children alive. 18So the king of Egypt called for the midwives and said to them, “Why have you done this thing, and saved the male children alive?”
19And the midwives said to Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women; for they are lively and give birth before the midwives come to them.”
20Therefore Yahovah dealt well with the midwives, and the people multiplied and grew very mighty. 21And so it was, because the midwives feared Yahovah, that He provided households for them.”
This is one of the classic Bible stories where you can see the proper living out of the principles of authority, obedience, and submission. Joseph had submitted/subjected the Israelites to the authority of Pharaoh of Egypt. So Pharaoh had delegated authority to rule over the Israelites. You see in Exodus 1 that Pharaoh began to usurp more authority than was proper for him to have by turning the Israelite people into his slaves. Two of these slaves were the Hebrew midwives, Shiphrah and Puah. In verse 16, you see Pharaoh giving a command, which he fully expected to be obeyed, to kill the newborn Hebrew baby boys, in direct conflict with the sixth commandment to not murder. At that instant, the midwives knew that the Pharaoh was a tyrant and no longer a proper authority over them. Verse 17 shows that the midwives feared or revered Yahovah and his law more than they feared or revered Pharaoh by saving or letting the Hebrew baby boys live. They had to disobey Pharaoh in order to obey Yahovah and His Torah. This reveals a principle that very very few believers understand or accept. The principle being that to obey a tyrant is to disobey Yahovah. When a civil government passes laws that force you to disobey Yahovah and His Word, you must not, you CANNOT obey that law. Notice in verse 18 that the midwives were called before Pharaoh. Notice that they submitted and went and spoke their defense. This reveals another principle that very very few believers understand or accept. The principle being that submission to authority is absolute, but obedience is conditional. The midwives were in Pharaoh’s court, they had to submit to whatever sentence he meted out. Apparently, because of their wise answer, he let them go, but by their submission, they risked being executed. Obedience to authority is conditional upon the fact of whether or not the authority is in proper submission to their authority. All authority on earth is delegated authority under Yahovah, the only absolute authority. There are three basic mutually exclusive spheres of authority on earth, the family or home, the Congregation of Yahovah, and the civil government, which includes the employer/employee relationship. A society runs well as long as each sphere of authority does not interfere with the others. Yahovah created the family in Genesis 1 & 2, He created the Congregation by covenant with Abraham and through His Holy Spirit in Acts 2 on the Day of Pentecost, and He creates civil governments as it suits His purposes. Notice in verse 20 and 21 that Yahovah blessed the midwives for obeying Yahovah and Torah and for submitting to Pharaoh. Yahovah was good to them and gave them families as He spoke the blessing in Deuteronomy 28:11 and Psalm 127:3.
2 – Notice then in chapter 2 that Moses’ parents and Pharaoh’s own daughter and her female servants also disobeyed the Pharaoh’s murderous decree!!
3 – The two signs – Exodus 3 & 4 – In Exodus 3, Moses is meeting Yahovah at the burning bush. Yahovah starts telling Moses that He’s going to send him to Egypt to deliver the children of Israel. In verse 12 Yahovah makes a promise to Moses as the great I AM, I AM will certainly be with you. Yahovah also gives Moses a sign or signal so Moses will know that Yahovah has kept His promise. Once Yahovah delivers the people out of Egypt and Moses has brought them to the mountains of Horeb, they will serve Yahovah there. Yahovah fully expected Moses and the children of Israel to just believe His word by faith. Well, Moses doubted Yahovah’s word and he doubted the children of Israel would believe it either, so Yahovah had to reveal His name to Moses and the people. In Exodus 4:8-9, Yahovah makes some interesting statements. “And it shall be, if they do not believe you, nor listen to the voice of the first sign, they shall believe the voice of the latter sign.
Exodus 4:9 “And it shall be, if they do not believe even these two signs, or listen to your voice, that you shall take water from the river and pour it on the dry land. And the water which you take from the river shall become blood on the dry land.” I believe the first sign He’s talking about is the one from Exodus 3:12 about worshiping on Mt. Horeb. He really wants us to just believe His word when He tells us something, but if we doubt, He will back up His word with miracles to prove to us that He is able to do what He says He’ll do. In verse 9, when it says these two signs, it can mean two sorts or two-fold types of signs. One type is His spoken/written word, the other type is the miracles. Yahovah told Moses to tell Pharaoh to let the people go, that was message type one, but of course he didn’t believe Moses or Yahovah, so Yahovah had to resort to message type two, the miracles of judgment in this case. We should endeavor to believe Yahovah’s word when He tells us something and just act on His word, but He is fully capable of invading our life with miracles until we get the message He wants us to hear.
Gene Benjamin II
early 21st Century