The Only Good Fear

Have you ever been asked to do something that goes against everything that you believe in? What if not doing what was asked cost you your job or livelihood? Would you still do it? Which fear is bigger, of men or of God? Let’s look at some women that encountered that particular problem. Open your Bible to Exodus 1:16-21.

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; and 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.”  But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the male children alive. So the king of Egypt called for the midwives and said to them, “Why have you done this thing, and saved the male children alive?”

And 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.”

 Therefore God dealt well with the midwives, and the people multiplied and grew very mighty. And so it was, because the midwives feared God that He provided households for them.


After the death of Joseph, the relationship between the Egyptians and Israelites grew cold. Egypt’s hospitality was wearing thin. Because the Israelites had grown in number, the new King of Egypt feared that they could overtake the Egyptians. Due to his fear, he put them into bondage, laboring for Egypt. No matter how badly they were treated, the Israelites continued to multiply. Then he asked something unspeakable of the midwives. He asked them to kill all the baby boys born to the Israelites.  The King thought that this would surely decrease the numbers of people. He didn’t realize that the midwives served one greater that they feared more.  Shiphrah and Puah feared God. They knew that killing the babies would go against God. They rather faced the wrath of the Pharaoh, then the wrath of God. So, instead of killing the baby boys, they saved them.

When questioned by the Pharaoh, the women told why they couldn’t get there in time to help with the births of the babies. This may have been an excuse or lie, but it could be that God allowed this to happen to protect both the babies and the women from Pharaoh.

God protected the midwives. He allowed the Israelites to continue to grow. He also rewarded the midwives for fearing Him and not the Pharaoh.

Let’s get down to bottom line. We must fear God more than men. We must care more about what God thinks then our family, friends, boss or coworkers. Let’s read Proverbs 29:25.

The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.

Fearing men can lead us down a slippery slope, if we are not careful. It can lead us to do things that are against what we believe as Christians and lead us away from God. Fearing and trusting can bring us into the safety of God.

Who do you fear more?

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2 thoughts on “The Only Good Fear

  1. I am reading a book by Francis Chan and in one part he talked about how many Christians do not actually fear God these days. When I read it, I had to stop and ask myself this very question, do I fear God like I should? Do I fear him more than anything else? It is definitely a question worth reflecting on.

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