By: Bro. Joel Uto
Text: Exodus 1:15-22
Exodus 1:15-22 15 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; 16 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.” 17 But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the male children alive. 18 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?” 19 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.” 20 Therefore God dealt well with the midwives, and the people multiplied and grew very mighty. 21 And so it was, because the midwives feared God, that He provided households for them. 22 So Pharaoh commanded all his people, saying, “Every son who is born you shall cast into the river, and every daughter you shall save alive.”
Courage or bravery is the state of boldness of mind to face actual and perceived danger whether spiritual or physical. This ability to face any threatening situation is a demonstration of bravery required in the services of God. Hard times required faith and courage to move on.
The common people in any given society, yes, in Pharaoh’s time are the less privileged. The nurses and workers who dare not fail to keep the instructions to kill any male child born by the Hebrew women were in this case the common people. Before God, all men are equal – Acts 10:34 34 Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality.
In worldly churches of men, the members apart from the founder and his family, are common people. However, the church of Christ must uphold the principle of God’s impartiality with courage – Galatians 3:28 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
- The nurses dared Pharaoh at the consequences of losing their jobs and lives. They courageously put their lives and jobs on the highest risk. The nurses feared God hence they could take to the risk. They became wise because of this fear. The fear made them know what exactly to tell Pharaoh. What does the Bible say? Proverbs 1:7 7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. The fear that gave them the courage was not to cheat, tell lies or compromise the truth but to demonstrate the powers of God when you rely on Him. To honour and respect God is to fear Him – Ecclesiastes 12:13 13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all.
And because they damned the danger but well prepared to face the danger, God specially provided for them. There was the favour of God toward them –Proverbs 16:7 7 When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. Can we show this courage in our Christianity today? Liars and compromisers are no courageous people for God’s work.
- The necessity for courage – Joshua demonstrated courage in his faith to conquer and occupy the promised land – Joshua 1:6-7 6 Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. His report on the spied land was different because he possesses the courage desirable for the work of God. He was courageous to take decision to serve the heavenly God with his family in the face of Israel trying to serve the gods of the other sides. The apostles and the early Christians showed bravery when faced with persecutions within and without; troubles and trials. In defence of the gospel, they were brave before authorities – Acts 28:15 15 And from there, when the brethren heard about us, they came to meet us as far as Appii Forum and Three Inns. When Paul saw them, he thanked God and took courage. Acts 18:28 28 for he vigorously refuted the Jews publicly, showing from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ. Acts 3:19-20 19 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, 20 and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before.
Christians’ faith need be accompanied with courage in order to excel, defend the one true church always. Christ encourages His followers to take courage and be cheerful in the storm of life – John 16:33 33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 14:27 27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
- Courage in the Christian living – Apostle Paul urges Christians to be brave – 1 Corinthians 16:1313 Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Christians who are firm in faith find courage next necessary. Every facet of life of the Christian requires courage. You need the courage to go through the challenges of our time, in the home, in the church and in the society.
The congregation must summon uncommon courage to reveal and teach the wisdom and truth of God in spite of what denominations teach – Ephesians 3:9-10 9 and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; 10 to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places.
The minister must possess the courage to teach and live on the revealed truth; courage to correct errors with the elders and members as the case may be – 2 Timothy 4:1-21 I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: 2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching; Acts 4:1-13.
The courage to speak the truth of the word by all Christians among themselves in all places cannot be over-emphasized – Ephesians 4:31-32 31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 32 And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
In fact, the love for one another espouses our courage for God. Nothing is truth in the house of faith beyond what God has revealed – John 17:17 17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. 2 Peter 1:3 3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue.
The courage in the Scriptures should enable us put off opinions where God has spoken. The elders require big courage and understanding of the Scriptures to talk and confirm certain decisions even in applications. It takes boldness to confess your sins and quit them particularly those sins of financial gains – 1 Thessalonians 5:22 22 Abstain from every form of evil.
It also takes courage as individual, a group to forsake spiritual waywardness. Courageous life is desirable. It requires courage to venture into businesses all other things being equal. You desire such courage of the nurses to aggressively plan for marriage in the way of God and His church; yes you dare to be courageous to trust God in times like this; where else do you think courage is not needed?
We are talking about courage that is enrapped in the fear of God, which as God observes in you, began to turn things. It is inward of the word in you. Above all this avoids timid courage – Psalm 31:24 24 Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord.