Sunday, January 17, 2010

Exodus 1:6-22 - The Hebrew Midwives

Opening thoughtNAMB Pregnancy Care Center video.

Contextual Notes: Joseph, the Hebrew slave who rose to become prime minister of Egypt, saved the world superpower from the blight of famine and brought his family of seventy persons to live in the fertile delta region of Goshen. Now, two centuries later, that generation is dead and gone, and a new generation is multiplying. A new king who is ignorant of his own nation’s heritage has taken the throne. A new discrimination is lurking, and in the Pharaoh’s ignorance, he has ordered a new liquidation.

Pray and Read:  Exodus 1:6-22

Key Truth: Moses wrote Exodus 1:6-22 to teach believers to follow God’s command for life despite a new government sitting, a new discrimination lurking, and a new liquidation ordered.

Key Application: Today I want to show you what God’s Word says about following your convictions in regard to life issues.

Sermon Points:
  1. A New Generation Rising (Exodus 1:6-7)
  2. A New Government Sitting (Exodus 1:8-10)
  3. A New Discrimination Lurking (Exodus 1:11-14)
  4. A New Liquidation Ordered (Exodus 1:15-22)

Exposition:   Note well,

1.   A NEW GENERATION RISING (Exodus 1:6-7).

a.           The Israelites, despite a new racism and cultural persecution, were being obedient to the first commandment in the Bible, a pro-life commandment, found in Genesis 1:22, 28, “God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.”

b.           ILLUSTRATION: The president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Danny Akin, gave a major speech in April of 2009, outlining a number of axioms of a needed Great Commission Resurgence in the Southern Baptist Convention. In Axiom 7, Dr. Akin says that one of those axioms that need recovery is the emphasis on growing families. “VII. We must covenant to build gospel saturated homes that see children as a gift from God and as our first and primary mission field. (Deut. 6:1-9; Psalm 127; 128; Eph. 6:4). Southern Baptists have been seduced by the sirens of modernity in a very important place. We have been seduced in how we do family and how many we should have in the home. We have been seduced with respect to the gift of children. (- Children are a burden not a blessing.- Less is best or at least less is better.- Result: have less children!).[1]
c.           Psalm 127:3, 5 – Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a heritage from him. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.

d.           APPLICATION: We have been seduced by an evolutionary model and liberal population control agenda to limit the size of our families when God has told us to have large families. Too often even and especially in our churches, where children should be prized and held precious, we Bible-believing Christians will complain and denigrate our children even in their earshot and talk of how we don’t want to have too many. We have bought into the lie that having more than two or three children is ‘irresponsible’ or ‘damaging to the environment.’ We continue the myth that children cost a lot of money, as if money were an arbiter in life issues, because the real reason is that we want to be able to buy a new boat or a new house. Our selfishness causes us to limit the size of our families when all around us are couples who desperately want more children. Dr. Akin went on to add that he was scared to the bone when the great Southern Baptist missionary Bertha Smith came to Southwestern Seminary when he was a 22-year old student and told them that taking birth control pills is sin. Bertha Smith added over a quarter century ago that we will never win the war against Islam for this one reason. They have children. We don’t. This is why in another generation Europe will be Islamic, and all the famous old churches of Europe will become mosques. What Islam was not able to do in the Middle Ages with armies they will do with their wombs. What am I saying? I am saying have more children. Have lots of babies. Get off the birth control. Make room in your home for another gift. It is a Biblical command and a cultural necessity.

2.   A NEW GOVERNMENT SITTING  (Exodus 1:8-10).

a.           This was a new king, whether of another dynasty or simply ignorant of his own nation’s history, we will leave that to the Egyptologists to debate. The point is that he did not know about what Joseph had done for his nation.
b.           “Let us deal wisely with them,” is used here of political craftiness, or worldly wisdom combined with craft and cunning. He could not have been entirely ignorant of the promises to Israel, because he knew they might want to leave to go to their own land.

c.           ILLUSTRATION: Pro-family lawmakers continue to be concerned about Judge Sonia Sotomayor, who is now the first Hispanic to be appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court. During a meeting with Sotomayor during her confirmation proceeding, Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., asked her if the preborn have any rights. "I was surprised that she said she had never thought about it," DeMint said in a statement. "This is not just a question about abortion, but about the respect due to human life at all stages.”[2] In our day we have a generation which has little respect for God’s gift of life.

d.           ILLUSTRATION: In our own nation, we see a new discrimination lurking. Erroll Southers is President Obama’s candidate to head the Transportation Security Administration, the agency which, among other things, controls the security of our airports. He said in an interview, “Most of the domestic terrorist groups that we have to pay attention to here are white supremacist groups. They’re anti-government, in most cases anti-abortion. They are usually survivalist-types in nature, identity-oriented. If you recall Buford Furrow came to Los Angeles, I believe in 1999, when he went to three different Jewish institutions, museums, and wound up shooting people at a children’s community center and then shooting a Filipino postal worker later on. Matthew Hale who is the Pontifus Maximus of the World Church of the Creator out of Illinois and Ben Smith where he went on a shooting spree in three different cities where he killed a number of African Americans and Jews and Asians that day. Those groups are groups that claim to be extremely anti-government and Christian identity-oriented.”[3]

e.           ILLUSTRATION: John Piper, pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in a sermon delivered on 2009 Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, chooses a hard line. He chastised our new president, just days in office, who says abortion is an issue of reproductive freedom for women. “You are not protecting reproductive freedom, you are authorizing the destruction of freedom for one million little human beings every year…. Killing our children is killing our children no matter how many times you say it is a private family matter.”[4]

f.            APPLICATION: Have you contacted your Congressman or Senator about how you feel about the health care bill or pro-life or pro-family issues? Do you know your Congressman or Senator’s name? Are you teaching your children how to stand in the midst of uncertainty and opposition to the values of the Scripture? Are you teaching them their spiritual heritage? (Do you know your spiritual heritage?) Are you letting the government and the school system teach your children to sit and be quiet and put away their Bibles and their outdated Biblical values and do what they say because “We are from the government and this is for your protection”?


a.           Pharaoh hoped, according to the ordinary maxims of tyrants,[5] to break down the physical strength of Israel and lessen its increase-since a population always grows more slowly under oppression than in the midst of prosperous circumstances-and also to crush their spirit so as to banish the very wish for liberty.

b.           ILLUSTRATION: In the Netherlands, a nation with government-run healthcare, the numbers of euthanasia cases continue to increase each year, according to the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. In the Netherlands, the Groningen Protocol consists of guidelines for killing babies with disabilities or terminal illnesses. The Groningen Protocol allows infants who are born with disabilities to die by euthanasia based on the request of the parents and the agreement of the physician. On the other end of life, the Netherlands reported 2,500 cases of euthanasia in 2009. Euthanasia involves the deliberate administration of drugs to cause a person’s death at his request rather than to relieve his suffering. But assisted suicides, about 400 a year, are not included in the total, nor the numbers of born babies killed under the Groningen Protocol. Another category of deaths is deaths without explicit consent. The most recent government report (2005) showed that the number of deaths without explicit consent was approximately 550. Many of the 550 deaths are directly and intentionally caused by the physician but not reported as euthanasia because they lacked consent. A 2007 report showed about 10 percent of all deaths in The Netherlands were related to terminal sedation. Many of those deaths were caused by dehydration, due to the physician sedating the patient and then withholding hydration until death occurs, which usually takes 10 [to] 14 days.[6]

c.           ILLUSTRATION: In an interview in June 2009, on ABC’s World News Sunday, late-term Nebraska abortionist LeRoy Carhart, also the plaintiff in Gonzales v. Carhart, the 2007 U.S. Supreme Court case that upheld the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban, offered a description of late-term abortion that admitted a baby’s life is being terminated, "It's very much a three day, four day, even five day procedure. And in our procedure, after the first day, the fetus is no longer alive. So it's really a miscarriage of a stillborn fetus."[7]

d.           APPLICATION: What will you do about the new discrimination lurking among us? Will you keep quiet? Keep doing your thing hoping they will ignore you? The Jews did that in the Germany of the twenties. It is time you exercise your inalienable rights under the Constitution and given you by God. You need to vote. You need to call your Congress-person. You need to make your voice known before your way of thinking is silenced and you have to tell your grandchildren stories about what it was like when you were young and America was free and prosperous.

4.   A NEW LIQUIDATION ORDERED (Exodus 1:15-22)

a.           Shiphrah means “brightness, beauty.” Puah means “splendor.” These women show themselves as bright reflections of God’s glory in a tense situation where they choose to follow their consciences rather than submit to the government’s policies.
b.           Birthing stool: This word is only found one other place, and that is in Jeremiah 18:3 where it denotes a potter’s wheel, perhaps a stone where the clay and the baby came out formed.
c.           He made them houses: The Hebrew midwives were rewarded by the Lord for their courage, and he gave them houses, meaning husbands and children. He blessed them with what they protected, families.
d.           Did they sin when they lied? No, because they apparently were telling the truth.
e.           ILLUSTRATION: Our current government has enacted unconstitutional legislation to nationalize our health care system. Included in that legislation is public funding for abortion. Wendy Wright, President of Concerned Women for America, warned that the government may even attempt to force women to have abortions in an effort to cut costs. "Since abortion costs less than delivery of a baby, it is not unlikely that bureaucrats, facing pressure to reduce costs, will sign off on paying for abortion but not for the health care that pregnant women and their babies need. This could lead to women being coerced into abortion by their own government," said Wright.[8]

f.            ILLUSTRATION: Under the  conscience clause, workers in health-care environments ranging from doctors to maintenance men can refuse to offer services, information, or advice to patients on issues like contraception, blood transfusions, etc..if the workers are morally against it. But that may be changing. Christians who are health care workers may soon have their Biblical beliefs and convictions assaulted in their work. This week the Washington Times reported a significant statement of religious discrimination by a candidate for the US Senate. The Attorney General of Massachusetts, Martha Coakley, who is running in Tuesday’s special election for the US Senate seat vacated by the death of Senator Ted Kennedy, was interviewed by radio host Ken Pittman.
Ken Pittman: Right, if you are a Catholic, and believe what the Pope teaches that any form of birth control is a sin. ah you don’t want to do that.
Martha Coakley: No we have a separation of church and state Ken, lets be clear.
Ken Pittman: In the emergency room you still have your religious freedom.
Martha Coakley: (……uh, eh…um..) The law says that people are allowed to have that. You can have religious freedom but you probably shouldn’t work in the emergency room.[9]

g.           ILLUSTRATION: Children of God for Life announced October 27, 2009, that Neocutis, a bio-pharmaceutical company focused on dermatology and skin care is using aborted fetal cell lines to produce several of their anti-aging skin creams. Until now, this was the first time they have encountered any company bold enough to put the information right on their own website and product literature. Neocutis' key ingredient known as "Processed Skin Proteins" was developed at the University of Luasanne from the skin tissue of a 14-week gestation electively-aborted male baby donated by the University Hospital in Switzerland.  Subsequently, a working cell bank was established, containing several billion cultured skin cells to produce the human growth factor needed to restore aging skin. The list of products using the cell line include: Bio-Gel, Journee, Bio-Serum, Prevedem, Bio Restorative Skin Cream and Lumiere.[10] 

i.            APPLICATION: But what if you are sitting here this morning, and weighing on you right now is the weight of guilt over the baby, your baby, that you aborted? You ask yourself, “How can God forgive me when I can't forgive myself?” Statistics show that 43 percent of American women will have an abortion in their lifetime, making abortion as common an experience as divorce. Further, more than twice as many women have abortions as get college degrees. Yet for many, an abortion is a carefully guarded secret shared with only a few close friends, if at all. In turn, many post-abortive women never fully understand the root of their anger, their depression, their damaged self-esteem or their self-destructive and sometimes compulsive behaviors. The abortion clinics are all about getting your payment for an abortion, but there is no free post-abortion counseling for you. Healing exists for you, though, through Jesus Christ. First, you need to grieve your child you lost. That was a person you lost. Then you need to confess your sin of murder to the Lord. Let him forgive you. He will take that pain away. He will take that guilt away. Christ’s forgiveness will cleanse you, whether you were the mother, the boyfriend or friend who encouraged the abortion, or the grandparent who forced it. Grieve the past; Receive forgiveness; Allow healing to begin; Choose to forgive; and End the Silence.[11]

INVITATION: There is a larger drama going on in this passage prophetically.  It stretches back to Genesis 3:15 between the seed of the woman and the serpent, in the Garden, the Satan and the Messiah. This desire on the part of Pharaoh to stop the life coming forth from the mothers of Israel is prophetic of the Virgin Birth in which our enemy the devil attempted to destroy the young Child Messiah, Jesus Christ, through the Massacre of the Innocents in Bethlehem by King Herod found in Matthew 2:16-18, that event prophesied by Jeremiah in Jeremiah 31:15. And then we see it in the Revelation, chapter 12:1-6, a pregnant woman, Israel, crying out in pain as she was about to give birth is encountered by a red dragon, the devil, who stood in front of the woman to devour the child the moment it was born, a male child, Jesus Christ,  “who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter” (Psalm 2). But God snatched the child to His throne and the woman fled to safety in the desert, i.e., the nation of Israel protected in the Great Tribulation. Jesus is coming back. Are you ready?

[5] (Aristot. polit., 5, 9; Liv. hist. i. 56, 59)