The Midwife, the Sister, and the Wife

I’m back in the book of Exodus, and today I realize the power of small characters and small acts that lead to astonishing things. Sometimes we doubt how our service helps anyone or we wonder why our ministry seems so small. Sometimes we think that, in the big scheme of things, we aren’t really that special or impactful.

But in the first chapters of Exodus, we see the faithfulness of overlooked characters who set the whole story in motion. First, the faithful midwives who allowed the Hebrew baby boys to live. They receive only 5 verses of scripture (Exodus 1:17-21), but their act of obedience to the Lord–instead of living in fear of an evil king–led to the expansion of the Hebrew people.

Next, of course, we see the small act of Moses’ big sister. She dares approach Pharaoh’s daughter to ask about finding a Hebrew woman to care for the baby Moses. How wonderful and what a blessing that she finds Moses’ own mother who then actually receives payment for what she would have gladly done anyway.

Finally, we see a tiny verse in Exodus 4:25 and the quick action of Zipporah, Moses’ wife, who circumcises her son to fulfill the conditions of God’s covenant. This turns the Lord’s anger away from Moses and her son.

We rarely hear sermons on midwives, sisters, and wives who act decisively and in great faith. We don’t read entire books on them or learn to model on lives on their wisdom. But their small actions set in motion big events. I like to remember this when I wonder if my daily acts of faithful obedience to God mean little. In our ordinary daily routines, it’s helpful to remember the small, overlooked characters in the Bible.

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