Unlikely Servants

A reading for Monday, September 26, 2016: Exodus 1:8-22.

The story of God and God's people continues, sometimes with the most unlikely of characters. The Hebrew midwives, Shiphrah and Puah, are almost unknown and certainly unexpected parts of God's plan in Egypt. They were not women of status or position. They were not queens or wives to powerful men. They were simple servants, who the story says... "feared God."

Yet, these two women defied the most powerful man on the planet with their quiet but persistent resistance. The king of Egypt would have diminished the sons of Israel, the twelve tribes who Joseph led into a new land. Somehow he knew their potential to become a great nation. The king's power came from controlling numbers and the strength of armies.

God's control comes from a different place. God's power is in the ordinary, everyday people who trust in and fear God. God uses such unlikely people to accomplish what God intends. That's how two unknown women without status or power could defy an empire. That's how God could continue to multiply the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob into a great and powerful nation.

Each of us have access to the same power. We who "fear God" are just as unlikely to play a part in God's story. We may not even fully know the part we are playing, but act with faith each day in service to whatever God's plan is for our lives and for the Kingdom. Perhaps our most important act of faith in God is to imagine how our story might be part of God's story.

It's tempting to look at those with status or power and seek the answers to all our problems through them. We might assume that only political candidates or famous athletes can do anything important or meaningful. I'm sure the people of Egypt, Hebrew and otherwise, assumed that power only existed with the king. But God was doing something different with Shiphrah and Puah, the most unlikely of servants.

Each of us are just as unlikely as servants of Almighty God. Yet, through the power of Jesus Christ we are just as important to God and the future God intends for all.


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