Pastor Brandon: Is there a verse that comes to mind for you or a story?

Pastor Mary: Yeah, there’s a few that come to mind but the one I think that is the most meaningful for me is the story that I shared about in The Learning Tree, the story of Shiphrah and Puah in the Old Testament. So in the Book of Exodus (Exodus 1:15-21), the Pharaoh, new Pharaoh, comes to power and doesn’t remember Moses or doesn’t remember Joseph and so he begins to become intimidated by the Israelite people. How many of them there are and how powerful they are. He’s afraid that they’re going to threaten his power, and so he calls in two midwives, Shiphrah and Puah.

They’re midwives to the Hebrew women. And the Pharaoh orders them to start killing all the baby boys who are born. And Shiphrah and Puah are people of God, or women of God and they have a conviction that this is wrong and so they don’t do it. Instead they decide to do the courageous thing and defy Pharaoh’s orders, and so they saved these babies. They don’t kill them and they lie to Pharaoh and tell him that the babies were born before they got there and so there was nothing they could do. But this is just an act of courage and is a way of standing up to people in power and doing the thing that’s right even when it’s the hard thing to do.

Pastor Brandon: I thought it was interesting when you were talking about it The Learning Tree and you lifted up a detail about how they use the Pharaoh’s own bias or prejudice as part of their argument and feeding into his own narrative as a way to get him to buy into this idea that they were saying about the women were so strong…

Pastor Mary: “They’re like animals, they’re not like us, they’re like animals and they give birth before we even get there.” And Pharoah is like, “You’re right they are like animals.” So they use that and they outsmart him. So not only are they courageous, but they’re cunning as well.