Courage to Stand

The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, whose names were
Shiphrah and Puah, “When you help the Hebrew women in childbirth and
observe them on the delivery stool, if it is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her
live.”  The midwives, however, feared God and did not do as the king
of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live.
-Exodus 1:15-17
 
WITH THE SNOW THAT CAME THIS PAST WEEKEND walking to the car at the head of our driveway has become rather risky business.  To start with, the ground was not frozen when then snow came, so the lower few inches of snow were a little wet and slushy. After driving in and out of the driveway several times the snow is now quite packed down.  With the daytime thaws and the nighttime freezes, it didn’t take long for the driveway to become treacherously uneven, icy and slippery.

It is now with great care that I find myself walking to the car in the morning, lest I find myself horizontal to the ground rather than vertical.  I am no longer a kid.  When I fall, I tend to go down hard—it hurts.  When I fall, I don’t bounce back up like I once did—things can break.  How do I know this?  Experience!  

There are many circumstances that we face (not just ice and snow) where making sure of our footing is important:  when there is water on the ground, mud, rocky and uneven terrain.  When we know we are going to face such conditions we would be wise to wear the appropriate footwear.  There are special shoes for football, special shoes for soccer and baseball, special shoes for golf, special shoes for hiking and mountain climbing.  They have been designed to give the individuals who participate in these activities the greatest footing and traction possible for the specific environment.  In fact, the shoes a football player wears when playing on artificial turf are different from those he would wear when playing on natural turf.

It is not just weather conditions and physical surroundings that sometimes challenges our footing.  We need to give care to our spiritual footing as well.  We are facing  some of the most difficult times we have ever faced as a people and nation.  The moral terrain is constantly shifting under our proverbial feet.  It is like we are in the middle of a never-ending culture quake.  Finding a solid place to stand can seem an impossible task.  The casualties of this quake are beyond numbering.  For some, fear and panic have caused them to hole-up in tiny shells.  Others have chosen to bury their heads in the sand, hoping it will all stop or maybe just go away.  Still others have chosen simply to go with the flow.

But for children of the King, this is not an option.  We are called instead to put our armor on, lace up our gospel boots—the only soul-wear that will provide solid footing—and take our stand.  From that position of stability we are to reach out; we are to lift the fallen and help secure those slipping and stumbling.  Sometimes we will stand alone.

Such was the case with two little known, but very brave women, who had the courage to stand against the edict of the most powerful king in the ancient world.  When Pharaoh, threatened by the explosive growth and vigorous strength of the Hebrews, demanded the Hebrew mid-wives to kill every male child born to the Hebrew women, they courageously took their stand and defied the king’s edict.  It was their fear of God (Exodus 1:17) that gave them the courage to stand against Pharaoh.  They knew what many of our day seem to have forgotten:

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding (Proverbs 9:10).

“I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body
and after that can do no more.
But I will show you whom you should fear:
Fear Him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell.
Yes, I tell you, fear Him (Luke 12:4-5).

It takes courage to stand against the godless bullies of politics and the PC movement and the resulting tsunami caused by our culture quake.  As the Hebrew midwives, Shiphrah and Puah, would attest, and someone has wisely said, “It is easy to stand with a crowd, it takes courage to stand alone.”

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith;
be courageous; be strong.
Do everything in love (1 Corinthians 16:13-14).