Charles Dickens’ novel, Tale of Two Cities, never had a chance to better the story that has been shared with us from ancient Egyptian times. It was, yes, the worst of times, yet it was the best of times when the two ladies got the word that their work was being watched and controlled by the king. Their kind words and assistance to the ladies bringing the Hebrew babies into a world of slavery must have been a welcome gesture. But the king said that if the child born was a girl, she was to live. However, if the ladies saw that it was a boy, he was to die, or be thrown into the river. Instead of bringing life, the midwives were to bring death!
They were named “Shiphrah” and “Puah” which mean something like ‘beauty’ and ‘splendour’ respectively. (See Ex. 1:15-22) And such they were to those whose families grew under the terrible law of the wicked king. But breaking that law was blessed of God, we are told. These ladies realized that there was potential in every boy and girl given by the Lord. So, God blessed them and gave them “houses” it says in verse 20. That word can mean a literal house, or it can mean also a FAMILY. Yes, in either case it was God who blessed them for doing what was right in the face of the government’s evil rule.
How their hearts must have sunk when the little boy was born to Jochebed and Amram. We must realize that having two boys in the family was really in violation of the King’s rule. But when the latest little boy was born his parents, and possibly the midwives, saw he was a “proper” child. We today would say, “beautiful”, “fine” or as one translation puts it, “goodly”! Let’s just say they saw some real POTENTIAL in this baby!
I don’t know how it was they knew, but it must have been quite evident that THIS baby boy was worth saving. Who could have known that one day God would use this individual in such a tremendous way? How could they have imagined that he would be the one that God used to write the first 5 books of the Old Testament. Did they realize that he would, one day, speak to God and be the one that God would give the 10 Rules For Life for all humanity?
And today, it will take parents and staff members in Christian schools, to see the potential of each child that God brings into our hands. The example of the two ladies was applied particularly in the home where the baby, rescued by the Kings daughter, was first instructed to honor God and stand separated from the pagan world. He got those first life lessons from parents who instilled into his heart that he was a Hebrew, yet living in an Egyptian world.
We know not the potential in our hands. We see not the future exploits that these students will accomplish for God. But we can see that God’s Word will prepare them for the steps to lead many from the darkness of spiritual slavery into the knowledge of God’s love and provision in Christ. Let’s put our effort to prepare them for the potential of their lives!
Look for those “goodly” children and let them know that there is a God who will do great things through them!