A Midwife Crisis

“Then Joseph died, and all his brothers and all that generation…Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.” (Exodus 1:6, 8)

After years of blessing and fruitfulness under Joseph’s leadership, who was guided by the fear and wisdom of God, another generation rose up who did not remember nor regard his ways. The new king’s leadership was driven by fear of their enemies rather than the fear of the Lord. Unfortunately, I feel this is much like our America today, where a new era of leadership has taken power not knowing the Joseph generation. We have forsaken the fear of God, the wisdom of God and consequently the favor of God, and because of wrongly placed fear, our society has fought diligently to snuff out anything thing that would threaten its increasingly popular Godless ideals.

“‘Behold, the people of Israel are too many and too mighty for us. Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and, if war breaks out, they join our enemies and fight against us and escape from the land.’ Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with heavy burdens.” (Exodus 1:9-11)

Speaking from a spiritual and biblical perspective, Satan is the real enemy behind it all. As the Church has multiplied here in America, he has set taskmasters over us to afflict and weigh us down. A taskmaster is anything or anyone that puts significant pressure on our lives to obey the demands of society. In our day, these can be things like our debt, career, entertainment, reputation and more which all require large investments of our time, effort and money.  Taskmasters such as these have burdened the Church of Jesus Christ here in America in order to keep us from multiplying because we are a threat to the kingdom of darkness. From the beginning, it has been our calling and purpose to be fruitful and multiply; thus, Satan’s aim is to fulfill his purposes by destroying our purpose. The good news is that in the midst of a time when all hope for revival, deliverance and restoration seems lost, the Lord is raising up midwives so the church can continue to grow even stronger, multiply and spread abroad.

“But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and the more they spread abroad.” (Exodus 1:12)

“Then the king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other Puah, ‘When you serve as midwife to the Hebrew women and see them on the birthstool, if it is a son, you shall kill him, but if it is a daughter, she shall live.'” (Exodus 1:15-16)

If they enemy can’t weigh down this generation enough, his next objective has been to assault the womb of the next generation. This governmental sanctioned decree of death against the babies came again a little over 1500 years later when Herod heard that the birth of the Christ was soon coming. He called for all the male children two years and younger to be killed (Matt. 2:16-18). But just as Moses was delivered from this decree in Egypt, Jesus was also delivered and brought to Egypt, that He might be the deliverer for all who would come to Him. The common denominator from each of these generations is that each time the governmental decree to murder the babies went forth, it came just before God was about to transition into the next phase of His redemptive plan. First, it was to bring His people out of Egyptian slavery through Moses and establish them as their own nation under the old covenant. Then, it was to bring all who would believe out of the slavery of sin through Jesus and establish His Church under the new covenant. I don’t believe it is any coincidence that abortion has been legalized in America just over forty years ago (sometimes used to measure a biblical generation), and what that implies about Satan’s agenda and God’s plan for America. Think about what this means for our generation and the next.

I believe that Satan specifically went for the male children because it was their seed that made him afraid. A man cannot be impregnated, but a woman can. Therefore, the females would be kept alive so that they could be taken as wives within their kingdom, and they could then bring forth generations of mixed seed until the pure seed was no more.

Remember the Lord’s curse on the serpent,

“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” (Gen. 3:15)

He fears the Seed of the Church and the potential we have to overcome him. (See Revelation 12)

“The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.” (Rom. 16:20)

But the Lord has always had a plan. In the events we read about in Exodus 1, there were still “midwives [who] feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but let the male children live” (Exodus 1:17). Risking their own lives by defying the king’s decree, the midwives helped deliver countless babies from the Hebrew women from whom Moses would eventually come.  A midwife’s role was to provide special care for the mother during pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum to ensure the well being of the mom and new baby.  Similarly, I believe God is raising up “midwives” in our day who would help care for His Church and ensure the safety of the new disciples coming forth. These everyday midwives will be nameless and faceless, men and women, young and old, helping to bring up a generation of deliverers from the Church during the darkest hour of human history.

A problem we see in today’s churches is that too many of them don’t really want newborns. Babies are inconvenient and require a lot of resources; therefore, because of the taskmasters of our day, they have tried to control or avoid new births from happening altogether. We are in a midwife crisis, but I have strong hope that this will soon change.

“So God dealt well with the midwives. And the people multiplied and grew very strong. And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families.” (Exodus 1:20-21)

I know the Spirit of the Lord is stirring men and women even now, to step into this role. We need midwives who will diligently evangelize, disciple and intercede for this next generation of newborn Christians. The womb of the Church needs to be the safest place for new life to flourish, so that disciples of Jesus Christ can go into the world fully equipped to face the spiritual war zones ahead. The two midwives mentioned in Exodus 1 were named “Shiphrah,” which means beautiful, and “Puah,”which means splendid. I believe this represents how God esteems those who are willing to lay down their lives as a midwife for His Church. Just as he rewarded the midwives in Egypt, so He will reward the midwives of our day both now and in eternity. So I say, midwives, come forth!

The Disease of Lawlessness

“And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold (Matthew 24:12, ESV).”

Within the context of describing the signs of the end of the age, Jesus warns that the increase of lawlessness will be the cause of the hardening of love. This is quite a prophetic diagnosis, for when I look at the symptoms in society today, I don’t have to search far to see a loveless act, and yet, nobody is blaming the increase of lawlessness. Be it an act of terrorism, horrendous crimes, dishonest politics, unethical business practices, extortion of the weak, oppression of the needy, or just the everyday person acting selfish, yet in response to the crisis, our nation has only been interested in passing more laws upon laws that only blur the lines of the values set forth in our constitution.

Let me explain further. Lawlessness describes those who display no regard for the law. Although this could apply to any aspect of law, I believe Jesus is describing a lawlessness that disregards the moral law of God. In just one chapter prior to Matthew 24, He would rebuke the religious leaders for neglecting the “weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness (Matt. 23:23).” So according to Jesus, there are heavier matters to the law of God beyond their Jewish civil and ceremonial laws that we can’t just ignore in the name of grace. On the other hand, the type of love that He is talking about growing cold is not an Eros love (sexual/erotic/romantic) but an Agape love (selflessness). So in essence, Jesus is saying that because people will lose respect for the moral boundaries established in the Word of God, they will lose respect for one another. Many will become cold-hearted, full of bitterness and distrust, and unwilling to put other lives before their own.

“Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness (1 Jn. 3:4).”

Jesus summed up the entire Law by saying, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets (Matt. 22:37-40).” Loving others on God’s terms requires that we possess a deep respect for God, His Word and the people that He has created in His image. The fear of the Lord is the oxygen supply for genuine love because we can only love a person as far as we can respect them, understanding that they were created by and for God. We can’t separate loving God and people from revering and obeying His commandments, for it’s when we forsake the latter that we lose the former.

“For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’ (Gal. 5:14).”

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments (John 14:15).”

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends (John 15:12-13).”

In the passages of Scripture that we call the “Sermon on the Mount,” Jesus sets forth what I’ve heard described as the constitution of the kingdom of heaven, for in it He lays out the foundational lifestyle values for those who would be apart of this kingdom. Before He elaborates on issues of morality related to anger, lust and more, He says, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven…(Matt. 5:17-19).” Jesus didn’t come to redraw the standard so more people could get to heaven, He came to fulfill the standard so that more of heaven could come to people. He went about calling people to “repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” because He knew that those who said yes would find the freedom, that His perfect sacrifice would pay for, not FROM obedience to His standard, but FOR obedience to His standard (Matt. 4:17).

“But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness (Rom. 6:17-18).”

“For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification (Rom. 6:19).”

We will either be slaves of lawlessness or slaves of righteousness, there is no in between. The danger with the disease of lawlessness is that it is the only disease that deceives us into not wanting it to leave. Sure, many want to be free from the penalty of sin, but few actually want to be free from sin itself. There is something about our fallen nature that always craves that fruit that we aren’t supposed to eat. Lawlessness has been in the heart of humanity since the beginning, and as soon as boundary lines were given, rebellion became the desired option. This is why God’s plan of salvation is about more than telling us to obey His rules, but it’s about truth setting us free from the lying sway of sin. God possesses the highest quality of life inside of His perfect holiness, and He desires to share that life with us.

“Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the LORD (Ps. 119:1).”

I began this article pointing the finger at our nation as a whole, but it truly needs to be directed at the person in the mirror. It is important that we recognize the trend of this disease to not only be aware that we are nearing the end of the age, but to accelerate our urgency to seek the cure and prepare our hearts to share it with others. What is the cure? The uncompromising gospel of Jesus Christ. More laws won’t stop lawlessness from increasing, but when we repent and surrender to the gospel, we have the opportunity to put off the old man and to put on the new man created in the image of Christ. Lawlessness is the real enemy of love; therefore, love will only truly win when righteousness is fully restored and Jesus reigns as King.

“And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules (Ezek. 36:26-27).”

“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near (Hebrews 10:24-25).”

“For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome (1 Jn. 5:3).”


Good And Evil Have Never Looked So Similar

For as long as I can remember, I have been a huge fan of super heroes. From Sonic the Hedgehog to the Amazing Spider-Man, I could never get enough of seeing the good guy rise up in the end to save the day.  There was always something so inspiring and refreshing about these characters (whom I later discovered to be fictional—sad day) that made me want to be like them. Of course they had really cool powers and costumes, but it was still more than that. They stood for something that was right against all odds, and they were willing to lay their lives down to protect that something or someone. Now as a father, I find myself unashamedly smirking as I see my two-year-old son cheering on those same heroes, singing their theme songs, and wanting to own anything that has their emblem on it. Sometimes he actually believes that I am the super hero in disguise, and I can’t help but go along with it (haha).  The fact is, there is good and evil in this world, and there has always been something in humanity that needs to see the hero defeat the villain to remind us that there is a difference.  We need the hope that there is an answer to injustice. The entertainment industry has understood this and has made millions.

The reality today is that good and evil have never looked so similar. More than ever before, creative writers are telling the story of the “bad guy,” giving us new perspective and awareness to understand why they are the way they are. Not only that, the antagonist is fully convinced that his dark deeds are justified. New twists to old tales have us rooting for the villain by the end of the day, while the hero is portrayed as the self-righteous nut looking to press his own agenda. Don’t get me wrong, I ‘m not against the creativity, I’m only attempting to point out the trend of popular thought today. Good and evil has become a matter of perspective rather than objective truth, but take heed, darkness is its most potent when it looks like the light. This generation is getting a front row seat into witnessing the lines of right and wrong being slowly blurred by human emotion while wearing the mask of justice, when the truth is, we know nothing of justice unless our Creator teaches us. How long will we wander in our puddle of confusion until the floodgates of hell come in to deceive even the elect? If those who claim to trust in God and follow Christ cannot even discern what’s right on the most basic issues of morality, how long will it be until we are openly praising the villain and rejecting the savior?

Let this be both a warning and an encouragement depending on where you stand as you read this, there is still a Hero to hope in who selflessly stands for all that is good, all that is pure and all that is true (1 Jn. 1:5). There is still a Righteous Avenger and Judge who will answer every cry of injustice (Lk. 18:7-8). There is still a King who will confront and defeat every drop of wickedness (1 Cor. 15:25). There is still a Light-Giver who will expose and make plain all that is evil (Eph. 5:13-14). There is still a Shepherd who will separate the sheep from the goats (Matt. 25:31-32). There is still a Lamb who sacrificed Himself for you who alone is worthy to open the scroll of judgments that we might learn what righteousness truly is (Rev. 5). There is still a Lion who is coming back again hungry to make the wrong things right and bring the darkness into the light. Love will win on His terms not ours (1 Cor. 13). Put your trust in Jesus today (Acts 2:40).

What sorrow for those who say that evil is good and good is evil…(Isa. 5:20)