So my friends Nathan and Amanda have just recently started a study of 1 Corinthians based on a uniquely formatted version of the Bible called Books of the Bible. (You can read more about their study here and here.)
Now once we were all able to dig our ways out from the recent blizzard, Nathan and Amanda came over to visit. As we visited, we got to talking about some of their observations from the study. One of the issues that came up was that of submission to authority. This began with the concepts from 1 Corinthians, including staying in the position you were in when you were saved (1 Cor 7:17-24), lawsuits between believers (1 Cor 6:1-11), and giving up your rights (1 Cor 9).
But we also began discussing other places in the Bible where it talks about this issue of submission to authority. We noted that in Romans 13:1 it says, "Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God."
And this verse is speaking of the Roman government who was corrupt and oppressive, particularly to Christians!
But we also noted in Acts 4 when the disciples were ordered by the Jewish rulers to no longer speak or teach in the name of Jesus, they answered "Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge."(Acts 4:19)
And we obviously know they went on teaching in Jesus' name!
Well, we didn't come to a concrete definitive answer that night, but did seem to agree that we generally need to give up our rights for the sake of Christ's name, even when that means being wronged and treated unjustly sometimes.
So with that fresh in my mind, I was intrigued by something that jumped out at me when I read Exodus 1.
As I did my initial reading in The Message, this grabbed my attention:
The king of Egypt called in the midwives. “Why didn’t you obey my orders? You’ve let those babies live!” The midwives answered Pharaoh, “The Hebrew women aren’t like the Egyptian women; they’re vigorous. Before the midwife can get there, they’ve already had the baby.” God was pleased with the midwives. (vs 18-20a MSG)
The midwives directly disobeyed the order of the Pharoah. When called on it, they lied. And God is pleased?
Upon further study I found the phrase there in the beginning of verse 20 more literally means that God "treated well" the midwives.
But this brings up some interesting questions.
When is it okay to disobey the authorities over us?
Why was it commendable that the midwives just lied to the Pharoah rather than tell the truth and face the consequences?
What makes God treat us well?
Look forward to the comments.
8 hours ago