Breakin’ the Law
But the midwives feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but let the male children live. Exodus 1:17
I must admit that I break the law daily, almost always driving five MPH over the speed limit. Almost everyone does and plus, I’m always in a hurry. Yesterday though, I drove the speed limit. I didn’t do this to be law-abiding. I did it because my wife and I bought a rickety, antique canoe, strapped it to the top of my pickup, and drove home slowly, hoping the canoe wouldn’t fly to pieces as we drove down the highway. Driving the speed limit was honestly kind of annoying as I had to keep pulling over to let the cars behind me pass. My willingness to drive the speed limit was determined not by the law, but rather by what I wanted to do.
This has been a life problem. In my addiction, I engaged in immoral, illegal activity, diverting opioids for my own use. I knew it was wrong in God’s eyes and I knew it was illegal. I did it anyway because it’s what I wanted. I made my life decisions, not based on God’s will or the law, but rather on my appetite. My appetite was a poor guide as I eventually lost my job and nearly my marriage. My addiction proved that my decision making desperately needed to be transformed.
Today’s passage illustrates healthy decision making. In the story, the Israelites immigrated to Egypt, where they multiplied. The Egyptians feared the Israelites and enslaved them, but still, the Israelites grew as a people. Attempting genocide, Pharaoh instructed the Hebrew midwives to kill all the male infants as they were born, but the midwives obeyed God rather than Pharaoh, letting the infants live. It would have been in the midwives personal best interest to obey Pharaoh, but at great risk to themselves, they followed God above all. God rewarded them for their obedience (Exodus 1:20).
Most of us don’t regularly engage in activities that we see as overtly criminal or sinful. When it’s beneficial to us though and if we know we can get away with it, most of us will do whatever we want. In the case of driving five MPH over the speed limit, it may be inconsequential. We often treat God’s will similarly though, disobeying it when we think we can get away with it. How do we make our daily decisions? Do we continually look to God, seeking his will above all? Or do we simply do what we want? Do we love those around us, showing them the love God has shown us? Or do we live only for ourselves? We can call ourselves Christians, but if our lives look no differently than those who don’t, we’re not fooling God. If we truly have faith, it will be obvious to everyone that we follow God’s will above all.