Moses would not have survived his infancy if the midwives had not feared God.
After being commanded by the king of Egypt to kill all the male babies when they were born, the midwives disobeyed because they feared God more than man. “And the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew midwives, of which the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah: And he said, When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the stools; if it be a son, then ye shall kill him: but if it be a daughter, then she shall live. But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive. And the king of Egypt called for the midwives, and said unto them, Why have ye done this thing, and have saved the men children alive? And the midwives said unto Pharaoh, Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are lively, and are delivered ere the midwives come in unto them. Therefore God dealt well with the midwives: and the people multiplied, and waxed very mighty. And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that he made them houses.” (Ex 1:15-21, KJV).
The Israelites feared God while they were slaves in Egypt, but Pharoah and his people did not — the result was devastation for those who mocked God’s Almighty Power.
God said what He was going to do, and only those who believed Him and feared His wrath were saved.
“Behold, tomorrow about this time I will cause it to rain a very grievous hail, such as hath not been in Egypt since the foundation thereof even until now. Send therefore now, and gather thy cattle, and all that thou hast in the field; for upon every man and beast which shall be found in the field, and shall not be brought home, the hail shall come down upon them, and they shall die. He that feared the word of the Lord among the servants of Pharaoh made his servants and his cattle flee into the houses: And he that regarded not the word of the Lord left his servants and his cattle in the field. And the Lord said unto Moses, Stretch forth thine hand toward heaven, that there may be hail in all the land of Egypt, upon man, and upon beast, and upon every herb of the field, throughout the land of Egypt. And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven: and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground; and the Lord rained hail upon the land of Egypt. So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, very grievous, such as there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation. And the hail smote throughout all the land of Egypt all that was in the field, both man and beast; and the hail smote every herb of the field, and brake every tree of the field. Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, was there no hail.” (Ex 9:18-26).
Later, the same thing happened again-those who believed what Moses told them that God was about to do and had fear of disobeying God’s command, survived; those who did not were killed.
“And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to his strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it; and the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. And the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them; there remained not so much as one of them. But the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left. Thus the Lord saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore. And Israel saw that great work which the Lord did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared the Lord, and believed the Lord, and his servant Moses. Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the Lord, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.” (Ex 14:27-15:1).
We all remember the story of Job being tested and tried. The Scripture describes him as one that feared God. “There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.” (Job 1:1).
Because Job feared God, he obeyed His commands and put his trust in Him — even when he could not understand why these bad things were happening to him — and in the end, God blessed him double-fold. “And the Lord turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before. Then came there unto him all his brethren, and all his sisters, and all they that had been of his acquaintance before, and did eat bread with him in his house: and they bemoaned him, and comforted him over all the evil that the Lord had brought upon him: every man also gave him a piece of money, and every one an earring of gold. So the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had 14,000 sheep, and 6,000 camels, and 1,000 yoke of oxen, and 1,000 she asses. He had also seven sons and three daughters.” (Job 42:10-13).
The Book of Malachi describes how we who fear God are in God’s book. “Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.” (Mal 3:16).
The wisest man who ever walked the earth, other than Jesus, was Solomon. Much wisdom is found in his writings in the Book of Ecclesiastes, written when he was an old man and had much experience.
“Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him.” (Ecc 8:12).
What a wonderful statement to meditate upon. We all sin. We all sin a lot. We love the Lord, yet we are human, and we fail to live up to His standards. Yet, knowing this, and having fear in our hearts that we will anger Him — it matters to Him. He has all the power to give or take our next breath.
Just because He sent His only son to die for our sins does not give us a free ride. We still need forgiveness in Christ’s name. We still need that fear of God’s wrath in our minds; of what He is entitled to do to us if we sin.
In the end, Solomon’s wise words are profound even today, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” (Ecc 12:13).
Even when the last and final days of God’s wrath will be poured out, the angels will proclaim, “Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment I come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” (Rev 14:7).
Jesus came to earth when He did because the religion of God’s people had become warped and displaced. It was more about social standing, eloquent speeches, and public opinion, rather than loving and fearing God Almighty.
Was this not much like our “religion” of today? Do we see a lack of fearing God today? We must not take God’s love for granted, and we should tremble at the thought of making Him angry.