But God as midwife...takes us nicely to Shiphrah and Puah (who??), midwives who safely delivered Hebrew babies in defiance of powerful male incitement to genocide under the despotic Egyptian Pharaoh in Exodus 1:15-21.
John Bell (again) speaks of a time when he was invited to speak at Westminster Abbey. Looking through the set readings in preparation for his sermon he noted it was Exodus1:1-14 and 2: 1-10 (Joseph's story rounded off; beginning of Moses's story) because Exodus is all about Moses, right?
Right; but where was the passage about the midwives? Expunged from the Lectionary apparently. Had it not been for the women who feared God more than they feared male power there would not have been a Moses, or any baby boys.
When Shiphrah and Puah are summoned before Pharaoh to explain why the male babies are continuing to be born, they are courageous and witty: 'Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women - they are vigorous and give birth before the midwives arrive.'
Way too much detail for Pharaoh - how can he possibly tell if this is technically correct or not?! He goes silent, while the God who brings to birth blesses the midwives with babies of their own.
I can't say I've ever given birth before the midwife arrived but I'VE COME QUITE CLOSE...