LAUREN L. NELSON
Let God's Love Be Greater Than Your Fears
STORY BEHIND THE BOOK
One day on our way to church, my then 7- year old daughter, Kyah, asked me, “Does God think boys are more important than girls, because all we ever learn about in church are boys?”
Her question ran through my head and my heart for several days. I could not shake the feeling that there was something I was supposed to do to answer her question. I began to search for books about women in the Bible, but I primarily found books related to princesses or that featured primarily Caucasian images. It was important to me to ensure these women of the Bible were portrayed accurately as female heroes, not as princesses, and that girls of all ethnicities would see themselves in the images.
Over the next few weeks, I began to teach Kyah stories from the Bible about girls who trusted God and did amazing things in their lives because of their faith. We called them SHEROES (girls who are heroes). I initially self-published the Old Testament edition and sold over 1,000 copies on my own. Recently, my book (which includes the Old and New Testament SHEROES) was recently picked up by Morgan James Publishing and
will be shared with children around the world!
It is imperative that every child knows that God uses all people – boys, girls, men, women and all ethnicities – to demonstrate His power and love here on earth – not just in history, but today!
WHAT IS A SHERO?
S - atisfied only in God – SHEROES want the Lord more than anything else in this world. They hunger and thirst for more of God, just like we hunger and thirst for food and water.
H - eart to do what He asks – SHEROES find joy in doing what God asks them to do and they love to tell everyone what He has done for them.
E - ars to hear Him speak – SHEROES listen to what God says in all situations.
R - escuer – SHEROES believe that God is their rescuer and they do not let fear stop them from helping rescue others.
O - bedience – SHEROES let go of what they want so they can do what God says is best. They are brave and courageous as they trust God.
SHIPHRAH AND PUAH
SHEROES of Exodus
“…But because the midwives feared God, they refused to obey the King’s orders…” Exodus 1:17 (NLT)
“It’s a boy!” shouted Shiphrah to her friend, Puah, and to the baby’s mother. A precious new baby had just been born into the world! Shiphrah and Puah loved their jobs as midwives—helping babies be born safely and then taking care of the new mothers.
The baby’s parents smiled at each other with happiness, but they exchanged worried looks, too. They were both excited and afraid at the same time.
The new parents, and the midwives, Shiphrah and Puah, were Hebrews. They lived in Egypt, the land of the pyramids. Although Egypt was not their home, the king of Egypt—called “Pharaoh,” liked the Hebrews so much that he gave them his best land to build their villages.
While they were living in Egypt, God blessed the Hebrews with so many children that it was hard to count them all. Each family had babies and then those babies grew up and had more babies. Before you knew it, the Hebrews were more numerous than the Egyptians!
During this time, the Pharaoh who had loved the Hebrew people died, and a new Pharaoh came into power. This new ruler became afraid that the Hebrews were growing too quickly in strength and numbers, and he thought to himself, “What if they take over Egypt? I have to make sure that doesn’t happen!”
So, Pharaoh made the Hebrews his slaves, in order that they wouldn’t get too powerful for the Egyptians. He made the Hebrews work hard day and night in the hot desert sun without being paid. They were forced to build the Egyptians’ homes and kingdom. They had to make bricks out of the clay that covered the ground, and their taskmasters beat them if they didn’t make enough. To make things worse, the Egyptians forced the Hebrew slaves to deliver the bricks on heavy carts that they had to push by hand. Doesn’t that sound terrible?
Even though life was very hard for the Israelites, God continued to bless them with more and more children. The more they suffered, the more babies they had!
When it was time for the Hebrew mothers to give birth to their babies, they would call for special nurses called “midwives, “who would come to their homes and help them. Shiphrah and Puah were the two lead nurses who oversaw all the other nurses in Egypt. They had a big job; they made sure that all the babies born were delivered healthy.
The Pharaoh continued to be fearful of how many Hebrew boys were being born. He wasn’t worried about the girls, just the boys, because he thought the boys would grow up and form an army to fight against him. So he made a plan to get rid of all the Hebrew boy babies as soon as they were born. He called Shiphrah and Puah to his palace and commanded them, “Every time you help a Hebrew woman have a baby, if it’s a boy, kill him, but if it’s a girl, let her live. That way we can stop the Hebrews from taking over Egypt.”
Shiphrah and Puah feared if they didn’t do what the Pharaoh told them, he might kill them. But they loved God more than they feared the Pharaoh. Shiphrah and Puah knew that something must be done to stop this horrible order from taking place, and they knew that as the lead midwives, they were the only ones who could do anything about it. Shiphrah and Puah were about to follow God’s plan and become SHEROES!
Shiphrah and Puah were in charge of many other midwives, so they gathered all who they knew loved God and told them the Pharaoh’s terrible plan. All the women bravely agreed to save the Hebrew boy babies from being killed. They knew that every time they saved a baby boy, they were risking their own lives, but they couldn’t stand by while innocent children were hurt!
This was their plan: each time a Hebrew woman gave birth to a baby, the nurses made sure to do all they could to help her deliver a healthy child—boy or girl. The mothers of the babies then risked punishment or even death by bravely hiding the baby boys from the Egyptians.
After a while, the Pharaoh ordered Shiphrah and Puah to come and see him at his palace. “Why are there still Hebrew boys being born?” he thundered.
They stood frozen in fear. Cleverly, they told him, “The Hebrew women are so strong that the babies are already born before we get there!” And the Pharaoh believed them.
Shiphrah and Puah, and many midwives and mothers, made the choice to trust God in spite of their fear of the Pharaoh. They saved countless lives, including a boy named Moses. God had an amazing plan to one day use Moses to rescue His people, the Hebrews, from slavery in Egypt and bring them to a beautiful new land – a land where they were free. Moses would lead the way for the greatest rescuer the world has ever known—Jesus!
1. Shiphrah and Puah feared Pharaoh and his army, but they trusted God despite their fears. What are some things you are afraid of?
2. Take a moment to talk to God about your fears and ask Him to give you courage to trust that God is bigger than anything you are afraid of.
3. God often gives us friends or family to help us face our fears. Shiphrah and Puah faced their fears together. Who is someone you can face your fears with?