Defying Evil Through Deception
Three parts on the subject of deception have been written (On God, On Man, In Genesis). One remains. The purpose of this series was to challenge any attempt to discredit the current defrocking of Planned Parenthood. Some have questioned the ethics of deception to bring down monstrous evil. Well, thankfully there is one text in the Scripture that brings an end to the discussion.
However, this text alone does not accomplish the task. I have spent time looking at other texts to prove that I am not building an inappropriate standard on one passage. I have presented Biblical texts that support the idea of deception being used to bring about righteous judgment and deliverance. Once residual misconception is removed, the clinching text comes from Exodus. It also links directly to delivering babies from evil. In short, it is a perfect text to study in relation to Planned Parenthood.
Midwives and Strong Women
15 Then the king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other Puah, 16 “When you serve as midwife to the Hebrew women and see them on the birthstool, if it is a son, you shall kill him, but if it is a daughter, she shall live.” 17 But the midwives feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but let the male children live. 18 So the king of Egypt called the midwives and said to them, “Why have you done this, and let the male children live?” 19 The midwives said to Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women, for they are vigorous and give birth before the midwife comes to them.” 20 So God dealt well with the midwives. And the people multiplied and grew very strong. 21 And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families. - Exodus 1:15-21
Let's walk through this text from the top. Pharaoh has forgotten the blessing that Joseph provided at the end of Genesis. There is even a hint that Israel had begun to worship false gods (Josh 24:14). In either case, Egypt is worried about the political dangers of multiplying Hebrew children. So they go about gendercide. These are the same Hebrews who were unwelcome in the main city and took advantage to farm the land (Gen 46:33-34). The Egyptians would not even eat with the Hebrews (Gen 43:32). The Hebrews were the outcast minorities. They were the unclean immigrants. Egypt questioned their nationality and feared betrayal during a war. The Hebrews were the definition of unwanted people — except for their value as labor.
All this background is presented for a reason. Pharaoh's attack is certainly spiritual, but it is primarily political. It is gendercide and racism. Pharaoh is intimately worried about this kingdom being toppled by the multiplication of little children. This should remind us of Herod. We should also recall Psalm 8:2. Babies are kingdom shakers. It is in the persecution of them that Pharaoh believes he will gain his victory. It is against this backdrop that the exodus occurs. The exodus that removes men, women, and children from Egypt. The major gospel text of the Old Testament is presented in this highly charged context. There is no way to separate Christian truth and Christian ethics from these facts. They are political. They are racially sensitive. They involve innocent lives.
The law of the land is the destruction of innocent lives. So the text introduces us to the Hebrew midwives who are asked to carry out this destruction. They are to be the legal means by which injustice is performed. Their names mean "fair/beautiful" and "splendid." This gives away the fact that they will be above reproach in this situation. They are God-fearers. The emphasis on two women matches Deborah and Jael. It also matches Mary and Elizabeth. From two women shall come the redemption of God's people.
These two women had the potential to be Planned Parenthood. But to fulfill redemption, they refused to obey Pharaoh. They could not obey him. They also had to lie about it. This is direct disobedience to the government. Which is something the New Testament clearly prescribed (Rom 13:1-2; 1 Pet 2:13-14). Most Christian affirm an exception to these teachings in defense of righteousness. And those Christians would be correct. So also this distinct is essential to deception. Lying to pervert justice is forbidden in the 8th Commandment. But deception to preserve righteous judgment seems to be praised in Scripture.
These midwives rejected the praise of Pharaoh and preserved the children. Instead of pandering to the government, they stonewalled the king of lawlessness. The Hebrew in Exodus 1:20 literally means that God was "well pleased" and treated the midwives accordingly. And what are they given? The very thing they were protecting — godly offspring. Future kingdom shakers.
Some will want to point out that the blessing could correspond to the disobedience and not the lying. The earlier posts on this issue make it abundantly clear that no distinction needs to be made here. God blesses the midwives for their disobedience through lying.
The text is rather clear. The women lied. And God brought blessings. Not only did He bring the blessing of a family but He also brought forth the blessing of a messiah (like Tamar and Rahab). The stories of Genesis begin to ring in our ears. Once again deception is at the center of righteous judgment and deliverance. Once again God uses deception to bring about the redemption of His people and the promise to Eve — the true Messiah. This is not merely God using poor circumstances. This is God reversing a false judgment set forth by humanity. This is God overturning the false righteousness of the world.
Those who have practiced deception against Planned Parenthood are to be lauded for their faithfulness. They have taken advantage of their particular opportunity and been found faithful. They have taken on the unfaithful midwives of our day. They have rejected the Pharaoh of the modern world. The question becomes are Christians ready to lie to the supreme authorities of the world to protect the innocent?
Don't blindly accept my conclusion. Study the Scriptures. Next week, I will address usual objections to my position in an "appendix" for this series.