Somewhere in the human heart is the knowledge of good and evil. We know the difference. Regardless of where we live, to whom we were born, and of how we were raised, we know these things.
Systemic rape and torture are wrong in any culture and cannot be chalked up to “different norms” from one nation to the next. And the killing of baby boys – that, too, is wrong. It is a moral affront to our Creator. He created life, and it is very good (Genesis 1:31).
The midwives knew this. Somewhere in them was a deep and abiding fear of God. They knew of God, and they respected his ways as true. And they did this in the face of a tyrant king who had power over their lives.
“But the midwives feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them …”
Everyone can recognize and fear God, whether they meet a Christian or not and whether they ever see a Bible or not. “For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made” (Romans 1:19-20).
This is why we can say all people have sinned, even if they don’t have the written word of God. It is because everyone knows of God through creation. Knowledge of God and of his ways – of moral rightness and wrongness – emerge from the very hearts he created inside of us.
And we all have a choice, to fear God or to harden our hearts. As we will see as we continue into Exodus, it is possible to harden our hearts against God – and for God to finish the job by hardening our hearts for good.
But for today, it is enough to remember these midwives who knew right from wrong and who feared God. Morality is not subjective. We don’t get to make it up as we go along. And our common morality as humans, which is the same from China to Colorado, is only further evidence of God’s existence and of his plan for us.
What does your conscience tell you today about your life? Is there anything today you ought to do? Is anyone or anything pushing you to do something you know is wrong? Fear God.