"But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt
had commanded them, but let the boys live."
Pharaoh wanted to destroy the Israelites, and so he tried to intimidate the Hebrew midwives into killing the newborn male babies that they helped deliver. However, the midwives revered God. Their faith in Him outweighed their fear of Pharaoh and they let the baby boys live. The Hebrew population continued to grow mightily, despite Pharaoh's attempts to annihilate it. God decides who lives and who dies, and He will use faithful followers like the midwives to accomplish His purpose and bring Him glory. The midwives obeyed God instead of the civil government, and out of their obedience the Messianic line was preserved. "Though generally we are called to obey the government and honor rulers (Romans 13:1-5), we are never called to put government in the place of God, and if the government tells us to do something against God's will, we are to obey God first." (David Guzik)