CLAIM: The Bible teaches that we should submit to the government, because they are given as an authority of God (Rom. 13:1; Titus 3:1; 1 Pet. 2:13). It also speaks against lying (Prov. 12:22). And yet, when the midwives lied to Pharaoh and disobeyed him (Ex. 1:17), God blessed them (Ex. 1:20-21).
RESPONSE: This moral dilemma was unavoidable. Therefore, they had no choice but to disobey in one way or another. Either they could lie, or they could commit murder. Since God obviously commands us not to murder (Ex. 20:13), both actions are wrong. In this case, the midwives were obligated to choose the higher good. Saving lives is ethically greater than obeying government. Peter and John chose to preach the gospel, rather than obey the human government (Acts 4:19; 5:29). Likewise, Jesus taught prioritized ethics, when he allowed his disciples to eat on the Sabbath, and he healed on the Sabbath (Mt. 12:1-12; Mk. 2:27-28). In the same way, we are told to honor our parents (Eph. 6:1), but we need to honor God above our parents (Mt. 10:37). For a modern example of Christian civil disobedience, consider Corrie ten Boom. She was a Dutch Christian who helped Jews to escape during World War II.