Miriam was a young girl when she was given the responsibility to watch her brother. Bible scholars say she was between ten and thirteen years old. She bravely approached the Princess, and was very wise in her suggestion. Her wisdom allowed her family to be together for a time, which was critical in teaching Moses about his Israelite heritage and God.
Moses grew up in the palace of Egypt, fled to the desert because he killed an Egyptian, and was sent by God to go back to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Miriam assisted him in this monumental task. It is believed that Miriam never married, but spent her life in the ministry of helping her brother lead the nation of Israel (Micah 6:4). She is referred to as the first prophetess in the Bible (Exodus 15:20). After the crossing of the Red Sea and the destruction of the Egyptians, Miriam led the women in a song of victory while Moses was leading the men. Their song is found in Exodus 15.
“I will sing to the Lord, for He has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider He has thrown into the sea. The Lord is my strength and my song, and He has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise Him, my father's God, and I will exalt Him. The Lord is a Man of War; the Lord is His name.
Unfortunately, the last thing we hear about Miriam is not a good thing. In Numbers 12 Miriam and her other brother, Aaron, began to talk negatively about a woman Moses married, but the real problem was jealousy. Miriam was jealous of Moses' special relationship with God. God came down in a cloud and spoke directly to Miriam and Aaron. He told them it was not right to speak against God's servant, Moses. The Bible says the Lord was angry. When He left, Miriam had the terrible disease of leprosy. Moses prayed to God and begged Him to heal her. God said to send her away for seven days and then she would be healed. All the Israelites waited until Miriam came back before they moved their camp. After this, no more is written about her except in Numbers 20. which states that she died.
Miriam was a great help in God's plan for Moses and the Israelite nation even when she was a young girl. Later, Moses led a huge group of Israelites out of Egypt. This would have included many women who would have looked to Miriam for help and guidance. Miriam let jealousy get control of her, and she lost her reputation and influence. When people think of Miriam they remember her rebellion even though she was used by God as a responsible leader.
We need to pray that we never allow sin to destroy our reputation or make others think poorly of the Lord. Leadership comes with great responsibility, and the Bible says that to whom much is given, much shall be required (Luke 12:48).
"And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances" (Exodus 15:20).
Let's pray today that we don't allow sin to destroy our reputation or make others think poorly of the Lord, and remember that to whom much is given, much shall be required (Luke 12:48).
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