Also known as a prophetess in Israel, her story begins in Exodus 2 :
“Now a man of the tribe of Levi married a Levite woman, and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months. But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him. Then Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the riverbank. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her female slave to get it. She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. “This is one of the Hebrew babies,” she said. Then his sister asked Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?” (verses 1-7)
Miriam had a dedicated heart
Even as a young child, God uses Miriam to protect her younger brother and future deliverer of Israel.
But God uses Miriam much more than that. Throughout her life, she remains a dedicated sister to her brothers and the Lord and in being so, she plays a vital role in the history of her nation. Her brother Aaron is also used to deliver Israel from bondage. Together, the three siblings fill different positions as needed to bring God’s people to safety and reconciliation with The Lord in the Promise Land.
She served in whatever capacity was needed to ensure the promise of the Lord would be fulfilled. She watched out for her baby brother, she helped the nation cross the red sea, she prophesied, and she worshipped, faithfully.
Miriam fell into sin and suffered the consequences, but remained.
In Numbers 12, we see that Miriam fell into complaining after Moses married someone she didn’t approve of.
“Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife, for he had married a Cushite. “Has the Lord spoken only through Moses?” they asked. “Hasn’t he also spoken through us?” And the Lord heard this…
When the cloud lifted from above the tent, Miriam’s skin was leprous—it became as white as snow. Aaron turned toward her and saw that she had a defiling skin disease, and he said to Moses, “Please, my lord, I ask you not to hold against us the sin we have so foolishly committed. Do not let her be like a stillborn infant coming from its mother’s womb with its flesh half eaten away.” So Moses cried out to the Lord, “Please, God, heal her!”
The Lord replied to Moses, “If her father had spit in her face, would she not have been in disgrace for seven days? Confine her outside the camp for seven days; after that, she can be brought back.” So Miriam was confined outside the camp for seven days, and the people did not move on till she was brought back.” (Read the entire account here)
Because Miriam questioned Moses, God held her accountable, but He had mercy on her for Moses’ sake.
While I want to keep our learning focused on the positive, I think it is equally important to recognize the sober lessons we can learn from the women who have gone before us. Miriam had seen so many great and wonderful things throughout her life.
She was there when the deliverer was born, she played a direct role in his survival, she was there when the red sea parted and deliverance came. She walked miles upon miles with her people to the promised land. And she had been used mightily by her God and had witnessed firsthand His Power.
But she was not immune to sin. And Neither are we.
No matter how much we are used by God, pride, and sin are always a threat to our blessed life and our relationship with the Lord. She suffered a great setback in her faith and did not enter the promised land because she complained and thus showed her lack of fear of the Lord.
Let us learn from her and throw ourselves upon His Mercy and conduct ourselves with the utmost humility. And He is a merciful God!
Despite her fall, Miriam’s dedication remained
Miriam lived out the remainder of her days in the Lord’s camp. Despite her sin, she was allowed back into the assembly where she stayed until her death.
Just because we fall, doesn’t mean we can’t return to the Lord. Thank goodness we now have an advocate to plead our case before Him!
“My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.” 1 John 2:1-2
Just as Moses pleaded for his sister’s healing, Jesus pleads for us. Oh how great His Grace and Mercy!
“For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:15-16
I hope that today’s devotion inspires you to strengthen your dedication to the Lord and to fully embrace humility in your heart. That you will be steadfast is shutting down a prideful and complaining spirit and not allow it to take hold of you.
Until next time… Nicci