Women Of The Bible
Read – Numbers 26:59
*It’s here we are introduced to Miriam. Miriam was the daughter of Jochebed and Amram and the sister to Aaron and Moses.
Read – Exodus 2:1-3
*These verses tell us the background story of Miriam’s family. Jochebed and Amran were slaves who lived in Egypt. After the birth of Aaron and Miriam the king of Egypt decided to make a new decree that all baby boys born to the Hebrew slaves were to be thrown into the river Nile. The king felt threatened by their rapid population growth. Jochebed as we found out in the previous study had great faith and was determined that this was not going to be the fate of her 3rd newly born child.
Read – Exodus 2:4-8
“ Miriam’s force of character had been early displayed when as a child she watched beside the Nile the little basket in which was hidden the infant Moses. Her self-control and tact God had made instrumental in preserving the deliverer of His people.” Patriarchs and Prophets, E.G. White, p382
*We do not know how old Miriam was when she watched over her baby brother, but her bravery in approaching the Pharaoh’s daughter was remarkable. The above quote gives us an amazing insight into her character.
Read – Exodus 15:20-21 and Micah 6:4
“Aaron and Miriam had occupied a position of high honor and leadership in Israel. Both were endowed with the prophetic gift, and both had been divinely associated with Moses in the deliverance of the Hebrews…Richly endowed with the gifts of poetry and music, Miriam had led the women of Israel in song and dance on the shore of the Red Sea. In the affections of the people and the honor of Heaven she stood second only to Moses and Aaron.” Patriarchs and Prophets, E.G. White, p382
* Considering the lot of women at the time Miriam was blessed by God to hold such an honoured position of leadership.
Read – Numbers 12:1-10
“In the appointment of the seventy elders Miriam and Aaron had not been consulted, and their jealousy was excited against Moses. At the time of Jethro’s visit, while the Israelites were on the way to Sinai, the ready acceptance by Moses of the counsel of his father-in-law had aroused in Aaron and Miriam a fear that his influence with the great leader exceeded theirs. In the organization of the council of elders they felt that their position and authority had been ignored. Miriam and Aaron had never known the weight of care and responsibility which had rested upon Moses; yet because they had been chosen to aid him they regarded themselves as sharing equally with him the burden of leadership, and they regarded the appointment of further assistants as uncalled for… Yielding to the spirit of dissatisfaction, Miriam found cause of complaint in events that God had especially overruled. The marriage of Moses had been displeasing to her. That he should choose a woman of another nation, instead of taking a wife from among the Hebrews, was an offense to her family and national pride.” Patriarchs and Prophets, E.G. White, p382-383
*What can we learn from this episode of Miriam’s life? Here was a woman, highly honoured by God smitten down by leprosy. How quickly her circumstances changed. Could we make the same mistake?
Read – Numbers 12:11-16
*It was envy and jealousy that got Miriam into this trouble. Because of Miriam’s position it was something that God could not leave unaddressed. Aaron and Miriam were humbled and repented. God in His mercy and grace healed Miriam but she had to remain outside of the camp for 7 days. Even though Miriam had done wrong, because of her high and honoured position, the Israelite camp mourned and waited for the 7 days to be over before they moved on. This showed the respect the Israelite’s had for her.
Read – Numbers 20:1
*It’s interesting that after the leprosy incident that we hear no more of Miriam until her death.
The Bible does not indicate if Miriam married or had any children. We can just conclude that she remained single and was devoted to the role that God gave her. For her to be given this position her faith and devotion for God must have been extraordinary. Is there anything we can take away from Miriam’s story and apply to own Christian walk?
Power Text – 2 Samuel 22:2-4
“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; The God of my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, My stronghold and my refuge; My Savior, You save me from violence. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies.”.