“For I brought thee up out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed thee out of the house of servants; and I sent before thee Moses, Aaron, and Miriam.”  Micah 6:4

Once again, a Scripture that I have read many times through the years jumped out at me as I was reading the Book of Micah this morning. We all know that God called Moses to deliver the children of Israel from Egypt. We know that because he questioned his ability to speak, God told him to take Aaron with him. But I did not realize that Miriam was part of the team.

Although we only find Miriam’s name recorded a few times in the Scriptures, we can learn a lot from them:

  1. She had courage and was a loving sister. As her mother placed the baby Moses in the basket in the river, she stayed close by and watched to make sure he was going to be all right. It took courage to go and speak to Pharaoh’s daughter. In doing so, she was not only instrumental in saving his life but also made it possible for him to be nurtured by his own mother, who would teach him about God and about his people.
  2. She led the people in singing the song Moses’ wrote after God had delivered them from Pharaoh’s army at the Red Sea. In Exodus 15:20, she is referred to as “a prophetess” when she led the Hebrew women in singing, dancing, and playing drums. This shows her love and concern for her people and her thankfulness to God for His blessings and trials.
  3. In Chapter 12, she and her brother, Aaron challenged the authority of Moses. The Bible does not give us all the details, but apparently, she had been listening to gossip about Moses’ wife. She understood leadership to embrace diverse voices and asks “Has the Lord spoken only through Moses? Has he not spoken through us also?” (Numbers 12:2). The price of speaking out was severe; God punished her by afflicting her with leprosy. We have no record of her speaking or being spoken to after that. As Moses and Aaron interceded, she was healed but had to spend some time outside of the camp. The people proved their loyalty to her by refusing to continue their march until she was restored to the camp.
  4. Numbers 20:1 records her death and verse two, speaks of the wells being immediately dried up. Jewish history credits her with being the one who was responsible for the Israelites’ water during their journey and refers to it as Miriam’s Well. So, when she died, the water ceased to flow.
  5. Centuries later, prophecy remembers her as the equal of Moses and Aaron in representing God before the people (Micah 6:8). Jeremiah 31:4 does not mention her name but alludes to her: “Again I will build thee, and thou shalt be built, O virgin of Israel: thou shalt again be adorned with thy tabrets, and shalt go forth in the dances of them that make merry.”

Miriam’s story encourages us to continually trust in God and respond to God’s work in our lives. We are called to offer praise and thanksgiving to Him, and to be an inspiration to others to do the same.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord Jesus, for the lessons we learn from Miriam. Help us to worship you with all our hearts, to be faithful to our family and to others.

Devotion by Anne Johnston


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