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By Pastor Jim May
Miriam, the sister of Moses and of Aaron, is a perfect picture of what it means to be both led of God, blessed of God, used of God, and then cursed by God if allow sin to enter our lives.
Even more importantly, through Miriam and God’s dealing with her, we will re-discover how God forgives and, by His grace, we find restitution so that we can pick up the pieces of a shattered life and a damaged testimony and continue on in God’s grace to be victorious in the end.
Of course it would be better to serve God without ever leaving His side, but all too often, that is exactly what happens to many of God’s people.
In Exodus chapter 2 we are given our first glimpse of this little girl named Miriam, even though she is not really named specifically, we know from the scriptures that Moses only had one sister and so this had to be Miriam.
Exodus 2:3-7, "And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river’s brink. And his sister stood afar off, to wit what would be done to him. And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the river; and her maidens walked along by the river’s side; and when she saw the ark among the flags, she sent her maid to fetch it. And when she had opened it, she saw the child: and, behold, the babe wept. And she had compassion on him, and said, This is one of the Hebrews’ children. Then said his sister to Pharaoh’s daughter, Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee?"
Miriam was just a little girl here, but we can already see the kind of character that she was going to have for most of her life. She was first of all, obedient, doing what she was asked to do or told to do without putting up an argument.
Just try telling a modern teenager to walk along a crocodile infested river to keep an eye on a baby brother, and you will probably hear a lot of moaning, groaning and every excuse in the book. But Miriam didn’t say a thing. She just stepped out in obedience.
Secondly, we see that she had courage; courage to leave home alone; courage to brave the crocodiles; courage to be faithful to her work and courage to look her enemy eye to eye when it became necessary.
Thirdly, she was smart: she figured out how to get Moses’ own mother as his nursemaid, even while he was raised as the son of Pharoah’s daughter in the palace of Egypt.
Jochebed, Moses’ mother, had not had time to train Moses in the faith of Israel and to teach him of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, but she had taught Miriam well. It is taught by most scholars that Miriam was at least 7 years older than Moses and had time to learn about God.
As Miriam stood near, guarding her baby brother in the ark made by their mother, she held true to her job. Even though she was only 7 or 8 years old, she showed poise, intelligence and courage while she waited for the daughter of Pharoah to discover Moses, the same Pharoah that had decreed the death of every male child that was newborn in Israel.
Miriam also knew what not to say because she never said anything about being Moses’ brother, or of his origins in Israel. She didn’t try to ride Moses’ basket into the Pharaoh’s palace.
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