Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Seven Days of Miriam

Miriam, adoring sister who watched from the reeds... would baby Moses fall into safe arms.... the arms of the Pharaoh's daughter...
Exodus 2:4
And his sister stood afar off, to wit what would be done to him.

...did you fear the arms of the Cushite wife of your brother... did you fear to let him go again or did you resent giving him again to someone different than Israel.
Exodus 12:37-39 (see also Numbers 11:4)
... And a mixed multitude went up also with them; ...

Numbers 12:1-4
And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman.
And they said, Hath the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the LORD heard it.
(Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)
And the LORD spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out.

Miriam, older sister and prophetess...
Exodus 15:20
And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron...

... did you not see the light in your brothers face, who spoke with God face to face and not in dreams and visions only ?
Exodus 34:30
And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone; and they were afraid to come nigh him.

... did you understand when God called you out with Aaron and Moses ?
Numbers 12:5-9
And the LORD came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth.
And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.
My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house.
With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?
And the anger of the LORD was kindled against them; and he departed.

Miriam, the Lord chastened you alone, made you white as snow.  Was it to remind you of the glory in Moses face ?  Was it to show you that in Gods eyes, your fair skin was a curse, if it caused you to misjudge the wife of your brother ?  Did He choose your rebuke over Aaron's for a unique purpose ?
Numbers 12:10
And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous.

In your shame, did you also hear 'daughter' in His rebuke... ?
Numbers 12:14
And the LORD said unto Moses, If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be ashamed seven days? let her be shut out from the camp seven days, and after that let her be received in again.

The entire nation waited for you while you quietly humbled yourself ...
Numbers 12:15
And Miriam was shut out from the camp seven days: and the people journeyed not till Miriam was brought in again.

In that time, did you discover a paradox ?... riches, honour and life come from humility before the Lord's will.  As Christ subjected Himself to Gods will, so must we all.
Proverbs 22:4
By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life.

Was the wisdom learned, passed down through the ages to your sisters ?  The "weaker vessel" contains the greater strength, when it is wrought in humility.  Did the men who waited for you in camp, understand that it was Moses' meekness that brought him face to face with God, and caused him to be "faithful in all mine house"?  Did it teach them how to honor their wives as fellow heirs ?  May the opportunity to speak with God never be hindered by anything less.
2 Corinthians 12:9
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.

Psalm 18:32
It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.

1 Peter 3:7
Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

Revelation 3:19
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten

~The love of a sister~
Moses marries an Ethiopian woman (Zipporah, or possibly a second wife).  This event set off a firestorm in the heart of Miriam and also Aaron.  Miriam was a prophetess (Exodus 15:20) so felt justified in challenging Moses's decision to do this ("hath he not spoken also by us").  Moses it appears was pressured by the verbal onslaught ("the man Moses was very meek").  That prompted God to act.

Miriam was the older sister of Moses and Aaron.  Perhaps there are two lessons here to consider.

The fact that Moses' wife was Ethiopian, is mentioned twice in Numbers 12:1.  That is an intentional emphasis.  It's clear from Exodus 12:37-39 that other groups of people left Egypt along with Israel. Miriam it appears, took issue with Moses decision because he was marrying outside of the tribes of Israel (so, she thought, outside of Gods will).  As a typical loving older sister, she was willing to actively dominate him and that would hinder God's plan.  As a prophetess, God spoke to Miriam in visions and dreams, but He spoke with Moses face to face.  There is no comparison, and she was not privy to the full picture as Moses was.  God chooses the terrifying whiteness of leprosy, to emphasize to her that the Ethiopian woman was within His will for Moses.

There are few things in life stronger than the love of an older sister for her younger brother, but to follow the Lord we must let go.  Miriam, let go of Moses to the arms of the Pharaoh's daughter and the Ethiopian wife.  The former led to the freedom of his people Israel, the latter, well we can only speculate.  Perhaps, though we will someday know clearly the incredible story that surely followed her.  We know her father went back to his own country at least once (Numbers 10:29-32,Exodus 18:27). Did she and her children return to her fathers house when Moses died ?  Did you ever wonder how the Ethiopian eunuch mentioned in Acts 8:26-36 came to have the writing of Isaiah the prophet in his possession ?... or how Ebedmelech the Ethiopian was in a position to speak for Jeremiah the prophet, to the king (Jeremiah 38:9).  Did you ever consider why the Queen of the south (Sheba) would seek a Hebrew king in a far off land (Solomon) for wisdom?  1 Kings 10:1 shows she already knew about the name of the Lord and wanted Solomon to answer her "hard questions" concerning Him.   How did she come to know Him?  Beloved, as we walk today in the Lords love, lets remember to set aside our will for his.  We ourselves see him darkly, we only know in part.... but someday... we will see Him face to face.
(the similitude of the LORD shall we also behold)
1 Corinthians 13:12
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

Reference on Moses father in-law:


  1. Yes amen I like how you said we need to set apart our will for His.
    God bless you brother! Nice blog!

  2. Or sister! I don't know if you are male or female haha!


  3. Hi Chris...
    Just taking some time here at the end of my work day to read your post. It's always an amazing study of Scripture. Your questions at the end are also so very thought provoking. You really should teach a class ♥
    I'm glad your efforts here reach people.
    God bless you always* I know He does ♥
    ~ Maria