The Older Sister
Take heed in the plague of leprosy, that thou observe diligently, and do according to all that the priests the Levites shall teach you: as I commanded them, so ye shall observe to do. Remember what the Lord thy God did unto Miriam by the way, after that ye were come forth out of Egypt. ~Deuteronomy 24:8-9
Did you grow up in a family where you had an older sister? If so, you know there is a certain respect that the younger siblings have towards her. She is considered to be the wisest and most respected sibling when it comes to family matters and decisions. She is the one that is able to keep the younger siblings in order. She is the one the parents tend to feel most secure about as they get older and more infirmed. This morning, we are looking at the older sister of Moses, Miriam.
We see Miriam and her crucial INVOLVEMENT.
We first see Miriam as a young teenager at the river’s edge. Her mother, Jochebed, has placed the baby Moses in a little ark made of bulrushes at the shoreline of the river. Pharaoh’s daughter happens upon the little ark and is touched by the tears and cries of the baby Moses. Miriam is watching all this unfold from a short distance, and quickly runs up to Pharaoh’s daughter and asks her if she would like one of the Hebrew women to help serve as a nurse for the baby. Pharaoh’s daughter consents to this idea, and Miriam runs back home and brings her mother to the river. Jochebed is requested to care for the baby and is paid wages for doing so! Miriam’s quick thinking and bold involvement saved the day for Moses and her family. We must realize that our involvement can sometimes be a life-or-death matter for people close to us.
We see Miriam and her consecrated INSPIRATION.
The next time we see Miriam is 80 years later after Moses has led the nation of Israel out of Egypt and through the Red Sea. Miriam is one of millions who witnessed God opening the Red Sea up and making it possible for 3,000,000 Jews to cross over on a dry sea bed. After everyone safely crosses over and they see the pursuing Egyptian army drowned in those same waters, Moses leads the people in a time of great celebration and worship of God. Miriam steps out as a prophetess and encourages the people in singing. Here, Miriam is using her influence to inspire others to give God the glory. In a similar way, we are exhorted to not forsake the assembling of ourselves together and the provoking of one another unto love and good works.
We see Miriam and her caustic INSURRECTION.
Miriam takes a sad and disappointing turn a few weeks after the Red Sea crossing. She and her brother Aaron are disgruntled and unhappy with the fact that Moses was married to an Ethiopian woman. Miriam is the initiator of a rebellion against Moses and even seeks to usurp his authority as God’s leader. Interestingly, her name means “rebellion.” What a sad commentary for a person who was held in high esteem in the nation. Whenever we become scornful and divisive, we not only hurt ourselves, but we hurt our family and others affected by our influence. Her good influence was tainted by her caustic words against Moses.
We see Miriam and her crippled INEFFECTIVENESS.