"And his sister stood afar off, to know what would be done to him." Exodus 2:4
Miriam was the older sister to Aaron and Moses. Her first appearance in the Bible was standing at the water's edge as her baby brother was in a basket, floating down the Nile River to be found by Pharaoh's daughter. She was known as an intelligent child with a keen mind. She quickly volunteered to find a wet nurse for baby Moses when the Egyptian princess expressed her intention of keeping the child as her own. Miriam went straight away to her mother, Jochebed, so that she could be the one to nurture him.
More than eighty years later, God delivered His people from the bondage of Egypt; and after the miracle of crossing the Red Sea on dry land, Miriam led the women in dancing and singing as a celebration to God. She was a gifted, natural born leader and was considered the foremost of all the Hebrew women, being also gifted as a musician and prophetess.
"Then Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took the timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances." (Ex. 15:20)
Miriam was included at the council table with her brothers, and as Moses' older sister she may even have acted as a surrogate mother to him. There is no mention that she ever married, but as a single woman she committed herself to building the nation of Israel.
Miriam and Aaron had begun to feel overlooked in their leadership roles. They became critical and jealous of Moses' wife, Zipporah because she was an Ethiopian, a foreigner. Miriam's mistake in attitude was that she became sarcastic toward her brother's leadership, even to the point of rejecting it.
"Then Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married; for he had married an Ethiopian woman." (Num. 12:1)
In anger the Lord disciplined Miriam with instant leprosy, thus banning her from the camp, but because of the fervent prayers of her brothers, God restored her; there is no evidence that her influence was again blessed of God.
"So the anger of the Lord was aroused against them, and He departed. And when the cloud departed from above the tabernacle, suddenly Miriam became leprous, as white as snow. Then Aaron turned toward Miriam, and there she was, a leper." (Num. 12:9-10)
Moses and Aaron immediately began pleading with the Lord to heal their sister. God agreed but left her outside the camp for seven days before healing her. Upon Miriam's entrance back into the camp the Israelites were able to move forward with their travels.
Miriam died before reaching the Promised Land. This gifted woman left a caution for every female leader. God alone gives and removes talent and importance. Miriam received God's displeasure when she allowed herself to challenge the authority God had given Moses. She allowed jealousy and spitefulness to rob her of fulfillment in her later years.
This should be a warning to us to be a follower of Christ. To stay humble no matter what position we hold. And to pray for and respect those God has set in authority.
I love you & He loves you more!
Lord, Thank You for the examples You have afforded us to read and learn about in the Bible that shows us how to live a life of purity, transparency and humbleness. May I seek those characteristics in my life. In Jesus' name. Amen.