The book of Exodus is all about how Moses, a Hebrew boy, who should have died was saved from the Nile river by the very daughter of the one who ordered his death. This same Moses then grew up to lead the Israelite people out of captivity in Egypt alongside his brother Aaron and his sister Miriam. So far in the series Women of Exodus we have seen some very courageous midwives who refused to murder infants. We met Moses’ biological mother and his adoptive Egyptian mother. Today I want to take a close look at his older sister, Miriam. She plays a great part in the story of the Hebrews’ exodus out of Egypt. She can very well be one of the most important women of the Old Testament. I’m so excited to take a look at her life and share her story with all of you.
We first meet Miriam in Exodus 2:4 His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him.
At this point in the story Moses has been placed in a basket and set adrift the Nile River by his mother Jochebed. I imagine that Miriam was there with their mother as she probably fought back tears or maybe let them fall freely. I am sure that Miriam had developed a relationship with her baby brother in the months they had shared together. I bet she was very fond of him and loved him dearly. It is no surprise that as his older sister she stayed close to the river bank and watched as the basket drifted farther and farther away from her home and family. I wonder, how far she followed it. How long did she walk along the bank and watch with apprehension as her sweet baby brother was pulled along by the current? I wonder further if Miriam was surprised to see the “princess” bathing in the river. Did she think that at discovering the Hebrew baby the evil pharaoh’s daughter would take after her father and tip the basket over to watch the little baby drown? Or did she quietly gasp to herself at the princess’ expression of compassion? I know I would have cried from relief. I can only speculate at Miriam’s emotions at that moment, what I do know is that she didn’t stay hiding in the reeds. She leapt into action. She didn’t waste a minute to speak up. I love it. She saw an opportunity and grabbed it and ran!
Verse 7 Then his sister asked Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?”
WHAT!? Just go up and talk to the daughter of the most important person in all of Egypt without an invitation?! If I didn’t know better I would say that our girl Miriam was a tad cray. Nope. She wasn’t cray! She was BOLD! She was GUTSY! She was a DOER not just a watcher.
Man this one verse stirs something up inside me. Am I just a watcher? Hiding in the reeds and staying quiet or jumping into action and speaking up.
What gets me the most about this whole interaction is the nonchalance of it all. There isn’t any sign of indignation on the princess’ part or that of her slave girls. It’s almost as if it was a normal occurrence for a Hebrew girl to randomly speak to the pharaoh’s daughter while she bathed.
We see the normality of it all in the first half of verse 8 “Yes, go,” she answered. Pharaoh’s daughter didn’t even flinch in her response.
This is where we see Miriam’s quickness! This girl was not only super courageous she was also really smart.
Verse 8 continues, So the girl went and got the baby’s mother.
Miriam didn’t get just any Hebrew woman to nurse the baby! She got his very own mother.
Who knows if this was all part of the plan? We don’t have any indication that Jochebed and Miriam had a scheme brewing. What we see is that Miriam found a way to buy her family more time with their precious boy.
This isn’t the end of Miriam’s story. It’s just the beginning. Next week we will continue looking at Miriam’s life as God calls her brothers to be the leaders of a massive exodus out slavery.
What did I take away from this passage?
Miriam took initiative: she wasn’t told to act, she just did!
How often do you need to be told to act upon that which is before you? How often do you wait till the very last minute to make moves that’ll change your life. Miriam didn’t let fear or intimidation get in the way of protecting her brother. Nope! She acted!
a. She Watched
Sometimes we need to hide in the reeds and watch.
b. She Spoke
There will be times when we need to speak up because there is no one else around to do so. Our voice can mean the difference between spiritual life and death for someone.
c. She Went
After taking the time to watch and speaking up we need to make sure to go and follow up. Let’s be doers and not just watchers!
My Prayer For You:
Heavenly Father, how gracious and magnificent you are my God! Thank you for your grace, your mercy, your goodness and kindness that you bestow upon us when we don’t deserve it. Every week you challenge and encourage us through the life of the women in your word. Thank you for their lives, stories, testimonies and examples. I especially thank you that we are able to relate to them still today. Please shift our perspectives my God that we may see with your heavenly eyes. That we may be able to act when we need to act. That we may stand and speak up for those who are unable to speak for themselves. Help us to be live lives that give you glory. That as we trust in you the people around us may be attracted to you by our testimonies. Thank you Jesus for your blood! Thank you for your sacrifice! Thank you that you make us white as snow! We are able to stand pure and holy before your throne only because of what you did for us on Calvary! Thank you! I pray for each reader to be supernaturally blessed in Jesus’ heavenly name, Amen!
Memory Verse: James 1:22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
Guys, I hope you enjoyed today’s post! Don’t forget to subscribe to the newsletter and follow me on Instagram and Twitter for regular updates. Make sure to come back next week for Hello Miriam Part II.