Miriam's Song

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 12
Miriam, having fulfilled her part in Moses’ adoption by Pharaoh’s daughter, disappears from view, and many years elapse before we meet with her again. Doubtless all this time she was being taught by God for the part she had yet to fill, which was by no means an unimportant one. She had evidently linked herself with the people of God in a marked way and was looked up to by them, for she is introduced to us in Exodus 15:2020And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. (Exodus 15:20) as “the prophetess, the sister of Aaron.”
From this we gather that she was instructed in the Lord’s ways and used of Him to reveal His mind to the women of Israel, over whom she seemed to have influence.
When Moses and the children of Israel, exulting in their wonderful deliverance from Egypt and from their enemies the Egyptians, sing that beautiful song of triumph to the Lord, it is Miriam who, stirred by the glorious words, leads forth the women to join the wondrous song and swell the chorus, “Sing ye to the Lord, for He hath triumphed gloriously.” Thus, at the outset of the wilderness journey, in company with the Lord’s redeemed people, with their enemies dead behind them, the deep waters of the Red Sea between them and the land of their bondage, with the Lord’s presence with them in the visible pillar of the cloud to be their guide and protection, she can lead the Lord’s praises in notes of triumphant song. If we know what it is in our souls to be in Miriam’s position of victory, we too shall have to sing His praises, not with voice only, but from the depths of our adoring hearts.
The Voice Against Moses
The beautiful song itself we cannot here consider in detail, but the close of it is grand — the inheritance, the sanctuary and the Lord’s everlasting reign. Oh, that this might have been the closing act of Miriam’s life! But there is another picture, and a very sad one, portrayed for us in Numbers 12. Miriam and her brother Aaron speak against Moses for an act which they consider to be unseemly, throwing doubt on his God-given leadership, thus manifesting envy and insubordination in a very sad way. What a sad example to the congregation, and how their conduct added to the burden of their brother’s already strenuous life!
This was most displeasing to God, who would not allow this evil spirit to continue for a moment. It is very beautiful to see how the Lord comes in and vindicates Moses as His servant above reproach. As a mark of His deep displeasure, the Lord afflicted Miriam, the instigator of the evil speaking, with leprosy, thus showing her and all the congregation how sinful her action was in His sight. It was only upon Aaron’s confessing and judging the sin and Moses’ earnest prayer on her behalf that the Lord healed her. The solemn impress of the Lord’s hand of chastisement was felt by the whole congregation, for they “journeyed not” until Miriam was again restored to the camp in health. How deep and far-reaching is the effect of sin!
How careful we should be to have everything open to the sight of “Him with whom we have to do.” “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psa. 139:23-2423Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: 24And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:23‑24)).
Author unknown