Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Chapter 3 Miriam: The Leading Lady of The Exodus

For I brought you up from the land of Egypt, I redeemed you from the house of bondage; And I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam.  - Micah 6:4

One of the most fascinating things I learned about Miriam is her role in Moses' life when he was a baby.  I never realized that her job was to follow her baby brother as he floated down the river.  She played a very important role in keeping Moses in their lives without having to be afraid of what the authorities might say.  (If you have not read Chapter 3, I encourage you to do so.  John MacArthur has a way with his words of telling the story of Moses as a baby that opened my eyes to things I never new.)

Below are the points that John MacArthur writes about in Chapter 3 of Twelve Unlikely Heroes.

*  God's providence brought about a remarkable result.  Miriam's courage led to Moses' mother being paid to raise her own son!  p. 48

*  At the very beginning of Moses' life, the Lord used his older sister, Miriam, in a specific way, to watch over him and bring him safely back home.  In her willingness to bravely approach Pharaoh's daughter, Miriam played a strategic role in her baby brother's return to his family.  She was emboldened by the faith she had seen in her parents, and which she herself possessed.  Moreover, in watching the Lord rescue Moses from the Nile River, Miriam herself was being prepared for the day when she would see God deliver her people from their bondage in Egypt.  p. 49

*  As she watched and waited, she would surely have wondered when God would elevate Moses to deliver her enslaved people from Egypt.  p. 50

*  Just as Miriam and her two brothers had been instructed by their parents, now she instilled wihtin her children a longing and hope for divine deliverance.  p. 51

*  For eight long decades, Miriam had waited.  She had always known that Moses was God's chosen deliverer; yet she did not know when that deliverance would begin.  p. 51

*  Miriam lived her entire life with the confident expectation that God would deliver Israel, using her brother Moses.  Time and again she had seen God's incredible power on display.  p. 56

*  Exodus 15:20-21 summarizes her joyful response with these words:  "Then Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron (and Moses), took the timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances.  And Miriam answered them:  "Sing to the Lord, for He has triumphed gloriously!  The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea!"  p. 56

*  In a moment of sinful weakness, she had challenged his authority.  p. 60

*  As a young slave girl, she had watched over her baby brother when he floated in the Nile.  As a wife and mother, she had waited in Egypt for deliverance to come.  As an elderly woman, probably in her nineties, she had seen the power of God at the Red Sea, and she led the women of Israel in joyful celebration as a result.  p. 61

*  Though she sinfully challenged Moses' authority in the wilderness-and was severely rebuked as a result-she lived out the last four decades of her life submissively supporting Moses' authority.  p. 61

*  Miriam is rightfully regarded as a hero, not because of her own greatness, but because she rested in faith on the mighty power of God.  p.  62

*  ....her greatest triumphs came when her heart was centered on the glory of God.  p. 63

Wow...that last one really hit me.  Read it again...

*  her greatest triumphs came when her heart was centered on the glory of God.

In other words, it wasn't about what she wanted in her life.  It was about what God needed to have happen in her life for Him to be glorified. 

Think about your own life.  What is happening in your life that God can use to glorify Himself?  Shouldn't that be what we want most out of life?  That God would be glorified with our lives to help save all of the lost people around us. 

Like Miriam, our own sinful nature takes over at times.  However, like Miriam, we need to wait patiently and faithfully on the Lord to give us all of His promises that He's placed in our hearts.  When these promises come, let's be sure to praise God and give Him all of the glory.

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