Miriam

This isn’t exactly how my study guide for the lesson on Miriam looks, it is similar.  The guide has small “icon” picture guides for the three sections that did not copy over from the word document.  I have a guide for all the women in the OT and a few in the NT.  If you live in a nearby place, I would be more than happy to teach a class of ladies for a few weeks.  Think on that.  Here is Miriam:

Study Guide

Miriam

Exodus 2,15, Numbers 12, 20, I Chronicles 6:3, Micah 6:4, Deut. 24.9

Preparing my heart to hear God’s Word:  What would you consider the two strongest, positive points in your life?  _______________________________

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What would you consider the one prominent negative point in your life?  ___________

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Which do you think you will be most remembered for—the positive or negative?______

Relating God’s Word to my heart:  Of all the preaching you may have heard in the past on Miriam, were the points made on the strength of Miriam or on the murmuring Miriam.  My guess is that we are more prone to remember her murmuring than her strong leadership ability.

When we first meet Miriam she is an outgoing, brave child who is assigned the task of overseeing the plight of her baby brother adrift on the NileRiver.  Her quick suggestive action made it possible for the family to stay together at least for another three or four years.

A long period of silence occurs until we read of her again in the Bible.  We see her next in Exodus 15:20 when she is leading the Hebrew women in praise and worship after the victorious crossing of the Red Sea.  The King James Version identifies her as a prophetess.  (one whose responsibility is “to preach pure morality and heart-felt worship of Jehovah, and to act along and coordinately with the priesthood and monarch in guiding the state aright and checking all attempts at illegality and tyranny.”

This speaks well of Miriam!  By the time we hear of her leadership in Exodus 15 we can estimate her age well into her sixties.

The weakness of those who bear the strong, active choleric temperament is often a judgmental attitude.  Such weakness is manifest in Numbers 12 when Miriam shows her distaste and judgment of Moses and his Ethiopian wife.  She goes beyond a casual criticism to biting, harsh condemnation.  She slipped out of Spirit control into flesh control.  The results:

  • Aaron weakly follows her
  • The Lord intervenes
  • God’s work is stalled for a period of time
  • Moses shows his brotherly understanding and forgiveness.

 

Miriam witnessed Moses during the plagues, the crossing of the Red Sea, the Ten Commandments established, and the Tabernacle worship enacted.  Yet, she did not seem to fear him—probably because she saw him as her brother rather than God’s Man.  Thus, Jesus warned: “. .  .Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honor, save in his own country, and in his own house.” (Matt. 13.57)

Miriam, Page 2

Numbers 20:1 records the death of Miriam.  She lived a long and fruitful life; yet seemsmosremembered for her bold murmuring.  That fact is a sad commentary.

Deuteronomy 24:9 is a stern reminder to all of us, not just the Jews.  There are stern consequences for allowing the flesh to take control and become a critical believer.  The sternness of the reminder is equal to the like stern reminder of “. . . remember Lot’s wife.”

 

Hope lies for all of us who might be prone to lay down criticism of God’s Man when we are reminded that God protects God’s Man and distributes consequences to those who wield the sharp tongued sword!  At the end of the consequence, and confession of sin, we can be useful and must not be careless again.

Strong leadership tendencies should never be squelched.  They should be cultivated as much as any other worthwhile conduct.  Micah 6:4 reminds us that Miriam stood along side her brothers, Aaron and Moses, as a daring leader of the Exodus.

Living God’s Word: 

What leadership tendency do you have?  Are you using it wisely?

 

What leadership tendency do you see in the life of someone near or dear to you?

 

Could it be possible that God wants you to channel that leadership ability toward service for God?  _______ If so, plan how you will direct that person’s views and energy toward usefulness in God’s kingdom. _______________________________

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Bibliography:  The Holy Bible, Scofield notes; God’s Word for Windows, (Eaton’s Bible Dictionary version) Every Woman in the Bible, (Thomas Nelson, 1999) The Spirit Controlled Woman, Beverly LaHaye, Harvest House Publishers, 1976) God Speaks to Women Today, Eugenia Price, Zondervan Publishing, 1964

 

(My lessons are copyrights.  However, if you use them without permission, only you and God will know.  I don’t sell them, but I do appreciate recognition)

 

 

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7 Comments

  1. Glenda

    An excellent lesson, in my opinion. Funny—I always think of Miriam as the older sister who watched her baby brother in the marshes and brought his mother to the princess. To me, this shows an obedient spirit and a brave soul. Those later incidents I have considered to be a combination of weariness from the journey and general old age. I believe she shows many characteristics that we can safely follow in our own lives, and we can even learn from her weaknesses later in life. I would love to be a fly on the wall when you teach this lesson to the folks at the nursing home!

  2. I was preparing these lessons in 2001 according to the dates on the document file. Sometimes I am surprised at my own writing! It was that short period of time when Denise was first married and away from home and I actually lived by myself for a short stint. I had more time to put into the lessons and I can tell! All year this year I have been teaching a series called: “52 Bible people.” You, Glenda, can be a praying fly, please!

  3. Glenda

    Yes, I can do that, and I will do it! I’m sure you’re a tremendous blessing to those folks every time you visit and teach them. You may never know on this side of Heaven what a difference you have made. 🙂

  4. Had a good time teaching this morning (7-26-2012) and it happened that as I was teaching, God taught me–that happens to me often–that in Numbers 12 when Miriam spoke out jealously and with contempt to her brother Moses, that she was jealous! She, the older sister, had been the “woman in his life” but now Moses was a married man. What a terrible price she paid for her criticism. Yet, when the price was paid, it seemed as if no more bitterness remained, which is also very important. Just random thoughts I’m adding.

  5. Glenda

    Very good random thoughts, in my opinion! When I was teaching, WAY back in those bygone days, I would often learn more than the children I was teaching. Those third- and fourth-graders could really ask some questions that required some digging into the Word, and that is always enlightening! I’m sure you were a blessing this morning! Your “light bulb” moment reminds me of the attitude my mother-in-law had toward me. In her mind, I had taken her little boy away from her (which was NOT the case), and there was no way I could get on her “good side.” She had the same attitude toward Sarah about Daniel—she had taken Daniel as if her were her son instead of a grandson, and he could get anything he wanted from her. Then, when Sarah came along, it seemed that she had to “earn” any love or gifts she wanted from her grandmother. Once the MIL was bedfast from a stroke, and we moved to Chattanooga, my father-in-law made everything right for Sarah. Even though we hated leaving Seymour at the time, it was a very good thing for Daniel, who learned that Grandpa didn’t open the checkbook as readily as Grandma had done, and also for Sarah, who learned that she was truly loved and appreciated! Life is funny, as you know, and it all works out according to God’s plan as long as we are true to Him.

  6. Excellent material, Karyl. Since it is copyrighted, have you ever tried to publish?

    I am especially touched by the fact of Miriam’s strong beginning, long life, and noted character flaws. It is true that we are often remembered more for what we did wrong than what we did right.

    I think I’m in trouble 🙂

    • Actually, I have toyed with the idea of publication for these lessons in particular. But, I don’t have a “name” and that seems so important these days. I am not logged in the Library of Congress. I learned from a friend that anyone can copyright anything, actually. She has never applied for a copyright on her music. The copyright just cautions people to not take credit for someone’s work as his/her own. About two years ago I set out to write a teacher’s guide for each student guide but I think I stopped at Noah’s wife! It was way too much work! Regretfully, Linda, I carry a “D” stigma. It is just a fact and I don’t like it, but. . . it is what it is.

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