Today Erin and I discussed our character of the week, Miriam, in our Wednesday bible study.
Miriam would prove to be one of the great women among the people of God, but she had to learn to trust and follow God according to His ways and not hers.
Miriam is well remembered for her role in watching her baby brother Moses as he drifted in the reeds until Pharaoh's daughter drew him out of the water. We know how she bravely offered to find a nurse maid for baby Moses without regards to what consequences she might face for speaking up. But later on, after the Isrealites left Egypt, she had a moment of rebellion against Moses that led to public shame and punishment.
Miriam is referred to as a prophetess and a leader of the people of Isreal during their time in the desert, Micah 6:4 says she was sent by God to be a leader in the same sense as Moses and Aaron were sent, but at the same time not the same as Moses. Miriam's fall is found in Number 11 and 12 when she begins to be concerned with Moses marrying a foreigner and also when he chooses elders to help him lead. Up until that time the leadership had been primarily Moses, Aaron and Miriam and once Moses chose the elders it became a fundamental shift in the leadership of Isreal, Miriam (and Aaron) were basically by passed in favor of these elders and it didn't set well with her. She became haughty in spirit and she exclaimed that God had spoken to her the same way he had spoken to Moses and so she and Aaron spoke out against him.
I love how God immediately addresses the situation by calling the three siblings into the tent. As a father would say to his three children who were in a squabble "get in here you three!". He reminded Miriam and Aaron that even though they were prophets and He spoke to them in visions/dreams... He spoke face to face with Moses and Moses was the leader. Because of Miriam's rebellion God struck her with leprosy, and despite Moses prayer for healing, God still let her suffer for 7 days outside of the camp until she repented and could then be restored to fellowship.
The amazing thing about this is that no one remembers that Miriam. Despite her rebellion and her public humiliation of being put out of the camp, everyone remembers the brave young girl who helped save her baby brother from the Nile. Where am I going with this??? I'm just saying that Miriam is remembered more for her honor then her shame. Even in her human frailty, where jealousy and power got the best of her, she is still a God-given example of how to follow God. If some one as Godly as Miriam (she was a prophetess after all) can be caught up in power and criticism of her leaders so can we. If we don't watch closely over our own hearts, we can easily fall into the same traps. Often our criticism of other people (even if they are correct) are motivated by an incorrect attitude of the heart. But if Miriam can come to repentance, healing and restoration of fellowship, then so can we.
Miriam also gives plenty of life lessons in learning to submit to authority, but I've written plenty. :)
We did a light Pilates today - for my sake - that just focuses on back and lower extremity flexibility. My post marathon body appreciated the stretching thats for sure! I'm hoping to start a little bit more vigorous exercise plan for Wednesdays the week after Thanksgiving to help battle some of those extra holiday pounds I'm sure I'll add.