Devoted Sister ~ Remarkable Leader
“And his sister stood afar off, to know what would be done to him.”
~ Exodus 2:4
Many mothers desire to raise their children to be men and women of faith, to love their siblings, to love their fellow man. Jochebed, the mother of Miriam had no less of a desire. Moses was the youngest of her three children Aaron, Miriam, then Moses. She was now faced with a terrible dilemma. Pharaoh had ordered the newborn Hebrew male infants to be thrown into the Nile and drowned (Exodus 1:22) as we had read in Chapter 7. No doubt Miriam helped her mother with hiding Moses for three long months. Could you imagine, quieting a hungry, restless, or uncomfortable crying child for three months? That must have been a nerve rattling experience for them! She thought of a plan to save her son. She made a basket of bulrushes and lined it with pitch and lay Moses in it onto the reeds of the Nile River.
Jochebed could trust Miriam, his older sister, to stand guard over the basket. Miriam followed and watched, waiting to see what would become of her little brother. She was a dedicated sister and a wonderful helper to her mother. At the opportune time, Pharaoh’s daughter would find Moses and have compassion on him and would take him for her own son.
Now where do you think that Miriam developed such a strong family loyalty? She probably learned it from her wonderful mother. Even today, mothers, grandmothers, aunts, etc. can also aid in the development of family loyalty and instill the values that God has designed all mothers to instill into their children by their example and by teaching them the ways of God. What are some of the ways we can teach family loyalty and kindness to members within the same family?
Daily efforts to do the following will help.
~ Teach siblings to love one another (John 15:12,17) Encourage brothers and sisters to pray for one another and to do secret acts of kindness for one another.
~ Openly express kindness and concern for others. (Proverbs 12:25) Children repeat what they hear and mimic what they see. So be a living model of Jesus Christ, acting with kindness and compassion.
~ Express love openly. Be affectionate and verbal. Say “I love you” every time you say goodbye or talk on the phone to your children.
~ Cultivate strong family ties. Develop a “three musketeers mentality” of “one for all and all for one.” See that each family member supports and encouraged the others.
~ Pray for God’s love to be made manifest by your children. (Galatians 5:22)
And remember, too, that the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous mother avails much! (James 5:16) ] pg 90
In the Jewish culture, girls remained under their mother’s care until marriage, unlike today. There was plenty of opportunity for their daughters to be mentored by their mother. For approximately twelve years Jochebed brought up Miriam to possess the vital qualities of diligence, faithfulness, responsibility, and wisdom. She mirrored her mother’s faithfulness and those “treasures in heaven” (Matthew 6:20) she wanted to instill in her children. Remember in Chapter 7 we discussed how during the first three years of a child’s life, a child can imitate and develop very quickly the ways of their caregivers. How much more would your daughter gain from your example until she weds? Even if one is in the unmarried season of life, she can learn a great deal from a Christian mentor. Indeed, there is nowhere in scripture that tells of Miriam ever being married or having children, yet she did not fill her time with mourning but was a wonderful tool in God’s great hands. God speaks in the New Testament of unmarried women who dedicate their lives to God:
“There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman cares for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married cares for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.”
~ 1 Corinthians 7:34
Yes, if you find yourself in the season of life where singleness may be what God has given you for a time, devote your time to becoming a servant in God’s ministry, as Miriam devoted her life to her brothers Aaron and Moses and to the people of God. Single women have more time to devote to God’s very heart, having the time and availability to do the will of our Father in heaven, visiting the fatherless and widows in their affliction, taking care of the needs of those who are hungry, discouraged, etc., women of which we are in desperate need of in the churches of God today.
Let us travel back in time again to the scene of Miriam following her little brother Moses in the basket made by her mother in the Nile’s reeds. Yes, she displayed courage stepping forward to offer help to the princess when she found Moses in the Nile. She asked the princess if she would like her to find a nursing Hebrew woman to feed the little one, which would turn out to be Moses’ own mother! Here she exemplified her qualities of compassion, loyalty to her family.
Because of Miriam’s quick thinking, a triple blessing was reaped by her family:
~ Moses’ life was saved.
~ Jochebed received her baby back.
~ Jochebed even received wages from the pharaoh’s daughter for nursing Moses. (vs 9)
Teaching your children love, mercy, caring, and compassion along with diligence, faithfulness, responsibility, and wisdom – the kinds of traits we see in Miriam – begin with you dear mom. Your children will mirror your merits. What are they seeing in you and learning from your actions? Whatever you sow, that shall you reap. (Galatians 6:7) pgs 91-92
Miriam grew and became an even stronger woman of God, devoted to family, and also then devoted to becoming one of the three leaders of Israel, Moses, Aaron, and herself. The Bible also speaks of Miriam being the first female prophetess and the one to lead the people in rejoicing for God’s greatness for saving their lives from Pharaoh’s army.
“And Miriam answered them, Sing ye to the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.”
~ Exodus 15:21
From that day forth, Israel would always sing about exceptional victories because of Miriam’s example of singing praises to God for His help in times of adversity. Yes, Miriam was a natural born leader of God’s people. She was a woman who exemplified service, gratitude, a thankful heart for God’s mercy and graciousness.
“For I brought thee up out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed thee out of the house of servants; and I sent before thee Moses, Aaron, and Miriam.”
~ Micah 6:4
In conclusion, who was this woman Miriam? She was a devoted sister and an exceptional single woman in the hands of a mighty and gracious God.
Let our love be manifested this day, whether a diligent mother as Jochebed, teaching the ways of God to the next generation or a single woman, who in her season of life will show forth the very attributes of God’s tender love, mercy, and loyalty to His people. Let’s move forward in any season of our life with joy and with singing, thanking Him for the glorious things He has done in our own lives!
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