I relish studying the supporting characters of the Bible. I am more of an “in the background” person, so I enjoy learning more about others who might’ve been more like me, comfortable to take a “back seat” in some of these amazing miracles seen throughout the Bible. Miriam was the sister of Moses and Aaron and is mentioned a few times throughout the book of Exodus, but she was never a main character in the story, she always did her best to support those in the foreground.
We first see Miriam in Exodus 2, just after Moses was born. You see, Moses wasn’t supposed to have been born – he should’ve been killed and yet, his parents defied the Pharaoh’s law. They kept and took care of him for as long as they could, but eventually had to let him go; Miriam was sent by their parents to look after the basket with her baby brother in it as it floated down the river. This was a tricky assignment because she had to be close enough to see where the basket had gone, but be just far enough away to not be associated with said basket, just in case something were to go wrong. By obeying her parents, she was putting herself at risk.
“Now the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river, while her young women walked beside the river. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her servant woman, and she took it. When she opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the baby was crying. She took pity on him and said, “This is one of the Hebrews’ children.” Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and call you a nurse from the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?” Exodus 2:5-7 (ESV)
Imagine being Miriam! You’re a young girl whose parents broke the law and now you’re watching your baby brother float along the river, hoping, praying that he will arrive somewhere safe. Then you see Pharaoh’s daughter, arguably the most influential woman in the nation, taking an interest in the basket. Your heart races as she opens it up and sees the baby. You’re positioned far enough away but suddenly you get an idea; maybe you should speak to her. You hesitate for a moment, weighing your options. Your parents told you to watch the basket and you’ve done that, but you can’t silence the spidey senses tingling within you. Pharaoh’s daughter looks around and suddenly you gain the courage and the words pop out of your mouth “shall I call a nurse?”.
I completely believe this was a God moment in Miriam’s life. I think that she offered that suggestion because of a God idea. I think this was probably one of the first times when she heard the voice of God and obeyed, setting the stage for a beautiful life of boldness for the Lord that we see in the rest of the book of Exodus.
When you feel a nudging from the Holy Spirit how do you react? Even if it’s scary or costly, are you willing to step out and try? It’s my hope and prayer that we would respond accordingly to the nudging of the Holy Spirit, stepping out courageously in faith when he prompts us!
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