Who was Miriam? When I think of the book of Exodus, I definitely think of Moses. I had heard of Miriam, but I had to do a little investigating to figure out who Miriam wass and why she is our focus in our reading today.
Exodus 2:3 describes Miriam standing far off as she witnesses her mother putting her baby brother Moses in a basket and setting him in the river to save him from being killed by Pharoh. Miriam was able to orchestrate her mother then being able to nurse Moses after Pharaoh’s daughter found Moses in the basket.
The next time we meet Miriam is in our passage today, Exodus 15:1-21. The Hebrew people have crossed the Red Sea and the waters have crashed down upon the Egyptian soldiers that were pursuing them. The first 19 verses are a song from Moses praising God for saving them.
In verse 20 and 21 Miriam appears and leads the women in a dance while singing.
Then Miriam the prophet, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine and led all the women as they played their tambourines and danced. And Miriam sang this song: “Sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously; he has hurled both horse and rider into the sea.” Exodus 15:20 and 21
In this text, Miriam is called a prophet. She is called this because she led the women in worship of God during the celebration of Israel’s victory over the Egyptians.
Miriam’s life as a prophet and leader in Israel provided encouragement to the women of Israel. Miriam’s ministry as a prophet also challenges us today to understand that women have much to contribute to God’s work and that they have much to teach those who are willing to listen.
Miriam set an example for God’s people and was a woman of prominence.
Just as all the Israelites were slaves in Egypt, the Bible teaches us that we are all slaves to sin.
“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
Yet today we have a reason to sing! Jesus Christ has delivered us from sin by his death on the cross and his resurrection from the dead.
We too should praise God for his deliverance. If we confess Jesus as our Savior, then one day we will sing just as Miriam did in Exodus 15:21,
“Sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously!”
This is a reminder to praise God gloriously!
When is the last time you grabbed a tambourine and the people around you and started praising God for all He has done for you??