Sharon Wilharm Bible Storyteller

Miriam and Moses

As a young girl Miriam watched out for her baby brother. When he led the Hebrews out of Egypt, she led the women in rejoicing and praising God. But being out in the wilderness got to Miriam. She went from praising to complaining.

Miriam and Aaron didn’t like that Moses married an Ethiopian woman. Miriam saw it as a spiritual weakness and deemed herself spiritually stronger. She pointed out that just as Moses was a prophet, so was she a prophetess. So why was Moses getting the preferential treatment?

Well, the problem with grumbling is that even if we keep our thoughts to ourselves, which Miriam obviously wasn’t doing, God hears our complaints. He sees our bad attitudes, and He doesn’t like it.

God called Miriam, Aaron, and Moses to the tabernacle of meeting and expressed in no uncertain terms that Moses was his special prophet and leader, and Miriam had no business speaking out against him.

God departed from the siblings, but in the process, left Miriam snow white with leprosy. As soon as Aaron saw Miriam’s leprous skin, he confessed their sin and pleaded with Moses to do something. Moses cried out to the Lord to heal her, which God did, but ordered her to be isolated outside of camp for seven days. At the end of her week of purification, the people continued on their journey.

In this story we see a woman who thought herself better than she was, and a man who was far from perfect but was so humble that God himself defended him when he was attacked. May we strive to be more like Moses and less like Miriam, focusing on our own failures rather than calling out the supposed failings of others.

Read about Miriam and Moses in Scripture: Numbers 12

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