Women in the Bible
Miriam was the sister of Moses and Aaron, and the daughter of Amran and Jochebed. She is one of seven major prophetess' in the Bible.
Miriam, Moses' sister
The first time we meet Miriam in the Bible she is just a young child. Her mother had just given birth to her youngest brother, Moses, and during this time in history, a decree had been established that demanded all newborn Hebrew males must be killed.
It was during this era of her life that Miriam watched her parents strong faith as they hid the newborn Moses for months and then, when they could no longer keep his existence a secret, they came up with a plan to attempt to have the boy's life spared.
Miriam watched as her mother coated a papyrus basket with tar and pitch to waterproof it. Then, she bundled up her baby boy and placed him inside the basket and hid it in the reds along the bank of the Nile River. Miriam stayed to see what would happen to her baby brother (Exodus 2:1-4).
Not long after Moses was placed in the Nile River, the Pharaoh's daughter went to the river to bathe. It was then that she saw the basket and sent her slave girl to get it. When she opened the basket and saw baby Moses inside, she decided to keep him and raise him as her own.
Miriam still hadn't stopped watching, so when she saw what the Pharaoh's daughter did she ran over and offered to help find a Hebrew woman to nurse the baby for her. She ran to her mother to tell her the news, and Moses' very own mother was then compensated to nurse and care for him until he was weaned.
A Leader in the Bible
Even at a young age, Miriam was a leader. She knew when to follow, when to initiate, and later we learned she knew exactly when to pray. So, if ever you are looking for a female model of a leader, God shows you in Miriam one of His very special women of faith. As the Bible explains, “All the women went out after her.”
Assisting God's People to Freedom
Miriam faithfully followed and assisted her two brothers, Aaron and Moses, as they led God’s people to freedom. As a prophetess and a pray-er, Miriam was filled with the Holy Spirit, who inspired her words. Moved by God’s miraculous defeat of the Egyptian army in the midst of the Red Sea, Miriam “took the timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances.” (See Micah 6:4; Exodus 15:20.)
May God’s Spirit at work in you and the example of Miriam encourage and inspire you to love and serve the women in your church as you pray about leadership. And always remember, the young girls who surround you are always looking up to you. They will be our future leaders someday, so model leadership and teach them well.
Becoming a Christian Leader
If leading other women is one of the desires of your heart, or if leadership is something others are asking of you, consider a few principles drawn from J. Oswald Sanders’s classic book, Spiritual Leadership.
- A leader is a follower—The adage is true that to be a leader you must first be a follower. Leadership is a discipline, and it is in the process of being a faithful follower that you gain the discipline necessary for effective leadership.
- A leader is a pray-er—Prayer brings to leadership the power and energy of the Holy Spirit. Missionary and leader Hudson Taylor was convinced that “it is possible to move [others], through God, by prayer alone.”
- A leader is an initiator—It is only the authentic leader who is willing to take risks and move out courageously as “venturesomeness” is applied to vision. (Drawn from J. Oswald Sanders, , Chicago: Moody Press, 1967).
God, please transform my family by transforming me.Speak to me through Your Word, through Your Spirit, and through godly people. Make me the parent my family needs. Amen.
A Leader After God’s Own Heart looks at the biblical life of Nehemiah, who provides an outstanding example of leadership you can follow.
The best way you can help lead your family is to make sure you are growing spiritually. This growth will give you the wisdom and strength you need for leading your children.
Find role models to emulate, and be a role model to emulate. “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17 niv).