There are two prominent meanings to the name Miriam. The first comes from the Hebrew root word 'mar' defined as bitterness. The other meaning comes from the root word 'meri' defined as rebellion.
As we read the account of Miriam throughout the bible, we see different stages of her life. In Exodus 2, we see her as a child being a loving & protective sister to her baby brother Moses, who was at risk of death. Later on, in Exodus 15, we see her in adulthood as a leader and woman of influence. By this time, her brother Moses had been chosen to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. During this part of the journey, God had given them victory in crossing the Red Sea.
As they celebrated, Miriam led the women in song, encouraging praise unto the Lord. Her leadership and influence is seen as she is identified as a prophetess, which is someone who served as God’s spokesperson and shared with the people, the message from God. This is significant for a woman as there are only 8 mentions of the term prophetess in the bible. God had blessed Miriam with a prominent call, yet it seems that she became jealous of her brother and desired to have more power.
In Numbers 12, Miriam conspired with her brother Aaron to speak against their brother Moses. They rebelled against his leadership, with the thought that Moses was not the only person God could use. They should be able to be used and lead in the same manner. God quickly set the record straight. Because of her rebellion, Miriam was punished with leprosy and experienced the exile that came along with the disease. She was healed of her disease, but after this scenario little is said of Miriam until her death.
The story of Miriam teaches us many things, but it shines a light on the pitfalls of pursuing power. Power and influence is given of the Lord, if it is in His will for you. We as women leaders should not rebel against authority with the spirits of jealousy, envy or greed. Let us remain confident in the call that God has placed on our lives and not seek to walk in someone else’s call. Be encouraged to walk fully in YOUR purpose.
Bible References: Exodus 2:1-10; 15:20-21;Numbers 12:1-15
Phylicia L. Henry is the creator of the Christian lifestyle brand, Seek God Slay Goals. Through her brand, she provides support and strategy to help the high achieving, millennial woman thrive in her faith, career & business. Connect with Phylicia in The Seek God Slay Goals Movement on Facebook: bit.ly/GodAndGoals
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