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by Wayne Blank
We first read of Miriam in Exodus 2:3-10, when Moses' mother could hide the infant no longer after the Pharaoh had ordered that all of the male Hebrew newborns were to be slaughtered -
"But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of The Nile. His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him. Then Pharoah's daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the river bank. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her slave girl to get it. She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. "This is one of the Hebrew babies," she said. Then his sister asked Pharoah's daughter, "Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?" [Miriam had left her distant hiding place and ran right up to the princess - no one tried, or could, have stopped her] "Yes, go," she answered. And the girl went and got the baby's mother."
The incident illustrated two of Miriam's qualities that stayed with her through her adult life - boldness, and intelligence. While at the time being only about 10 or 12 years old, with her baby brother's life at stake, she managed not only to see the infant saved from the river and Pharaoh's death sentence, but to have him adopted by the princess of Egypt (the deliverer that the Pharaoh feared became his adopted grandson!) - all while being safely returned to his own mother! God was of course responsible for the saving of Moses' life, but He chose to do it by means of a little girl who wasn't afraid to go where she was needed, and who could think fast when she got there.
Years later, at the time of the Exodus, after the crossing of the sea (see Rock Of Ages) when Pharoah's Chariots were destroyed in the waters, Miriam had developed her leadership qualities as a prophetess and leader of songs -
"Then Miriam the prophetess, Aaron's sister, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women followed her,with tambourines and dancing. Miriam sang to them, "Sing to The Lord, for He is highly exalted. The horse and its rider, He has hurled into the sea." (Exodus 15:20-21)
Miriam died and was buried at Kadesh (see map in The Wilderness Journey) before the Israelites entered The Promised Land (see Division Of The Land). She (along with her brothers Moses and Aaron) did not cross The Jordan back then, but she will in due time. God does not forsake those who serve Him well.
Fact Finder: What did Moses do that caused Miriam and Aaron to publicly oppose him at one time?