I was still a child then but I can vividly remember the mix of emotions I felt. I was looking at my brother being set inside that baby basket to the Nile River many years ago. He looked so small, fragile, and helpless. I watched over him as the waters swayed him to a place I do not even know where.
I remembered palpable fear for his life because the Pharaoh commanded that all Hebrew sons be thrown to drown in the very river he was in.
I followed him all the way because I thought I had to protect him. Even though I felt scared, a ray of hope bloomed in my heart because I knew he’d be far from harm.
It felt good that I was able to guard over his safety until the Pharaoh’s daughter found him.
Many years after, I felt such pride when the same brother, Moses, who once looked so helpless, led us out of the cruel and foreign land that enslaved us.
With the help of God, he led us to triumph and through the parted sea. During that time, my heart danced with so much joy. I was an aging woman but I did not care for the world. With a tambourine in hand, I sang and danced in the new-found freedom my brother led us to.
As the eldest, I felt very proud of him and it made me want to protect him more.
If you feel the same love for your siblings, you probably understand. What I didn’t know at that time was that my love for my brother can turn into something wicked.
You see, my pride also comes from knowing that we were raised by godly parents. We belong to the tribe of the Levites – the priests who were the only ones allowed to offer sacrifices to God. My brothers Moses and Aaron were considered great leaders. Aaron was a high priest and Moses can talk to God face-to-face!
God trusted Moses much but he chose to marry a foreigner. What was in his mind, how could he marry a foreigner? It wasn’t acceptable for me!
My brother must be a fool for taking in an outsider. We were God’s chosen people. We can’t afford to have our blood shared with others. Besides, this intermarriage might divide our tribe just in case her wife chooses not to go with us.
This got me angry and scared. How could I protect my brother in this situation? My outburst caused me to speak badly against him. I even brought Aaron to talk behind our brother’s back.
But then, I should have known better.
God would not allow such dishonor to his chosen ones. He called us out on what we did.
He struck me with judgment through a disease He knew would literally bring me down from the pedestal of pride.
Have you ever felt so humiliated in your life that you just want the earth to open up and swallow you whole? Have you ever lost face in front of the people who once regarded you so highly?
Even thinking about it makes me cringe. Imagine being sent out from the place you called your home and while people looked at you with disgust because your skin looks like it’s about to fall off any moment.
A skin as white as snow with leprosy is not something you would want for yourself. I did not look attractive at all!
I looked as good as dead.
I might as well be dead, I thought.
Truly, the Lord has imposed His judgment on me for the way I have treated my beloved brother Moses.
But then, Moses prayed for me. He pleaded God to spare me my life. He must have felt so much pity for me.
I don’t even know if I deserved it. He was supposed to hate me. His humility made me feel ashamed. I did not know how to look straight in his eyes.
Even our people who were supposed to travel onward chose to stop to wait for my healing.
How could such people still love me despite my dishonor and disrespect?
How could a God who honors authority only give me a disciplinary action when He could’ve struck me to death for such an offense?
I hope that if you ever find yourself in the same situation, you will find yourself surrounded by those who are abounding with love and care for you.
Whatever wrong you may have done in the past, believe that forgiveness is available for you.
There is still a God who disciplines you but will also lift your head up. He will prove to you that He is a God of grace and second chances.
God as a father did not want me to die in shame. He gave me a chance to redeem myself.
He will also do the same for you if you just let Him. No grave mistake will make Him love you less.
Redeemed from shame,
Read more about Miriam –Exodus 2:4; Exodus 2:7-8; Exodus 15:20-21; Numbers 12:1-15; Numbers 20:1; Numbers 26:59; Deuteronomy 24:9; Micah 6:4