Lesson 8 | Sabbath, 22 August 2020
Maria or Miriam means “strong, robust, and rebellious.”
“For I brought thee up out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed thee out of the house of servants; and I sent before thee Moses, Aaron, and Miriam.” Micah 6:4.
“Miriam had led the women of Israel in song and dance on the shore of the Red Sea. In the affections of the people and the honor of Heaven she stood second only to Moses and Aaron.” –Daughters of God, p. 33.
- Who was Miriam? What gift of the Spirit did she receive?
Numbers 26:59 And the name of Amram’s wife was Jochebed, the daughter of Levi, whom her mother bare to Levi in Egypt: and she bore unto Amram Aaron and Moses, and Miriam their sister.
Exodus 15:20 And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances.
“Aaron and Miriam had occupied a position of high honor and leadership in Israel. Both were endowed with the prophetic gift, and both had been divinely associated with Moses in the deliverance of the Hebrews. ‘I sent before thee Moses, Aaron, and Miriam’ (Micah 6:4) are the words of the Lord by the prophet Micah….
“Miriam watched over Moses as their mother hid him in the bulrushes. Later she was associated with Moses and Aaron in the deliverance of God’s people from Egypt. She was talented and gifted in many ways, but jealousy of her position with Moses led her to make serious mistakes.” –Daughters of God, p. 32.
- Who bore the name Mary in the New Testament? Like her, what are God’s people called to do in the last days?
Luke 1:27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.
Matthew 1:16; 27:56, 61 And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ…. 27:56Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee’s children….
61And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, sitting over against the sepulchre.
Revelation 10:11 And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.
“The third angel’s message, the great testing truth for this time, is to be taught in all our institutions. God designs that through them this special warning shall be given, and bright beams of light shall shine to the world. Time is short. The perils of the last days are upon us, and we should watch and pray, and study and heed the lessons that are given us in the books of Daniel and the Revelation.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 128.
“Ministers should present the sure word of prophecy as the foundation of the faith of Seventh-day Adventists. The prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation should be carefully studied, and in connection with them the words, ‘Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.’” –Evangelism, p. 196.
Poet and singer
- As a child, what virtues were noted in Jochebed’s firstborn child? How should God’s children today imitate Miriam?
Exodus 2:3, 4, 7, 8 And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river’s brink. 4And his sister stood afar off, to wit what would be done to him…. 7Then said his sister to Pharaoh’s daughter, Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee? 8And Pharaoh’s daughter said unto her, Go. And the maid went and called the child’s mother.
Matthew 10:18 And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.
“Miriam’s force of character had been early displayed when as a child she watched beside the Nile the little basket in which was hidden the infant Moses. Her self-control and tact God had made instrumental in preserving the deliverer of His people.” –Daughters of God, p. 33.
- What were the words of the song that Miriam composed near the Red Sea? What other gift of the spirit did she possess that God’s people need to imitate?
Exodus 15:21 And Miriam answered them, Sing ye to the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.
Ephesians 5:19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.
James 5:13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.
The danger of murmuring
- What sin of his sister Miriam did Moses refer to that serves as a warning for the church today? What did she suffer because of her impious behavior?
Deuteronomy 24:9 Remember what the Lord thy God did unto Miriam by the way, after that ye were come forth out of Egypt.
Numbers 12:1, 2, 10 And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman. 2And they said, Hath the Lord indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the Lord heard it…. 10And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous.
“God had chosen Moses, and had put His Spirit upon him; and Miriam and Aaron, by their murmurings, were guilty of disloyalty, not only to their appointed leader, but to God Himself. The seditious whisperers were summoned to the tabernacle, and brought face to face with Moses. ‘And Jehovah came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam.’” –Daughters of God, p. 33.
“Yielding to the spirit of dissatisfaction, Miriam found cause of complaint in events that God had especially overruled. The marriage of Moses had been displeasing to her. That he should choose a woman of another nation, instead of taking a wife from among the Hebrews, was an offense to her family and national pride. Zipporah was treated with ill-disguised contempt. Though called a ‘Cushite woman’ (Numbers 12:1, Revised Version), the wife of Moses was a Midianite, and thus a descendant of Abraham. In personal appearance she differed from the Hebrews in being of a somewhat darker complexion. Though not an Israelite, Zipporah was a worshiper of the true God. She was of a timid, retiring disposition, gentle and affectionate, and greatly distressed at the sight of suffering….
“The cloud disappeared from the tabernacle in token of God’s displeasure, and Miriam was smitten. She ‘became leprous, white as snow.’ Aaron was spared, but he was severely rebuked in Miriam’s punishment. Now, their pride humbled in the dust, Aaron confessed their sin, and entreated that his sister might not be left to perish by that loathsome and deadly scourge. In answer to the prayers of Moses the leprosy was cleansed. Miriam was, however, shut out of the camp for seven days. Not until she was banished from the encampment did the symbol of God’s favor again rest upon the tabernacle. In respect for her high position, and in grief at the blow that had fallen upon her, the whole company abode in Hazeroth, awaiting her return.” –Daughters of God, pp. 34, 33.
- What object was placed in the ark of the covenant as a token against murmuring and rebellion? What admonition and counsel does Paul give as we consider Miriam’s actions?
Numbers 17:10 And the Lord said unto Moses, Bring Aaron’s rod again before the testimony, to be kept for a token against the rebels; and thou shalt quite take away their murmurings from me, that they die not.
1 Corinthians 10:10-12 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. 11Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. 12Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
Do not the same evils still exist that lay at the foundation of Korah’s ruin? Pride and ambition are widespread; and when these are cherished, they open the door to envy, and a striving for supremacy; the soul is alienated from God, and unconsciously drawn into the ranks of Satan. Like Korah and his companions, many, even of the professed followers of Christ, are thinking, planning, and working so eagerly for self-exaltation that in order to gain the sympathy and support of the people they are ready to pervert the truth, falsifying and misrepresenting the Lord’s servants, and even charging them with the base and selfish motives that inspire their own hearts. By persistently reiterating falsehood, and that against all evidence, they at last come to believe it to be truth. While endeavoring to destroy the confidence of the people in the men of God’s appointment, they really believe that they are engaged in a good work, verily doing God service.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 403.
- Being aware of the great conflict against the beast and its image, what will the behavior be of the faithful and chosen? Who will the redeemed praise for endless ages?
Revelation 15:2-4; 19:6, 7 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. 3And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. 4Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest…. 19:6And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. 7Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.
“The cross of Christ will be the science and the song of the redeemed through all eternity. In Christ glorified they will behold Christ crucified…. As the nations of the saved look upon their Redeemer and behold the eternal glory of the Father shining in His countenance; as they behold His throne, which is from everlasting to everlasting, and know that His kingdom is to have no end, they break forth in rapturous song: ‘Worthy, worthy is the Lamb that was slain, and hath redeemed us to God by His own most precious blood!’” –Reflecting Christ, p. 374.
“We must come nearer to the cross of Christ. Penitence at the foot of the cross is the first lesson of peace we have to learn. The love of Jesus, who can comprehend it? Infinitely more tender and self-denying than a mother’s love! If we would know the value of a human soul, we must look in living faith upon the cross, and thus begin the study which shall be the science and the song of the redeemed through all eternity. The value of our time and our talents can be estimated only by the greatness of the ransom paid for our redemption.” –Reflecting Christ, p. 100.