Thursday, February 6, 2014

Miriam: Movement and the Exodus

Imagine being an enslaved nation for 400 years with the promise of a deliverer coming to take you to a promised land. Whenever people are oppressed or in bondage for long periods of time, they become complacent in the idea of being enslaved. Their mindset is to serve whatever master is driving them. Freedom, for them, can be hard to comprehend.

Miriam, a young prophetess held on to the promise of Moses being the deliverer of the Hebrews. Throughout all of the things she witnessed, including the plagues, she didn't give up on that promise. All it takes is one moment, one change in life events to be free. The final plague brought upon the Egyptians proved to be too much for the Pharaoh of that day. His son was dead and so were the first born sons of those who did not receive the instructions to put the blood of a lamb on their door posts. In one moment, the children of Israel where slaves, and in another moment they were free.

New found wealth came with their newly gained freedom. Each Israelite was instructed to ask to borrow anything of value from the Egyptians. Their freedom was in jeopardy as they faced the Red Sea in front of them and their enemy, the Egyptians behind them. But, God performed a miracle. He opened the Red Sea, allowed the Israelites to cross safely, and closed the sea on top of the Egyptian army, drowning every last one.

What a glorious victory and an emotional roller coaster. The children of Israel complained about facing the Red Sea, not knowing if God would save them.  He did save them. Now over 6 million Israelites have seen the salvation of the Lord. They are happy. They are ecstatic as they begin to erupt with praise to God Almighty.

I can imagine the type of dancing and singing that was taking place as they were prepared to make their journey into the wilderness. Imagine the roar from the young and the old as Moses leads the congregation in a song of praise. With their mighty voices they sing about the Lord being their salvation and their freedom from bondage. They praise Him for being a man of war, with all power in his right hand. That signifies the authority of God and the power that He possess to do all things, including destroying an entire army. Moses and the children of Israel began to declare they will make a special place for the Lord to dwell. In all of the declarations about their victory, in song they promise that God will have a place where He can be praised and worshiped.

Exodus 15:20-21 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 dances  21. And Miriram answered them, Sing ye to the LORD, for her hath triumphed gloriously, the horse and his rider he hath thrown into the sea.

Who was Miriam?

Miriam happens to be the first prophetess and dancer ever recorded in the Bible. The record of her dancing shows that there was some sort of praise dancing that happened before her. She had to have a reference from which to draw upon dance and movement. We see Miriam as a psalmist, a dancer, a prophetess, and someone that had musical skill. She had to be able to keep the timing and phrases of the song of Moses in order to join in and answer him with her prose.

Before we see Miriam as the dancer, we must see her as the little prophetess who instinctively knew exactly what to do to save Moses. Miriam was the sister of Moses and Aaron in the Bible. She was a prophetess because she received revelations from Yahweh (God) and because her brother Moses was a prophet. The traditional Hebraic look of a prophetess is if a woman was married to a prophet or another close male relative was a prophet. She was the eldest sister of Moses and Aaron. Born during the time when the Egyptians began to oppress the Hebrews. Her name in Hebrew means bitter, thus befitting of the bitter time of oppression.

Her prophetic gift and influence was used to deal with the women in the camp found in Michah, 6:4 and Numbers 12:2. She had a gift for teaching and instruction.

What can we learn from Miriam?

We must learn to yield ourselves to the moving of the Spirit. Without anyone telling her, Miriam gathered the women in the camp to join in the celebration happening during this time. She sensed the moving of the Holy Spirit to dance and sing. She understood the call to dance during this moment.

We must learn that praise dancers are influential. Anytime you are dancing before the congregation, those watching will assume that you are living a holy lifestyle. Your expression of praise is an example for many that may not know the Lord, children, and more seasoned saints. You never know who is watching. Most of all you should know that the Father is watching you. He is looking for people to worship Him in spirit and in truth John 4:24. 

©2014 Katina Davenport All Rights Reserved 

1 comment:

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