Who was Miriam?
Miriam was the daughter of Jochebed and sister of Moses and Aaron. She was a prophetess and played the timbrel.
What did she do?
Miriam watched Pharaoh's daughter take Moses from the river and she offered to find a Hebrew nurse (her mother). She watched over her brother and made sure he ended up in great care (Exodus 2).
Later on, she led the Israelite women in worship as they crossed the Red Sea and praised the Lord for hurling the Egyptians into the water (Ex.15). However, she and her brother, Aaron, became jealous of Moses (Numbers 12). The Lord became angry at them because they spoke against Moses and he cursed Miriam with leprosy.
Why her story matters
Miriam protected her baby brother instead of letting the Egyptians kill him. If it weren't for her actions, her mother wouldn't have seen Moses grow up. Reading her story helps us understand love for other family members because she sets a great example as a sister.
Miriam recognized that God delivered her people from their enemies, acknowledged his sovereignty, and gave him the glory he deserved. She used the gift of leadership God gave her and helped the Israelites understand that God protected them from their enemies. Miriam was one of the few women leaders in the Bible and was the first prophetess.
However, Miriam became jealous of her brother because the Lord also spoke to her, yet she felt that Moses received more favor. Jealousy can overtake a person and cause them to disobey the Lord's commandments. The Lord's reaction to her actions demonstrates the consequences of jealousy and how the Lord blesses those who are faithful and kind.