“Then Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women went out after her with tambourines and dancing. And Miriam sang to them: ‘Sing to the LORD, for He has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider He has thrown into the sea.’ ” Exodus 15:20-21
How beautiful is this picture of worship! Miriam worshiped the Lord and led others to do the same. Hearts united in praise! How pleasing this must have been to the Lord. How it must have thrilled His heart to hear His praises sung.
Don’t you just wish Miriam’s story could end right here? Don’t you wish we didn’t read these words recorded for all generations: “Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman. And they said, ‘Has the Lord indeed spoken only through Moses? Has He not spoken through us also?’ And the Lord heard it.” (Numbers 12:1-2) Definitely not words that blessed His heart. His anger was kindled against them.
What happened between the worship service and the time these words were spoken? All week long, the Word has been running over and over through my head as I’ve contemplated Miriam’s life. These words of Jesus offer us insight.
“But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.” (Matthew 15:18)
“For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness.” (Mark 7:21-22)
Something was going on in Miriam’s heart during these years. As I read these words, it’s not only Miriam’s heart, it’s mine. It’s the human heart. Jeremiah’s words ring loud and clear in this matter of the heart.
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” ( Jeremiah 17:9)
Is it no wonder that Solomon said,
“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” (Proverbs 4:23)
Miriam would have done well to guard her heart. We all would. God’s Word tells us “Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.” (1 Corinthians 10:12) There are no fingers to be pointed for sure. Only knees to be bent and hearts to be bowed.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts; And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
“Create in me a clean heart, O God !”
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