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Monthly Archives: April 2015


What should I do now?

This month I have been working on my spiritual life. What have I accomplished during the month of April?

 

Affirmation Goal Completion This Month

January-“I am organized and productive” I have been reading the book by Vic Johnson: 50 lessons I Learned From The World’s #1 Goal Achiever.I have read it twice and now plan to use it as my focus for next month’s blog posts.

February “I am energetic, fit, strong, and healthy” I have continued eating right, however, I have been exercising as I would like. I have however been drinking plenty of water and getting plenty of rest. I have continued to drop weight this month, however, it is not reflected on the scale because I have recently started using a newer scale that weighs me eight pounds more.

March “I First seek to Understand, then seek to be understood” In the context of this affirmation, my roommate and I have decided that sharing this house is not something that we should continue doing. I like peace and quiet and her family is loud. I have been spending a lot of time by myself and that makes her family uncomfortable. No one has done anything wrong, its just that we have different lifestyles.

April’s Affirmation: “I am a Spiritual Being in a Physical Body.”

 

I have started Attending A Church On Wednesday Nights

I work twelve hour shifts on the weekends for what I call “cash flow”. Therefore, at present, I am unable to attend church on Sundays. However, I have started attending a church on Wednesday nights. We have been studying the book of Revelation. It amazes me how much I have retained over the years concerning this subject and I have put in a lot of valuable information toward the overall conversation. The members of the congregation who have attended this Bible Study have been very receptive to my input.

This Month’s Online Bible Study about Bible Women

This month’s online Bible study that I have done, both here and on Bubblews, has been received very well by others. I really enjoyed the work that I put into this study. I see a parallel with gardening articles that I put out last year..Those articles lead to last year’s publication Simply Vegetable Gardening.  I find that I am able to help others concerning understanding the Bible. Since my books have a Christian orientation, I think that I need to put myself out there as a Christian speaker either for regular church services or for women’s ministry.

Book Publishing Goals

Earlier this month I gave away a number of my first book When God Turned His Head. on Kindle. I was rather disappointed with the results of the give-away. Thankfully, a couple of writer friends told me that the book still needs work so it is probably good that the book did not do as well as I had hoped. So I am going back and working on that book some more. If it weren’t for the fact that that book is the doorway to the rest of the books in the series, I might just let it stay as it is. However, that is not an option at this point. The book except for certain things has been well received by those who have read it. There are still a few things that I need to fix. It’s worth making the book better.

In addition, I have been talking with someone who tells me that the series can look a little more professional. Some of the suggestions are that I should get a professional photo taken of me as the author and that the novel series needs a more cohesive feel regarding its cover design. This coming month, I intend to make a priority of getting this work done.

I am still on target for getting three books published this year. A Coward’s Solace is ready for publication. I just need to get it out there. The other two Sailing Under The Black Flag and In the Shadow of the Mill Pond are still little more than rough drafts. I intend to change that in May and June.

2014-04-07 07.07.08

 

 

Donna Brown is an ordained minister. As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues. Her upcoming book A Coward’s Solace will be available soon. Click here for more information about Cygnet Brown and her books.

 


First, I would like to wish  my daughter Boni a happy birthday.  Today she is fourteen years old!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BONI!

 

 

the virtuous woman

Who was the Virtuous Woman?

Have you ever read proverbs? In Proverbs 31:10-31,it describes a woman who hast has made every woman feel guilty since the book was written. This woman is affectionately known as the” virtuous woman”.

This woman is remarkable. The writer says that she worth more than rubies.

  • Her husband trusts her and she is good to him every day. (v. 13)
  • She spins wool and flax and works with her hands.
  • She goes to the market and buys food from all over the world (v. 14)
  • She gets up before daylight and gives her family and her servants breakfast (v. 15)
  • She buys land, and plants a vineyard  ( v. 16)
  • She is strong  in spirit and in body (v. 17)
  • She carefully chooses what she feels her family needs to buy and she is honest in her dealings . (v. 18)
  • Her candle does not go out (v. 18) some people takes this to mean that she never sleeps)
  • She holds the spindle and her hands hold the distaff (19)
  • She helps the poor (v. 20)
  • She clothes her family with proper clothing, so she’s not afraid that they will be cold. She clothes them with scarlet  (v. 21)
  • She makes herself coverings of tapestry
  • She personally is clothed in silk and purple. In other words she is clothed like a queen and manages her home with dignity (v. 22)
  • Her husband is an elder of the land (v. 23)
  • She makes and sells fine linen and makes girdles to sell (v. 24)
  • Strength and honor are her clothing and she always has a positive encouraging attitude (v 25)
  • She is always kind when she gives good advice (v. 26)
  • She is a good manager of her home
  • She is always doing something (v. 27)
  • Her children know that she is a blessing to them (v. 28)
  • Her husband can’t say enough good things about her (v. 28)

The last few verses (verses: 29, 30, 31) sums up the character of this woman. “Favor is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord (in other words, puts God as the center of her life) shall be praised. Give her the Fruit of her hands, and let her own words praise her in the gates.”

She Makes Us Feel Guilty

This woman makes us feel guilty because most of us are not able to do all the wonderful things that this woman does. This woman is perfect. She is always busy. She gets up early and stays up late to make certain that everything is done. She handles money matters well.She is generous with her money and time. She keeps strong in all ways. She has wisdom and shares her knowledge without being critical. She works all the time, never seems to take time off. Her husband loves her because she is so perfect, and her children actually know that she is a blessing to them.

Many of the descriptions of the chapter are not meant to be literal. and, I really don’t think that she was one single woman. I think she was a snapshot of collection the virtues that good women portray.

The Key To Being Like This Woman

The key verses are those last three verses. This woman keeps God as the center of her life. In other parts of the proverbs it tells about other types of women, ones who tempt men away from God and from their wives. The virtuous woman, on the other hand, does not rely on her beauty nor does she rely on the fact that she is favored. She focuses on what is important in life. She draws her children and her husband toward Godliness and she is rewarded for her diligence. Therefore, if I make God the center of my life, if I study the word, and ask God to show me how to live my life, my life will reflect Christ. I will be more like this woman as I become more Christ-centered.

 

2014-04-07 07.07.08

Donna Brown, an ordained minister, is  Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues. Her upcoming book A Coward’s Solace will be available soon. Click here for more information about Cygnet Brown and her books.

 

 

 

 


The Opposition

 

Much debate has come about during the past several centuries about whether women can be in the position of pastor, prophet, teacher, or apostle in the Christian Church. Most of the doctrine that limits women in ministry are the teachings of Paul in I Corinthians 14:33-35. These verses say that women are to keep silent in the church. The support this stance using other verses including one from the Old Testament Genesis 3:16 which states that because of the curse, women were subject to painful labor and that they would have to be subject to their husbands. Other verses that support this belief are also found in the Pauline epistle  I Corinthians 11:5, 11:13: 14:22; 14:35, Ephesians 5:22, and  First Timothy 2:11 and 12. In addition, they use I Peter to support their claim.

The Rebuttal

paula-white

Are Women Called Into the Ministry? Today’s Number One Female Preacher, Paula White.

 

The verse in Genesis 3:16 speaks of women who are under the curse. I could argue that we are no longer under the curse through salvation through Christ. When taken in context of the locations where Paul told women to keep silent in the churches,  therefore was for women in Corinth and Ephesus. When you understand that goddess worship was prevalent in both of these cities, it easy to understand why this order of women being silent in the church was specific instructions to the women in these cities.

Corinth was filled with influence of cults of the gods of Egypt, Rome and Greece. There, the temple of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, stood atop the Acrocorinth. This temple, though in ruins by Paul’s time, but the influence was still present through local prostitution. The city catered to sailors and traveling salesmen and earned the unsavory reputation in its immoral activity. The name “Corinth” was at the time, in fact, synonymous with immorality.

Likewise, Ephesus was famous for its Temple of Artemis. Artemis of Ephesus is represented as a woman with many breasts.These breasts symbolized the vitality and the nourishing capacity of the earth.She is the goddess of nature, of productivity,,and the protector of wild animals and sailors.Her cult spread to the Mediterranean shores as even as far as Marseille and Spain. Visitors were provided with all sorts of entertainment and paid handsomely for statues of the goddess. Since Timothy was the pastor at Ephesus, the advise Paul gave him was also related goddess temple worship where many of the women who attended had left roles as temple prostitutes.

Women in Paul’s day were uneducated and were only able to obtain understanding of the teachings of Christ through their husbands. In Christian gatherings, women were told to submit to their husbands and learn about Jesus from them rather than trying to ask during a meeting. In addition, what understanding these women had of spiritual things came from worship of idols in the Greek goddess temples.

Examples of Biblical Christian Women Leaders

In Colossians 4:15, Paul identified a woman who had a church in her home. In the New International Version of this verse, it says,”Give my greetings to the brothers and sisters at Laodicea and to Nympha and to the church in her house. Because there is no mention of her husband, there is little doubt that she was the pastor of that church. The King James version incorrectly translated the Greek  Nympha (female) to Nymphos (male) because they thought that it could not be possible that Nympha was the right translation of that name.

Another example where a woman is identified as a leader over a church is in 2 John where the entire book implies a pastoral woman’s leadership. In verse ten, in the King James Version translation reads the “elect” lady. whereas other translations use the term “chosen lady”.  Verses 9-10 (NIV) reads, “Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take him into your house or welcome him.” Verse 10 in the New Living Translation reads a little differently. It says, “if someone comes to your meeting and does not teach the truth…” The operative word here is “meeting.” All would agree that during the times of the early church many church meetings were held in houses. and  this chosen lady held a church in her home and directly was told not to allow anyone in the meeting to teach opposite Christ’s teachings. She was therefore in charge, making her, by any practical definition, pastor of the church.

Still another woman who was in leadership in the church was Phoebe mentioned in Romans 16:1-2. .Phoebe was a deacon (deaconess) in the church in Cenchrea. The Greek word translated deacon here is the same word that is translated deacon in I Timothy 3:8-12 (“diakonos”). Just because the role of deacon is stated as a role for men in the verses in I Timothy, does not mean that it excludes women from that office.(nor did it exclude single men like Timothy from pastorship).

We have the example of Romans 16:7 “Greet Andronicus and Juia, my fellow Jews who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was. Junia was a females name in which Paul identified as an apostle who was in prison with him.

Serving as pastor is listed in  I Corinthians 12:27-31 as a spiritual gift. In Romans 11:29, it says that  Gods gifts to us are without repentance. Therefore, why would God give a woman a gift in preaching or the ability to pastor if he did not want us to use that gift? Additionally, in Ephesians 4:7-13, the scripture says that Christ gave some to be pastors. This word “some” in the Greek is not gender specific meaning that it does not exclude women nor is the office of “pastor” diminished in regard to women.

Therefore, there is no definitive scriptural evidence forbidding women to pastor. Just as Timothy was subject to his mentor, Paul, every pastor, woman or man, should  be subject to a man in authority over them, not that women should not be allowed to serve as pastors that put them in authority over any man. If any woman believes that she is called to be a pastor, she may face opposition from others in the church, but she should not ignore her gift and calling.

2014-04-07 07.07.08

Donna Brown is an ordained minister. As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues. Her upcoming book A Coward’s Solace will be available soon. Click here for more information about Cygnet Brown and her books.

 

 


William_Hole__Jesus_Appears_To_Mary_Magdalene

William Holes photo “Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene”

Mary Magdalene was the second most famous Mary in the Bible, According to tradition she was a prostitute. In addition, she was the woman who was caught in the act of adultery that the Pharisees wanted to stone. In addition, she was the sinner woman who first anointed  Jesus feet with ointment from an alabaster box.

These Traditions Are Biblically Untrue

There is no evidence in the four gospels that Mary Magdalene was a prostitute.

She was not one of the women who anointed Jesus feet with precious oils. The account noted in Luke 7:36 says that the woman was from Nain, not Magdala. Mary was from Magdala, hence Magdalene. Nain was 21 miles from Capernaum in Galilee where as Magdala was ten miles south of Capernaum.

Nor was She the woman caught in the act of adultery in John 8:3-11 where  the Pharisees wanted  Jesus to consent to stone. This incident happened near Jerusalem, not in Mary’s home town of  Magdala. Jerusalem was in Judea in southern Israel. Magdala was in Galilee in Northern Israel. In addition, because John gave detailed information about  Mary’s encounter with Jesus, he knew her personally. If the woman caught in the act of adultery had been Mary Magdalene, I think that he would have called her by name, not just mentioned her as an anonymous woman.

There is no ancient evidence that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were ever married as claimed in the novel by Dan Brown.

The Real Mary Magdalene

  • She was delivered from seven demons.Luke 8:20, and Mark 16:9
  • She was among the women who followed Jesus Luke 8:20.
  • She was named as one of the women who stood at the foot of the cross during Jesus’ crucifixion. Mathew 27:55-56, Mark 15:40, Luke 8:20,John 19:25
  • She witnessed Jesus’ body put in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathaea. Matthew 27:61, Mark 15:47
  • She was at the tomb with other women on the day when angel told them that Jesus rose from the dead and the angel told them to tell the disciples that Jesus was alive. She was the first person to see Jesus alive. Matthew 28:1-7, Mark 28:1-11, Luke 24:1-11, John 20:1-18
  • She was probably in the upper room among the 120 at Pentecost. Acts 2.

Personal Take Away

I think it is interesting that women are included among the individuals in the upper room, but previously when Jesus fed the 5 thousand and then the 4 thousand, the only people who were counted were the men. It appears that the resurrection spiritually freed women from the curse placed on them when Eve sinned.

Mary Magdalene was a devote follower of Christ. Even after he died, she was willing to go the extra mile for him by helping care for his dead body.. Perhaps, I should make fewer excuses and learn to go the extra mile for my God and Creator.

2014-04-07 07.07.08

Cygnet Brown has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. Her upcoming book A Coward’s Solace will be available soon. Click here for more information about Cygnet Brown and her books.


Lazarus and Martha’s Sister, Mary

lazarus tomb in Bethany

The name “Mary either in its Hebrew form (Miriam)  or Greek form (Marie) was a common name throughout first century Judea, therefore the different Marys were described in the Bible in relation to where that person was from and in relation to those around her. Mary of Bethany was one of those people. One of the more interesting Marys of the Bible is a woman that I will refer to as Mary–Martha and Lazarus’ sister.

Where was Bethany?

Mary–Lazarus and Martha’s sister is also referred to as Mary of Bethany. Traditionally, Bethany has been identified with the present-day West Bank city of al-Eizariya which means “Place of Lazarus”, This site of the reputed Tomb of Lazarus is located about 1.5 miles east of Jerusalem on the south-eastern slope of the Mount of Olives  Just prior to the final passover in which Jesus was crucified, Jesus and his disciples stayed in Bethany.

Martha and Lazarus’s Sister

In Luke 10:38-42 we first meet Martha and Mary. Martha is  trying to serve Jesus by taking care of her home and serving Jesus meals. Mary, on the other hand, sat listening to Jesus, asking him questions. Martha chastens Mary, but Jesus chastens Martha for not recognizing that Mary has chosen a better way to spend her time.

We see Mary and Martha again later in John chapter 11. At the feast of Hanukkah, religious leaders tried to stone. Jesus escaped across the Jordan River to where John the Baptist baptized. While there, a message came from Martha and Mary saying that their brother Lazarus was very ill. Jesus stayed there an additional two days. It took him an additional two days to get to Bethany. Lazarus had been dead for four days.

When Jesus was about two miles from Bethany, Martha came to meet her, but Mary stayed behind at the house. Martha told him that if he had been there, she knew that Lazarus would have been healed. Jesus told her that if Lazarus believed in him (Jesus) he would live. Martha thought that Jesus was lking about the resurrection at the time of judgment. Jesus had something else in mind. He arrived at the house where Mary fell at his feet begging to know why he let her brother die.

As we all know, Jesus rose Lazarus from the dead.

hkfootanoint

An Epiphany that Is Often Missed

In John Chapter 12, we learn that after Lazarus’s resurrection from the dead, friends and family celebrated the event. However, there is an incident that is mentioned during the feast. Mary comes running into the room and pours spikenard at Jesus feet. She is crying, and dries his feet with her tears.. Spikenard was used for deep physical, emotional, and spiritual pain.  Spikenard is a very spiritual oil and had been used in Egypt and by priests and kings for an anointing oil and to induce meditation. The oil was often used to release us from the need to control and rebel against power and authority. It was a good oil for emotional healing. She knew that Jesus was going to die and she wanted to help ease his pain by anointing his feet in the spikenard.

This was more than a symbolic gesture on Mary’s part. She used the spikenard and was crying because she realized that Jesus was going to die and that he would be in excruciating physical, emotional, and spiritual pain.. She was offering  him relief from that pain. Even the act of putting the spikenard on his feet is significant. Spikenard and other essential oils are absorbed into the body through the skin and absorption is especially good when applied to the feet. A woman’s hair in that culture was her glory. Drying his feet with her hair was evidence of her humility.

My Personal Take Away

Just as Mary of Bethany sat at Jesus feet and listened to what he told her, we too should spend time from our busy lives to listen to what the Lord has to tell all the time. We are often too busy. Often we blame our current society, and that we don’t have the same amount of time that they had back then. However, we have the same twenty-four hours and we don’t have to work as many hours as they did back then, just to provide a roof over our heads and food on the table. We really have no reason except that we do not choose the important things.We need to recognize that he wants to speak to each of us.

Lazarus was not healed right away, but he was raised from the dead. In the end, we need to humble ourselves and serve him because he already has served us with far more than we deserve.This reminds us that we need to recognize that when things do not go as we expect, even though we don’t understand his rational, God has other, better plans.

Finally, I learned that Mary knew more than anyone else in the room concerning what Jesus would be facing in during the next few days. A woman named Mary though it was not his mother, was the first person to know that Jesus would also rise from the dead. This was probably the reason that she was not among the women at the tomb on the day of his resurrection.

 

.2014-04-07 07.07.08

Cygnet Brown has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. Her upcoming book A Coward’s Solace will be available soon. Click here for more information about Cygnet Brown and her books.

 


Mary mother of jesus passion of christ

Was not like the woman portrayed in The Passion of the Christ. In the passion of the Christ, she seemed to be all knowledgeable about Jesus’ mission as Savior. Although i will demonstrate in the coming posts that other women did seem to understand his mission better than the men around him, his mother did not comprehend exactly what Jesus had come here to do until after the resurrection.

She was a simple woman. unlike the men of her day, she was not educated in spiritual matters in the same way that young men were educated.  As a young girl, she was espoused to a Judean man named Joseph. I use the word Judean man because Joseph was not  originally from Nazereth as most traditional sources seem to indicate. If you look at this map of first century Israel, you will see that Bethlehem is in Judea whereas Nazareth is up in Galilee. Many skeptics voice doubts about the population count by Caesar Augustus and the fact that they had to go into Bethlehem to be counted. Yes, it was the home of his forefathers, but Joseph also lived near Bethlehem. He went into Bethlehem to be counted, and while they were there, Mary went into labor so they had to find lodging. (They may have lived close enough to Bethlehem that in normal situations they could have gone to Bethlehem and gone home the same day.) They could find no place to stay, so they stayed in a stable.

first century Israel

After Jesus was born, they went home. After they were home, the wise men came into the area and visited Herod and brought the gifts. Joseph had a dream in which he was told to flee into Egypt. After a time, he had another dream that told him he could return to Israel, but rather than return to his home in Judea, he took his family to Nazareth in Galilee so to protect Jesus from Herod who governed Judea.

Mary put all these things into her heart and pondered them. Many Biblical scholars believe that she would later tell Luke about this time in her life which is how her account in this came to the Bible.

Mary Had Other Children

God had instructed Joseph not to have sexual relations with Mary until after Jesus was born. After that she had several more children. Matthew 12:47-49, 13:55, Mark 3:31-34, Luke 8:19-21, John 2:12, 7:3, 5, and 10, is evidence of that fact. She four sons and at least two daughters. At the beginning of the book of James, James says that he was the brother of Christ. This is significant because Catholic tradition indicates that Mary remained a perpetual virgin, but Biblical evidence indicates that is not true.

At the Wedding at Cana, Mary asked Jesus to help with the wine shortage dilemma. Although she knew that he had miraculous abilities, he told her that it was not yet his time.

Mary and her sons later came to see Jesus and Jesus pointed out that his brothers and sisters in Christ were his family rather than his physical family whom these individuals represented.

 

She was at the Crucifixion

Mary watched as her eldest son was crucified. While at the cross, Jesus gave his responsibility of care of his mother, not to one of his natural brothers, but put her in the care of one of his closest spiritual brothers-John.

She was in the Upper Room at Pentecost

After Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, in Acts 1:14 Mary is included among the 120 who received the baptism of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. After she had pondered the facts of Jesus’ life, she became a part of  what is now known as the Christian community.

My Personal Take Away From This Character Study

Mary was an ordinary woman called by God to do an extraordinary task.. She was called to be the mother of Jesus. She did not understand the significance of her assignment until after Jesus had finished his mission on earth.

God uses ordinary people all the time to do extraordinary tasks. As long as I remain faithful to him, he will use me in extraordinary ways.

Traditionally, we learn one thing, but the Bible clearly tells us something different. Therefore, I need to take responsibility for my own understanding and do my own  Bible study.

2014-04-07 07.07.08

Cygnet Brown has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. Her upcoming book A Coward’s Solace will be available soon. Click here for more information about Cygnet Brown and her books.

 

 

 


The Many “Miriams” In the Bible

Pharaoh's Daughter Finds Moses Exodus 2:3-6The name Miriam comes from the Hebrew word Miryam meaning  rebelliously or bitterly. It is essentially  the same name that is translated in the New Testament as Mary. In the Old Testament the name is translated Miriam. The New Testament was originally written in Greek so the name was a Greek translation of Miriam– Marie in Greek. Therefore when the Bible was translated into English, the Old Testament was translated from the Hebrew as Miriam, whereas the New Testament was translated from the Greek Marie into the name Mary.

Two women are named Miriam in the Old Testament. The first is this Miriam who we see in Exodus 15:20 the second is from I Chronicles 4:17.

The  Marys of the New Testament are Mary, the Mother of Jesus, Mary Magdalene (Luke 8:2, 24:10,) Mary the Sister of Lazarus and Martha (Matthew 26:7, Luke 10:39-42 John 11, 12:3), Mother of James (John 19:25, Matthew 27:56, Mark 15:40), mother of John Mark (Acts 12:12) and a helper of Paul Romans 16:6).

The Dutiful Daughter

The first Miriam that we meet in the Bible is a young Hebrew slave in Egypt in the time of the Pharaohs. The Pharaoh decreed that all Hebrew baby boys be killed so Miriam’s mother in desperation fashioned a basket of reeds and hides her baby in the bulrushes and the baby’s sister  tends to her baby brother. Many of us know the story of Moses and Miriam’s contribution to the Hebrews of her time is shadowed by her famous brother. For many chapters, our heroine drops from the story.  However, it is important to note that without Miriam’s obedience to her mother, Moses would never have been able to rescue his people from their bondage to Egypt. (Exodus 2:1-10)

She Becomes a Prophetess

Miriams_Tanz

She was the third member of the deliverance family team along with her brothers Moses and Aaron. Moses was the leader, Aaron was the beginning of the priests’ lineage, and Miriam was the prophetess. After Pharaoh’s army drowned in the Red Sea (Exodus 15:20and 21) she lifted her timbrel and sang a victory song.

“Sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously;
Horse and rider he has thrown into the sea.”

Later, she spoke out against Moses’ marriage to a Cushite woman makingher guilty of gossiping, or speaking negatively about someone.

They said, ‘Was it only to Moses that God spoke? Did He not speak to us as well?

God calls all three of them to the tebernacle door and chastened Miriam and Aaron for demeaning Moses authority.  Miriam was struck with leprosy, but Aaron was not. Why was Aaron not afflicted? According to the Rabbis of the Talmud, Aaron did not receive the same punishment because if he were punished in the same manner, he would not have been able to perform as the high priest.  Miriam was forced to live separated outside the camp.

Aaron asked Moses to pray for her healing. She was disease free in seven days (Numbers 12:1-15).

In Micah 6:4, Miriam was considered equal to Moses and Aaron. Moses was the religious leader, whereas Aaron was head of the Priestly line. Miriam was the first of the prophets.

When the children of Israel were in the desert of Zin in the first month, the people lived in Kadesh where Miriam died and was buried there. After her death, After her death, the congregation realized that they were without water. They were starting to panic that they would die of thirst in that desert. Moses had been frustrated with the fact that despite the fact that God had shown the people over and over again that he would provide for them. Moses along with Aaron gathered the people together.  in his frustration, Moses spoke out against the people and struck the rock twice rather than speaking to the rock as the Lord had commanded. The resulting spring from the rock became known as the water of Meribah which means water of strife. As a result, they were unable to get passage to the Jordan through Edom, Aaron was demoted from behind high priest and his son was given the position. In addition, neither Moses nor Aaron would be able to see the promised land. Aaron died at Hor.

Jewish Customs

At the Passover Seder, the  “Cup of Miriam is often filled with water and placed beside the customary “Cup of Elijah” which is filled with wine. The cup containing water is in memory of Miriam’s well and according to legend went with the Israelites in their travels through the desert. Miriams well is traditionally believed to be at Mount Carmel.

 

Personal Take Away Related to This Character

Miriam did not realize that the chore she had in going to the river to feed her baby brother was part of a bigger plan of God.

I too must be faithful in the small things if I expect God’s rewards

She became a prophetess  one of the leadership positions in the early Hebrew religion. In that position, however, she fell into gossip and backbiting of the God ordained leader by criticizing his bride who came from a culture that was different from her own. Her disobedience separated her from those she loved as well as her position as someone who declared the wonderful things that God is doing.

As a Christian, I too must be careful what I say, especially about individuals in leadership positions, or I might experience hardship and separation from family and friends as well as a separation from my creator.

Immediately after Miriam’s death, Moses made a similar error by striking the rock twice instead of just speaking to the rock. In addition, he told the people what he thought of them rather than what God told him to say to them. As a result, neither Moses nor Aaron (who stood in agreement with him) would enter the promised land.

Strife is also a way of separating us from the promises that God has for us. If I want the promises of God, I must become more of a peace maker rather than being someone who gets upset about everyone else. I need to extend to them the grace that God has given me.

.2014-04-07 07.07.08

Cygnet Brown has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. Her upcoming book A Coward’s Solace will be available soon. Click here for more information about Cygnet Brown and her books.

 

 

 

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