Women of Welcome
from You Version
The story of Moses’ infant rescue happens quickly in Exodus. Just a few verses after Miriam speaks up to Pharaoh’s daughter, Moses has grown up and witnesses the mistreatment of the Hebrew people, his people. Not long after, Moses leads the Israelite people out of Egypt with his brother Aaron and his sister Miriam leading by his side (Micah 6:4). In Exodus 15, they have just crossed the Red Sea and are singing praises to God. Hers is a brief hymn, but in it, we still witness an incredible testimony of God’s power.
One commentator describes Miriam’s song this way:
“The reason for praise of Yahweh, the incomparable one, is quite specific. Yahweh has overcome the seemingly invincible power of armed might that enforced aggression.”3
When we consider the rescues Miriam witnessed at Moses’ birth and as the people crossed the river on dry land, it’s not hard to imagine her passionate praise and deep belief that God can rescue those in need from those armed with power and violence.
Most of the time, we assume we’ll experience joy in a future moment, but can we rejoice in the midst of the pain and suffering in the world? Miriam’s song testifies to the discipline of celebration. Their journey was not over. More suffering was in the future for the Israelites. However, she had witnessed God’s power to overcome those who seemingly held all the advantage. It was crucial to praise God for supernatural rescue in the present and to mark the moment as a reminder during future hardships of what God can do.
³ Walter Brueggemann, The New Interpreter’s Bible, 1st ed. (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1994), 1:802.