Monday, October 7, 2013

T2W Fall Online Bible Study

Week Five –  No Other gods
Women of the Bible – Miriam
By Carri Pratt

Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more.” Psalm 16:4

Miriam knew that Moses was saved by God.  She was there when Moses was rescued by Pharaoh's daughter and when he parted the Red Sea by God’s mighty power.  She encouraged the women to sing to the Lord.

Miriam seemed like a very godly woman.  However, the reality is that no matter how godly one seems on the outside, it may look quite a bit different on the inside.  Many Christian women may love God, put their trust in Jesus, and then spend most of their time with their personal idols/gods.

Miriam grew proud, Miriam and Aaron criticized Moses because of the Cushite woman he married (for he had married a Cushite woman).  They said, “Does the Lord speak only through Moses? Does He not also speak through us?” Numbers 12:1-2

The pride spoken of here is not a simple, “I’m really proud of my children or my home” pride. This was more of a, “I am really awesome, there is no one as good as me” pride. And how does the Lord react when we consider ourselves better than others, looking upon ourselves as idols?

“Suddenly the Lord said to Moses, Aaron, and Miriam, “You three come out to the tent of meeting.” So the three of them went out."  Numbers 12:4

Now I don’t know about you, but I would have been pretty fearful to hear the Lord call me and my brothers out to the tent of meeting.  It was never a fun time when my own father called my sister, brother and myself down to the basement for a “talk”.

  "Then the Lord descended in a pillar of cloud, stood at the entrance to the tent, and summoned Aaron and Miriam. When the two of them came forward, He said:
“Listen to what I say:
If there is a prophet among you from the Lord,
I make Myself known to him in a vision;
I speak with him in a dream.
 Not so with My servant Moses;
he is faithful in all My household.
 I speak with him directly,
openly, and not in riddles;
he sees the form of the Lord.
So why were you not afraid to speak against My servant Moses?”  
The Lord’s anger burned against them, and He left.
 As the cloud moved away from the tent, Miriam’s skin suddenly became diseased, as white as snow.”  Numbers 12:5-10

This may seem really harsh, however, if you look closely, you see that God loves her so much that He knows she needs to be punished for her rebellion.  Human beings don’t seem to overcome our sinful nature very often unless there is pain involved.

“for the Lord disciplines the one He loves
and punishes every son He receives.”   

Hebrews 12:6

Miriam’s idol was pride.  Our idols may be many.  A few that come to mind are tv, phone, ipad, video games, etc.  God wants to be the central focus of our lives.  When we “run after other gods” (Psalm 16:4) our souls will feel empty and our sadness will increase.  Like the painting God reaching out to Adam by Michelangelo He reaches for us every day.

Challenge:  Spend some time with God.  Take a “Time Inventory”. Time is a precious commodity because it is limited.  In the same way we budget our money, we must budget and spend our time.  What are you spending your time on?  How much of your time is spent with God?  What is taking up “God’s Time” in your life?

Read Miriam’s Story at

Going Deeper…

God is very specific regarding the loyalty of His children.  He desires a relationship with all those who call Him Father God and promises to protect us as well as support us through the difficulties of life. 

Our power comes through God by spending time in His presence.  Therefore, when we choose “other gods” over the one true God it hurts us spiritually and hinders our growth.  We “suffer more and more” when we turn to other things to fill us up.

“Do not turn to idols or make cast images of gods for yourselves; I am Yahweh your God.” Leviticus 19:4

“You must not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God” Exodus 20:5 

So what are idols/other gods?
·         Food
·         Spending/Hoarding/Money
·         Luxury
·         Sports/Hobbies
·         Television
·         Phones / Apps
·         Video Games
·         Pride – Idolizing yourself
·         Fear/Worry/Jealousy/Gossip
·         Anything That Takes The Place Of God

Miriam’s Song:
“Then Miriam the prophetess, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women followed her with their tambourines and danced. Miriam sang to them:
Sing to the Lord,
for He is highly exalted;
He has thrown the horse
and its rider into the sea.”
Exodus 15:20-21

No comments: