THE OLD TESTAMENT
We have learned that God’s Word shows He will minister through men, and through women as well. Let’s now look at some Old Testament examples of God speaking TO and THROUGH women.
MIRIAM: BOLD YOUNG LEADER
Miriam is first mentioned in the Bible in Exodus 2. The time is approximately 1526 B.C. and Pharoah has commanded that all newborn Israelite males are to be killed.
Moses, the baby brother of Miriam, is in danger. So their mother “took an ark of bulrushes for him…put the child in it; and laid it in the reeds by the river’s bank” (Exo 2:3).
The courageous young Miriam stayed nearby “…to know what would be done to him” (Exo 2:4).
When Miriam saw Pharaoh’s daughter rescue Moses, she boldly approached her. “Then his sister [Miriam] said to Pharaoh’s daughter, ‘Shall I go and call a nurse for you from the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for you?’” (Exo 2:7).
Miriam arranged for Moses’ own mother to nurse him. This brave girl showed her gifting as a leader even at this young age.
God will speak and work through any available vessel, young or old (1Tim 4:12; Titus 2:1-8). You can read about another young woman mightily used by God, the maid of Naaman, in 2 Kings Chapter 5.
MIRIAM – PROPHETESS AND WORSHIP LEADER
In Micah 6:4, Miriam is mentioned right along with Moses and Aaron. She was one of the three that led the Israelites out of Egyptian slavery and into deliverance. This shows us the very important role of authority and influence given to the woman, Miriam, by God.
Pharaoh’s army had been drowned in the waters of the Red Sea. The Israelites were safely in the desert. A great worship celebration then took place.
“Then Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took the timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances.
“And Miriam answered them, ‘Sing to the LORD, for He has triumphed gloriously! The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea!’” (Exo 15:20,21).
Miriam’s prophetic anointing and musical gift made her an effective praise-leader and prophetess. Like David some 500 years later, she sang the song of the Spirit with boldness.
A DIVINE ORDER OF PRAISE AND WORSHIP
Other Old Testament women were also used in music ministry and worship. In King David’s time, “For God gave Heman…and three daughters. All these were under the direction of their father for the music in the house of the LORD, with cymbals, stringed instruments, and harps, for the service of the house of God…” (1Chr 25:5,6).
David established a divine order of praise and worship for the people of God. This divine order extends down even to the New Testament Church.
Hence it is still right that women should participate in praise, worship and music ministry. They can also lead in worship, as did Miriam and the daughters of Heman.
It is true that Miriam also fell into a dangerous trap of pride. This can happen to any leader (man or woman) who attempts to take authority beyond that which God has given to them.
HAGAR: GOD HEARS HER CRY
In Genesis 21:9-21 we read about Hagar, Sarah’s maid. She had been cast out of Abraham’s family. She and her son were alone, desperate, and on the verge of death.