Miriam - The Sister
Scripture: Exodus 2:1-10, 15:19-21
Miriam’s greatest act of leadership came early in her life when she assumed responsibilities no young woman should be asked to do. Miriam kept a close eye on her baby brother Moses as he was sent downriver in a papyrus basket. Moses’s basket found its way into the arms of Pharoah’s daugher, and Miriam dared to approach and offer a suitable Hebrew nursemaid, who, unbeknownst to the Egyptians, was her mother.
She continued to lead people in worship, and remained by Moses’s side throughout the Exodus, wandering in the wilderness with the Hebrew people. She was far from perfect: in Numbers 12 she was tempted with envy and lies, believing that her position was not enough, and set her sights on Moses’s position. God corrected her quickly and restored her to her people.
Leadership lesson: Do not be so sure of your skill that you try to place yourself in a position God has given to someone else.
Deborah - The Judge
Scripture: Judges 4 & 5
Before Israel had kings they looked to judges to lead them. To be a judge you would need courage, but Deborah’s bravery must have begun at a young age, for she stepped into a position previously only held by men. It is difficult to dream of things you have never seen done, but she stepped up and sought freedom for her people from Sisera, a cruel Canaanite king. She knew that God was the one who went before them and went with her people into battle. Sisera was eventually brought to death with a tent peg that Jael plunged through his head, and Israel had peace for forty years.
Leadership lesson: Just because it hasn’t been done doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it.
Photo Credit: Foster Bible Pictures/Jocheved