There’s an interesting story of Miriam, Moses’ sister, in Numbers chapter 12. As women who desire to be wise disciples of Christ, we would do well to learn from her poor example. I assume envy took hold of her and prompted her slander, making her a devilish diva.
Go ahead and read the chapter on your own, but I’ll give you the lowdown- Miriam and Aaron slandered Moses, she got leprosy, and was shut outside the camp for seven days. The entire group was forced to stay in Hazeroth as she suffered the chastisement from the Lord.
You might be thinking, “What’s the big deal? The children of Israel murmured and complained all the time, why was God so harsh with Miriam?”
Miriam was a prophetess, a leader, and an example among the women of Israel. She had the responsibility of sharing the word of the Lord and being a representative of God. She was required to reverence authority, exercise self-control, and use discretion with her tongue.
The spiritually mature women in the New Testament church have this requirement as well:
~Titus 2:3~ The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
~1Timothy 3:11~ Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.
“Accuser” comes from the Greek word “diabolos” meaning Satan or traducer. This word is also used as “slanderer” and “devil” in the New Testament. Slanderers seek self-elevation and start division. A false accuser is a pawn of Satan who is being used to sow discord within the body by spreading lies. They malign the character of others as Miriam did to Moses.
This would be like the women’s ministry leader spouting off criticism and assuming the motives of the pastor, or his wife. Maybe they don’t come right out and lie about something, but insinuate wrongdoing based on their own evaluating of their life. I’m sure you’ve heard lies about those in leadership at one time or another.
Maybe you’ve been the one to speak slander. If that’s you, please repent! That behavior is toxic to the health of the body!
Think about your daughters and disciples. What bad habits are they picking up from you? Do they hear you tearing down your husband, other women, or the leadership in your church? Or do they see you building up and edifying others?
~Proverbs 14:1~ Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.
We all need to guard our hearts, submit to the Lord’s standard of holiness, and speak the truth in love. Ladies, your whole ministry could be jeopardized by being a slanderer, Not only did she hinder the forward progress of her people, but nothing else was written about Miriam’s life until she died, and that was just that she died & was buried. You want your legacy to be different than hers, so be intentional to watch your tongue.
An interesting fact about Miriam, her name means rebellion. We see her live up to that name in Numbers 12. Rebellion to authority is rooted in the heart of a slanderer. Along with envy, bitterness, pride, and discontentment, their mouths reveal their heart condition and personal immaturity.
~Philippians 2:3~ Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory, but in lowliness of mind, let each esteem other better than themselves.
Miriam and Aaron were making their own personal assumption and judgment against Moses. Leading into this incident the people had experienced some of God’s wrath coming down for their complaining and lusting, so it was a really carnal atmosphere and these guys just play right into Satan’s hand.
We can learn a few biblical truths illustrated by this devilish diva:
Proverbs 11:2 – with pride cometh shame
James 3:5-10 – the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity
Matthew 7:1-5 – judge not, that ye be not judged
Romans 12:3 – not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think
Luke 12:47-48 – to whom much is given, much is required
Let’s choose to be an example of honesty and honoring others, speaking praise and peace.
Don’t be a devilish diva like Miriam. Be intentional to live out Proverbs 31:26~ She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
~Proverbs 10:18~ He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool.
Slander is a sign of a foolish woman. Who wants to wear that label? You may already have it on! But that’s a post for another day, so be on the lookout for “I’m a Fool!”, coming soon!
Here’s a tip for you younger women out there, looking for an older woman to mentor you: Flee false accusers and follow truth tellers! You are looking for a mature and wise woman to follow, not someone who doesn’t apply biblical principles.
~Ephesians 4:29~ Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
Learn it and live it ladies!