Prepared to Praise (Exodus 15–Miriam)

MiriamAs you read the account of the parting of the Red Sea this week, I hope that you paused for a moment to think about the courage that it took all of those mothers to grab ahold of their babies and step foot into the riverbed with a wall of water right next to them. There is a reason that God showed them His power through the plagues before He asked them to do it, walking your children through something that is literally physically impossible takes a tremendous amount of faith.

On the other side of the Red Sea, we caught up with Moses and Aaron’s sister Miriam. The last time we saw her she was a young, resourceful girl who saved her brother’s life and brought him back into their home for a short time before Moses would go to live in Pharaoh’s palace. Now she is all grown up and leading the Hebrew women in praise to God for their deliverance from Egypt.
Exodus 15:20-21 says, “Then Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took the timbrel in 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!’”

Do you know what I find most interesting about this particular verse? These women were prepared to sing praises before they ever crossed the Red Sea. They had brought their timbrels! I don’t know about you, but if I was frantically packing my family to leave home and couldn’t take any more than what we could carry (and this included all of the plunder that we had received from the Egyptians) I’m not sure if my timbrel would have made the cut. These women packed their musical instruments and their dancing shoes.

Charles Stanley wrote, “If true praise is the overflow of the human heart, why is it that we do not praise God more often? Perhaps it is because we are unprepared.”

Being prepared to praise before you see the results of God’s answers to our prayers is a powerful thing. We see this principle in Acts 16 when Paul and Silas, who had been beaten with rods and thrown into prison were singing praises and praying loud enough that the other prisoners were listening to them.

We see it also in Joshua 6 when God instructed Joshua to have his people walk around the city of Jericho for a week not making a sound except for the priests who were “continually” blowing their trumpets in praise to God (Joshua 6:13) preparing for victory over the city while its walls loomed above them.

Once everyone was safely across the Red Sea and praise to God became obviously appropriate, we see that Miriam was willing to lead it. Those timbrels would have stayed packed if someone had not gotten hers out and started dancing. Leading praise and worship is a spiritual assignment and is not exclusively the responsibility of the worship leader at your church. Sometimes that person will be you! God may answer a prayer in your Bible study, He may heal someone in your small group, He may draw a lost family member to salvation. These are things worthy of praise! Don’t be afraid to be the first one to lift your voice in praise in your group. Like Miriam, you may find a line of people praising and worshiping the Lord right along with you.

(For those who have missed any of the previous lessons, you can go to and view all previous postings.)

Week Twelve

Day 1: Exodus 13:1-22 (Hebrew Women)
Day 2: Exodus 14:1-31 (Hebrew Women)
Day 3: Exodus 15:1-27 (Miriam)
Day 4: Exodus 16:1-36 (Hebrew Women)
Day 5: Exodus 18:1-26 (Zipporah)