The challenge at sugarfrostedgoodness.com this week is “signs“.
I was looking for a story to illustrate “a sign from God“.
The story of Miriam was told to me by this guy, and it goes like this…
Miriam was the sister of Moses and Aaron. Her name means either “wished for child”, “bitter” or “rebellious”, but it might be derived originally from an Egyptian name, myr “beloved” or mr “love” or even Meryamun “beloved of Amun”.
Miriam was essentially the first racist. Moses’ wife, Tzipora, was a Cushite. In the Bible, a large region covering northern Sudan, southern Egypt, and parts of Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Somalia was known as Cush. It is possible (and probable) that people from this region had a darker skin color than the Israelites. She was also a Midianite. In the Bible, the Midianites are described as worshipping a multitude of gods, and therefore, not Jewish. Although no bad feelings or ill will was ever expressed previously towards the Cushites and Midianites, Miriam disapproved of Moses’ marriage and she didn’t make a secret of how she felt. God was angered by Miriam speaking Lashon hara (gossiping, or speaking negatively about someone), and she was struck with tzaraat, often mistranslated as leprosy, but manifesting as a whitening of the skin and covering the whole body with sores. After Aaron asked Moses to intercede for her, Moses uttered a five-word prayer: El nah refa nah-la “O Lord, make her well,” and she recovered within seven days.
The moral of this story is (and I quote Captain Wow): “Don’t be talking smack about God’s friends.”
(Just as a side note: Illustration Friday posed the word “signs” as a challenge in May 2007. Here is the illustration I did then. When I did the drawing above, I did not remember doing one for the word “signs” before. I think it’s funny that I went in a totally different direction with this one.)