The Demonic Spirit of Miriam – the Usurper

Aaron, Miriam and Moses

We know that it is certainly not only Jezebel and Leviathan that infect churches. There are innumerable evil spirits that can infect not only churches but businesses, people, families, cities and regions. We must always keep our spiritual ears open to hear what Holy Spirit says about the name and characteristics of an evil spirit that needs to be bound in whatever situation we are dealing with. Always follow Holy Spirit and never lean on your own understanding (Prov 3:5-6).

The evil spirit of Miriam was evident in a church recently and I believe it infects many churches.

Now Miriam was a prophetess, worshipped God, watched over her younger brother, Moses, and when he was older helped him and their brother Aaron lead all the Israelites out of Egypt. Having been born at the time when the bitter enslavement in Egypt began, her parents named her “Miriam” from the Hebrew word meaning “bitterness.” She later seemed to live up to her name.

You know the story: when Pharaoh made a decree that all the Jewish baby boys had to be killed, Moses’ mother put him in a papyrus basket in the reeds on the banks of the Nile to save his life. It is believed that it was Miriam who watched the reed container to make sure her brother lived. And when the daughter of Pharaoh discovered the baby, Miriam told the princess that her mother could nurse him until he was weaned, thus saving the life of the deliverer of Israel (Exodus 2).

Later, after Pharaoh’s army was drowned in the sea, it was Miriam who led the women in prophetic song and dance of praise unto God who had saved and delivered them out of Egypt. “Then Miriam the prophet, Aaron’s sister, took a timbrel in her hand, and all the women followed her, with timbrels and dancing. Miriam sang to them: “Sing to the LORD, for he is highly exalted. Both horse and driver he has hurled into the sea,” it says in Exodus 15:20-21.

So, what changed in Miriam? It is believed that there was a turning point in her life when her younger brother, Moses, married a Cushite as the Bible says: “Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife, for he had married a Cushite.”

And in the very next verse: “‘Has the LORD spoken only through Moses?’ they asked. ‘Hasn’t he also spoken through us?’ And the LORD heard this. (Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.) At once the LORD said to Moses, Aaron and Miriam, ‘Come out to the tent of meeting, all three of you.’ So the three of them went out. Then the LORD came down in a pillar of cloud; he stood at the entrance to the tent and summoned Aaron and Miriam. When the two of them stepped forward, he said, ‘Listen to my words: When there is a prophet among you, I, the LORD, reveal myself to them in visions, I speak to them in dreams. But this is not true of my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house. With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?’ The anger of the LORD burned against them, and he left them. When the cloud lifted from above the tent, Miriam’s skin was leprous —it became as white as snow. Aaron turned toward her and saw that she had a defiling skin disease, and he said to Moses, ‘Please, my lord, I ask you not to hold against us the sin we have so foolishly committed. Do not let her be like a stillborn infant coming from its mother’s womb with its flesh half eaten away.’ So Moses cried out to the LORD, ‘Please, God, heal her!’ The LORD replied to Moses, ‘If her father had spit in her face, would she not have been in disgrace for seven days? Confine her outside the camp for seven days; after that she can be brought back.’ So Miriam was confined outside the camp for seven days, and the people did not move on till she was brought back” (Num 12:1-15).

Whether it was Moses’ wife’s race or skin tone since she was an Ethiopian (Cushite) that made Miriam jealous and angry we do not know. But in any case, she was jealous of this newcomer. She began to gossip against her brother who was God’s chosen leader of the Israelites as soon as the wife came into the picture. For her sin, Miriam was struck with leprosy.

Later, when Moses went up to Mt Sinai in Exodus 32, Aaron, her other brother, allowed the Israelites to make a golden calf to worship. There is no mention of Miriam here, but could it be that Miriam did not protest as they both gossiped and usurped Moses’ authority again? This spirit characteristically does not learn from its mistakes.

Suffice it to say that the demonic spirit of Miriam is a usurper of God’s leader or leaders. It challenges God’s authority in leaders. This spirit is jealous of newcomers, especially new leaders. The spirit of Miriam says something like: “I was here first. Who does he/she think she/he is?”

This spirit demonstrates gossip and talebearing which creates doubt in others about the integrity of leaders; therefore it is a type of anti-christ or anti-anointing spirit. It is a spirit that can inhabit or oppress males or females. It is one of disunity and only pretends loyalty. Also it is a lying spirit (but does not think it is lying) and can be characteristically suspicious and cynical.

Miriam was enveloped by pride – possibly as the oldest of the three siblings – but she was not God’s chosen to lead Israel. This spirit tends to “know-it-all” as she said: “Has the Lord spoken only through Moses? Hasn’t he also spoken through us?” recorded in the Bible. It believes that it has more experience and knowledge than the leader, even though she/he is not God’s chosen and does not possess the experience or knowledge needed. It is clear to the people around them that the people who are driven by this spirit have no ability to lead or govern in God’s house or in a business. They act as though God skipped them for a position (as if God could do that) but they have no clue as to the skills necessary to do the job.

Miriam of the Bible

Sometimes it is not themselves that they believe should have a certain position but someone else – but that someone else is not God’s choice either.

This spirit also has Leviathan tendencies, meaning it twists the truth. It exaggerates problems or makes up problems that do not exist, saying that they have “heard from God,” but it was actually in their mind and driven by their pride. If there is any doubt to the tales of the person this spirit is oppressed by, leadership can always make an investigation to make sure – but person who is driven by this spirit usually will not bring their suspicions to the person involved nor leadership as in Bible order but chooses to just gossip to others (Matt 8:15 and 16).

Note: Always be sure to precisely hear from God as to the name of the spirit you are dealing with since so many can mimic another just as the spirit of Miriam can seem like a Jezebel or Leviathan.

(Copyright SPCM Melissa Nordell July 2021)

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