July 18, 2014
And they said, Hath the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses? Hath He not spoken also by us? and the Lord heard it. Numbers 12:2
LET IT GLOW
We have experienced the criticism of my husband as pastor, which is expected since he has been in the ministry some 34 years. One time, it went so far as to have a man try attempt to removed him as pastor, behind his back, which dissolved. It was a difficult thing to confront the man with this. He apologized, and then we had to forgive him. A similar situation occurred with Moses in this chapter.
The LORD commanded Moses, Aaron, and Miriam to come out of the Tent of Meeting, all three of them. It was a called meeting, front and center. The Lord was not going to put up with the criticism of the two highest spiritual officers under Moses.
Previously, Moses had been criticized by the people. This was different. Now it was his sister and brother, his fellow leaders that were doing it.
The LORD Himself came down, in a pillar of cloud and stood at the entrance of the Tabernacle and spoke directly to this trio.
God has promised to defend His servants (Is. 54:17).
What did God say?
- He reveals Himself to a prophet in visions and speaks to him in dreams. (verse 6)
- This was not the procedure with Moses, for Moses was God's servant, faithful in all God's house. (verse 7)
- God spoke face to face (mouth to mouth), clearly, not in riddles, showing His form to Moses. (verse 8) Currently, only Moses had this privilege, not Aaron or Miriam.
How do we react when God convicts us of our sins and we know we are guilty Do we repent, agreeing with God against us? Or do we make excuses? Do we blame others instead of acknowledging our guilt?
LET IT GROW
What had Miriam and Aaron done that was so awful that God came down to reprimand and speak to them about them directly about this matter? He could have just killed them dead right then and there. He could have given Moses the directions for their punishment. Neither happened. God handled the situation personally. It would not be repeated, that's for sure.
The two things which these two did wrong were:
1. Most seriously, they questioned Moses' position as the spokesman for God to Israel. (verse 2) This
was an outright sin and they knew it. God set the two straight on that matter, as discussed above.
Miriam and Aaron asserted that God had spoken to them in the same way that He had spoken to
Why were these two leaders attacking their leader?
Jealousy got ahold of Miriam, a prophetess (Ex. 15:20) and Aaron, the high priest of Israel.
There is little doubt that Miriam was the ringleader. The feminine verb used in verse 1 is in the
original text. It was Miriam who would receive the most severe judgment from God. Aaron had
already shown himself to be less than a tower of strength in tines of temptation (Ex. 32:21-24).
2. Their criticism was against Moses' wife, Zipporah. (verse 1) This is questionable. She was a
Cushite (Ethiopian and Gentile) woman. This may have been Moses' first or second wife, which is
not certain. Anyway, neither marriage to a foreigner from Egypt or a Cushite dwelling in Arabia
was not prohibited. Exodus 34:16 prohibited the marriage to a Canaanite. Was a sister envious of a
foreigner? We do not read of Zipporah's death nor if this is a first wife.
Moses proved his meekness (humility) by refusing to fight them; he left his cause in the hands of God, who took care of the matter. Miriam became leprous and her sin held up the march of the camp for seven days. Aaron confessed his guilt, and Moses prayed for his sister Miriam, an evidence of true love and humility. It is a serious thing when spiritual leaders become envious of one another, because their sin affects the whole congregation. (Wiersbe)
Miriam became the first and only recorded Old Testament Israelite ever to be healed of leprosy. (Falwell)
Miriam's sins slowed down the journey of the Israelites. Oh, how our sins effect others.
LET IT GO
Don't question God's choosing of His leaders.
Pray for them instead of criticizing my leaders.
Pray for those who falsely accuse me of wrongs; then forgive them.