July 9, 2021
Scripture: Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married, for he had married a Cushite woman. Numbers 12:1 ESV
Observation: It seems like a minor offense that would hardly warrant Moses’ sister being inflicted with leprosy (verse 10). And why wasn’t Aaron punished? Perhaps since Miriam’s name is listed first, she was the instigator. The second verse answers the first question: they were jealous of Moses’ privileged position with God. They questioned whether God had not given them the gift of prophecy as well. The outcome was disastrous. Miriam immediately contracted leprosy and consequently would have had to live the rest of her life in isolation from her community (an ironic outcome for one who claimed to have a voice in the community). Thankfully, Moses was a meek man (verse 3) and did not gloat over his sister’s misfortune. Instead, he prayed to God on her behalf, and the Lord relented and healed Miriam. Nevertheless, she would bear the consequence of her sin by being shut outside the camp for seven days according to the Mosaic law.
Takeaway: We should tread carefully when confronting God’s appointed leaders, or any brother or sister of Christ. We would do well to first spend time in prayer under submission to the Holy Spirit’s insights regarding our motivations. Secondly, when we speak out of turn, we should expect consequences—even if mitigated by repentance.
Prayer: Father God, help us to be slow to critically speak to those you have appointed as leaders over us and quick to listen to your Holy Spirit’s insights into our motivations that may miss the mark. Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling