Numbers 12:1-4,9-11,15 While they were at Hazeroth, Miriam and Aaron criticized Moses because he had married a Cushite woman. They said, “Has the Lord spoken only through Moses? Hasn’t he spoken through us, too?” But the Lord heard them. (Now Moses was very humble—more humble than any other person on earth.) So immediately the Lord called to Moses, Aaron, and Miriam and said, “Go out to the Tabernacle, all three of you!” So the three of them went to the Tabernacle... The Lord was very angry with them, and he departed. As the cloud moved from above the Tabernacle, there stood Miriam, her skin as white as snow from leprosy. When Aaron saw what had happened to her, he cried out to Moses, “Oh, my master! Please don’t punish us for this sin we have so foolishly committed... So Miriam was kept outside the camp for seven days, and the people waited until she was brought back before they traveled again.
If there is one recurring theme that has been common this far in the lives of the Israelites being led to the promised land, it is the theme of God taking offense at others who try to act as judges.
We live under the new covenant and therefore are in a period of grace. How then does this chapter minister to us?
When Miriam and Aaron criticized Moses, they weren't speaking blessing or correction into his life but instead were accusing Moses of sin and elevating themselves.
Is this not a common theme in our lives even today? When a colleague or a friend does well and receives accolades, do we not start to begrudge them, specially when we think we have the potential?
In my life this is true and its funny how God can correct us because just last night, during our Bible Study in John 12, I felt the same conviction when I saw Judas' accusation of Mary wasting precious resources that could have been used to feed the poor.
“That perfume was worth a year’s wages. It should have been sold and the money given to the poor.” John 12:5
What Judas said is not incorrect when we consider the merit of what he said in the worldly context but when we consider it from the spiritual context of Mary giving her best for God, it seems most foolish and reveals his thieving heart.
God sure knows how to shame the wise and the rich and the gospel serves to confound the best by highlighting how majestically God can work through the worst for His glory.
The evil one knows our weaknesses and plays it subtly to trip us over and over and I am reminded of Paul's warning to us in Ephesians when he refers to the Armor of God:
A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:10-12
Miriam and Aaron's comments were unnecessary because it was for God to judge Moses, not them. The words of their mouths revealed the filth in their hearts just as Judas' words revealed his lust for money.
I am reminded today to watch my words because it reveals my heart...
A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart. Luke 6:45
Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people. Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God. Ephesians 5:3-4
If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless. James 1:26
There are many more reminders throughout the Bible and the reason we immerse ourselves in God's word is to hear God speak into our lives.
If anything, I pray today that you and I will continue to look to Jesus as our perfect role model and learn His ways because we know we carry His name in our own. Christian is to be Christ-like and we need to be very mindful of how we represent Christ to the world we live in.