Miriam and Aaron criticize Moses; Miriam stricken with leprosy; Moses prays; 12 men spy out Canaan; their report.
Verses for Today:
Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian (Cushite) woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman. And they said, Hath the Lord indeed spoken only by Moses? hath He not spoken also by us? And the Lord heard it. (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.) (Num. 12:1-3).Miriam was the sister of Moses and of Aaron the high priest. She was honored above all women of Israel, had a prophetic anointing, and was gifted in music and singing (Ex. 15:20; Mic. 6:4). Suddenly, the Lord demanded to meet with Miriam, Aaron, and Moses. Miriam may have been delighted, thinking that God was just as displeased with Moses as she was, and would agree with her criticism. Undoubtedly, she experienced an overwhelming shock when God said to her: With him will I speak mouth to mouth . . . wherefore (why) then were ye not afraid to speak against My servant Moses? And the anger of the Lord was kindled against them. . . . and, behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous. And Aaron said unto Moses, Alas, my lord, I beseech thee, lay not the sin upon us, wherein we have done foolishly, and wherein we have sinned (12:8-11).
Covetousness and pride are never satisfied. Even the possession of spiritual gifts can lead to pride which, in turn, can lead to jealousy if others with similar spiritual gifts appear to be competitors. When someone we have known as less qualified is promoted or given recognition above us in our office, we may be tempted to fall into Miriam's sin of criticizing. Pride reveals itself in many forms. It may be based on physical beauty, wealth, education, or talents; but pride is a self-destructive and self-deceptive sin. All of us need to realize the importance of Jesus' Words: Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth (Matt. 5:5).
Miriam succeeded, as many others have, in making it appear that her concern came from a "spiritual" motive. But God saw through her jealousy, envy, pride, and hurt feelings. It was the God-ordained leadership of Moses, not his choice of a wife or what he was teaching, that was being questioned. God has clearly declared: Touch not Mine anointed, and do My prophets no harm (I Chr. 16:22; Ps. 105:15).
Thought for Today:
Study to shew thyself approved unto God (II Tim. 2:15).
By Moses, who was very meek (humble), above all the men which were upon the face of the earth (Num. 12:3). Jesus said: I am meek (gentle, mild) and lowly in heart (Matt. 11:29).
12:8 dark speeches =difficult-to-understand proverbs; similitude =visible form, which does not imply likeness; 13:20 fat or lean =fertile or barren.
Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by Dorothy Chirnock • Staff: Dr. Al Joslyn • Government Official: Rep. Eliot Engel (NY) • Country: Zimbabwe (11.2 million) in south-central Africa • Major languages: English and Shona • Limited religious freedom • 59% Christian; 35% Traditional; 2% Muslim; 4% Other/non-Religious (Hindu, Buddhist, Baha'i, Jewish) • Prayer Suggestion: Pray in faith and the Lord will answer (Mark 11:24).
Optional Reading: Luke 5
Memory Verse for the Week: Exodus 20:12