Read Numbers 12 -- 13
In Today 's Reading:
Miriam and Aaron speak against Moses; Miriam stricken with leprosy; Moses prays; 12 spies sent to Canaan; their report
Miriam was the sister of Moses and of Aaron the high priest. She was honored above all the women of Israel, had a prophetic anointing, and was gifted in music and singing (Exodus 15:20; Micah 6:4).
Miriam and Aaron criticized Moses because of the Ethiopian (Cushite) woman he had married. . . . They said, does the LORD speak only with Moses? Does He not also speak with us? The LORD heard (Numbers 12:1-2).
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: One on one I speak with him . . . So why were you so brazen to speak against My servant Moses? The LORD's anger blazed forth against them (12:8-9). To her horror, Aaron turned and said: Look! Miriam has a horrible skin disease (leprosy). . . Aaron said to Moses, O, my lord, don't hold this sin against us who have made fools of ourselves (12:10-11).
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 above us in our office or given recognition, we may be tempted to fall into Miriam's sin of criticizing. Pride takes many forms. It can be based on physical beauty, wealth, education, or talents; but pride is a self-destructive and self-deceptive sin.
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: Do not touch My anointed ones; do not harm My prophets (I Chronicles 16:22; Psalms 105:15).
By Moses, who was very humble, more so than any man on earth (Numbers 12:3). Jesus said: I am gentle and humble (Matthew 11:29).
Government Officials: Rep. Eliot Engel (NY) and Sen. John Warner (VA) · Country: Portugal (10 million) in western Europe · Major language: Portuguese · Limited religious freedom · 90% Roman Catholic; .75% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Confess any sins in your life so that your prayers can be heard (Psalms 66:18-19).
Optional Reading: Luke 5
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:10