Too Much Humility?
“Now the man Moses was very humble, more than any man who was on the face of the earth.” (Numbers 12:3, NASB95)
The book of Numbers contains this parenthetical statement about the humility of Moses. The placement of the statement is interesting, because it really is non-sequiter (“it does not follow”) to the story. Miriam and Aaron are in a complaint with Moses because they believe that God has also called them into the prophetic ministry. All this seems to have come to the surface over another non-sequiter issue, the Cushite wife of Moses.
Humility is certainly a good thing. The Bible tells us that “pride goes before destruction.” Pride is at the root of so many of our sins. We are supposed to be meek and mild, right? But can we be too humble?
This humility commentary certainly has to connect with the prophecy desire of Miriam, so what is the connection? In the verses following, God comes to the rescue and validates Moses’ unique role among the nation of Israel. So, perhaps the humility comment is actually saying, “Moses should have put his sister and brother in their place, but he was overly humble and would not even protect his God-given place of prominence.” This is a false-humility that is not God-honoring.
Remember how the Apostle Paul consistently defended his Apostleship? It looks like a self-defense of Moses’ role is in order here. In fact, the next time Moses’ exclusive roll is questioned (by Korah), Moses sets aside the humility and handles the matter quickly, decisively, and with great pride in his God-given position.
I hope you are not too prideful, but being too humble can get you in trouble as well!
In His Grace;
Dr. Randy White
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