Courtesy: Pastor Steve Ellison
As the children of Israel wandered through the wilderness because of their own disobedience and lack of faith, they faced hardships. As they faced hardships they began to do just like you and I do, they looked for someone to blame. Somebody else, that is. After all, it couldn’t possibly be our fault, could it?
As the people grumbled, their leaders began to feel the pressure and got nervous. Aaron and Miriam began to speak out against their own brother and commander-in-chief, Moses. For good reason, God took offense at their criticism of His servant. It seems likely from this passage that Aaron and Miriam were jealous of Moses. But I think more significantly that a case can be made that grumbling against the servant of the Lord is actually grumbling against the Lord (see Exodus 16)
God Himself called Moses, Aaron, and Miriam to the Tent of Meeting. He proceeded to explain to the two grumblers that He speaks to prophets in dreams and visions. God then lets them know that in sharp contrast to them, Moses talks with Him face to face and that unlike them, Moses sees the form of the Lord.
God then asks the unanswerable question, “Why then were you not afraid To speak against My servant, against Moses?” So the anger of the Lord burned against them and He departed. But when the cloud had withdrawn from over the tent, behold, Miriam was leprous, as white as snow. As Aaron turned toward Miriam, behold, she was leprous. Then Aaron said to Moses, “Oh, my lord, I beg you, do not account this sin to us, in which we have acted foolishly and in which we have sinned. “Oh, do not let her be like one dead, whose flesh is half eaten away when he comes from his mother’s womb!” Moses cried out to the Lord, saying, “O God, heal her, I pray!” (Numbers 12:8-13, NASU)
Aaron and Miriam had no answer, just like you and I so often have no answer for why we were not afraid to do the wrong that we do. Why is it that I often know that what I am about to do is wrong, but I do it anyway? Why am I not afraid? Do I think that God will not know? That He will not see? That He is unable to punish?
The answer seems clear to me. It is a lack of faith. In those moments, my life indicates that I simply do not believe in God. If I did, my actions would bear out that belief. Miriam was stricken with leprosy for seven days. The rest of the people had to wait for her to be cleansed, before they could move on in their journey. So, my sin has a negative impact on others. Oh God, strengthen my faith that I might be afraid to do that which I know to be wrong.
God chooses leaders. He places them over us. That does not mean they are better than us. It does not mean that they are more valuable than us. It does not mean that they will behave more righteously than us. What it does mean is this: they are His chosen, anointed servants sent to do His bidding. Be careful of speaking against them.
For your own sake and the sake of those around you: be very sure that the one you speak against is clearly not His servant. Please note the response of the godly leader in verse 13: the leader prayed for the punishment on his opponent to be lifted. Oh God, help me to do the same.
Courtesy: Pastor Steve Ellison