Numbers 12

Numbers 12 has some family dynamics that rear their ugly head.  “Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married”.  A little brotherly interaction here as Moses choice of a bride is challenged and questioned.  They begin to question whether Moses is the right person to lead God’s people.  The Lord heard it and says “Come out, you three, to the tent of meeting”.  God doesn’t let it brew and build up – He calls the parties together to get this resolved sooner than later.

God calls Aaron and Miriam out.  He came down in a cloud and stood at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting and tells them that Moses is different than any other.  God tells them that Moses is not just another prophet.  “Not so with my servant Moses. He is faithful in all my house”.  Moses is set apart in God’s eyes because of His obedience and faithfulness.  And God makes it clear that it is not ok for Aaron and Miriam to question and speak against Moses.  In fact, “the anger of the Lord was kindled against them, and He departed”.

God had covered the place with His cloud.  “When the cloud removed from over the tent, behold, Miriam was leprous”.  God’s anger about this wasn’t just an emotion, He took action and brought leprosy upon Miriam for her questioning of Moses.  God was not happy.  Aaron sees that his wife is covered like snow with the disease, and he pleads with Moses to help.  Now Moses really didn’t have anything to do with what God chose to do.  But Moses demonstrates true leadership when he intercedes on their behalf.  “O God, please heal her – please.”

The power of intercession is strong.  Moses demonstrates it time and time again in his life.  He gets between the people and God and seeks God’s mercy and grace.  This time on behalf of Aaron and Miriam, who are questioning his authority and fitness to lead.  But Moses doesn’t hold that against them.  He puts self aside and seeks God’s healing.  God isn’t quite so fast to set her free from her bad judgment, and so “Miriam was shut outside the camp seven days” after which she was healed of her affliction.

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