"Then Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married; for he had married an Ethiopian woman."
It is not easy having to deal with rebellion that hits closer to home. The real issue of contention from Moses' family members was not because he married a woman outside of his race (or class or social status), but the real issue was that they coveted the place of authority that God had given Moses and his wife.
Miriam and Aaron's seed of jealousy took root when they began to question Moses' authority saying, "Has the LORD indeed spoken only through Moses? Has He not spoken through us also?" (Numbers 12:2). In essence they were saying, "what about us?"
This is what happens when Christian brothers and sisters begin to compare themselves to others. Do not worry about what God is doing in other people's lives. Do not allow a seed of resentment to flourish in your heart. This only creates rebellion, conflict, and discord within the family.
The Bible says that Moses was the most humble of men on the earth. In this, we can see that Moses was not one to embellish stories, wave his authority in other people's faces, or arrogantly boast about what the Lord was doing in His life. It was because of Miriam and Aaron's own covetousness of heart that they began to speak against Moses and his wife.
The rest of the story tells us how the Lord bragged about Moses to Miriam and Aaron. He said, "[Moses] is faithful in all My house. I speak with him face to face..." (Numbers 12:7-8). Talk about adding insult to injury! It was common for the Lord to speak to His prophets in dreams and visions but no one had ever seen the Lord face to face!
God's anger was so aroused when He saw Miriam and Aaron speaking against Moses, that He gave Miriam leprosy.
Leprosy begins small but often grows fast, just as sin begins small but then spreads fast. If left unchecked, leprosy (and sin) will eventually destroy a person. When someone was found to be leprous, they were casted out of society. Likewise, sin can cause a separation from those you love. Interestingly enough, the shame Miriam was committing in private, was revealed in public for all to see. Miriam tried to isolate Moses by speaking against him, needless to say, this became her own fate!
So why did Miriam get leprosy and not Aaron? Chances are it is because she was the one spreading the gossip and trying to "stir the pot." Be careful what you say about your family members, especially if they are a people chosen by God!
Our tongues can emit words to build up or to destroy. The negative words that come out of our mouths are "darts" or "arrows" -- evil words that can crush, sting, or bring pain to a person (Psalm 64:3, Proverbs 18:21).
So today, if there is dissension in your family, I urge you not to speak against one another. The Lord sees all things and God is a God of love AND wrath.
Christina is the founder of Relentless Love Ministries and lives in Linton. She is an active speaker, guest lecturer, and published author. For more information, questions, or comments, email firstname.lastname@example.org .