8. a. Details about Miriam from Exodus—
- Miriam stood at a distance to see what would happen to her baby brother, Moses after his mother put him in the river. Exodus 2:4
- When Pharaoh’s daughter found and took pity on Moses, Miriam came forward offering to find a nurse for him. Exodus 2:7
- Miriam, called a prophet or prophetess in Exodus 15:20, took a tambourine and led all the women in singing a song celebrating God’s deliverance from the Egyptian army at the Red Sea.
b. Miriam criticized Moses because he married an Ethiopian (Cushite) woman.
Based on Miriam and Aaron’s comments that follow— “Has the Lord spoken only through Moses? Hasn’t he spoken through us, too?”—Miriam believes this makes Moses less qualified to speak for God.
Notice that Miriam is listed first as opposing her brother Moses. This probably identifies her as the instigator or leader in this rebellion and gives understanding as to why God smote only her with leprosy (Numbers 12:10). There is a difference between those who deceive and those who are deceived.
Ethiopians were black and foreigners. This criticism was probably racial prejudice. But the root of this was pride (Proverbs 13:10). They were jealous of Moses’ position and authority. Andrew Wommack’s Living Commentary
9. a. Verse 3 implies Moses did not defend himself when Miriam criticized him.
I have a question—Didn’t Moses write these words? Some say Numbers had multiple authors. I found the following helpful:
Moses is the one who wrote this; therefore, many people’s definition of meekness would have to be redefined. This is probably mentioned in reference to the fact that Moses didn’t say anything in defense of himself. So one of the qualities of meekness is not being self-sufficient or quick to defend ourselves. Moses was quick to defend the Lord, but he let God defend him. If we defend ourselves, God doesn’t. If we will leave the judgment up to the Lord, He will do a better job than we ever could (Romans 12:19).
Meekness is the state of being kind and gentle toward others (see my note at Ephesians 4:2). It is rooted in humility but specifically describes how we act toward others. Andrew Wommack’s Living Commentary.
b. When someone criticizes me, I usually defend my behavior.
These questions get me where I live. I guess that’s the point.
Sometimes, in anticipation of criticism I work on my defense presentation. Maybe I should have been an attorney.
Now that my dad is living with us, I realize where my behavior originated. He criticizes me and everyone else. A lot.
So did my ex-husband whose criticism and accusations were delivered at a high decibel. I was too afraid and intimidated to defend myself with him.
Keeping my mouth shut is a start, but it won’t fix the heart issue from which the desire to justify myself originates.
Heavenly Father, heal my heart. I forgive all those who hurt me in the past, those who will hurt me today, and those who will hurt me in the future.
Help me to lay all praise or hurt at Your feet. May I live to please You.
I serve at the pleasure of the King of Kings. Anoint me for all of my life and calling.
Send help when appropriate.
Grant me the grace to accept it.
May I fulfill the destiny for which You created me.
I will offer You my grateful heart, for I am Your unique creation, filled with wonder and awe.
You have approached even the smallest details with excellence;
Your works are wonderful;
I carry this knowledge deep within my soul. Psalm 139:14 The Voice