10. a. God’s response to Miriam and Aaron’s complaints about Moses—
- He instantly* called to Moses, Aaron, and Miriam saying, “You three come out to the tent of meeting.” Numbers 12:4 *According to Andrew Wommack Living Commentary
- He descended in a cloud-column and called Aaron and Miriam to step forward. Numbers 12:5
- He said, “Listen to what I say.” Numbers 12:6
- The Lord explained how His relationship with Moses was different. He spoke clearly to him face to face, and not in riddles. Numbers 12:8
- When the cloud withdrew from them, Miriam’s skin was diseased and turned white as snow.
- When Aaron confessed and asked for mercy on behalf of Miriam, Moses asked God to heal her.
- God said put her outside the camp for seven days. She may have been healed immediately or during the seven days, the length of time required for quarantine. (Leviticus 13:4)
- The entire camp had to wait for her restoration before moving on. Numbers 12:15
b. My response—
- God didn’t delay in confronting Miriam and Aaron.
- God showed up in a big way.
- God said His relationship with Moses was special. His communication with him was face to face. This would mean the most to me.
- God laid the punishment on the instigator.
- Moses and Aaron both saw her punished, and felt mercy toward her. I wouldn’t like seeing my enemy punished that way. It would help me forgive them, though, knowing God did indeed take revenge on my behalf. Romans 12:19 NLT I find it difficult to move on, trusting the Lord will take revenge.
- Since I’m sometimes in Miriam’s shoes, I’m grateful God showed her mercy.
11. a. God said He spoke with Moses clearly, face to face, and not in riddles because Moses was His most faithful servant.
This reminds me of what Jesus said to the disciples—
Why Jesus Used Parables Matthew 13:10-17 NLT
10 Then the disciples came up and asked Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”
11 He answered them, “Because the secrets of the kingdom of heaven have been given for you to know, but it has not been given to them. 12 For whoever has, more will be given to him, and he will have more than enough. But whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. 13 For this reason I speak to them in parables, because looking they do not see, and hearing they do not listen or understand. 14 Isaiah’s prophecy is fulfilled in them, which says:
You will listen and listen,
yet never understand;
and you will look and look,
yet never perceive.
15 For this people’s heart has grown callous;
their ears are hard of hearing,
and they have shut their eyes;
otherwise they might see with their eyes
and hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts
and turn back—
and I would cure them.
16 “But your eyes are blessed because they do see, and your ears because they do hear! 17 For I assure you: Many prophets and righteous people longed to see the things you see yet didn’t see them; to hear the things you hear yet didn’t hear them.
b. “faithful in all my house” Numbers 12:7 NIV
As I wrote above, after looking at a few other translations, I think God meant Moses was “His most faithful servant.”
- Of all my house, he is the one I trust.—NLT
- I have entrusted him above anyone else in My whole house— The Voice
- …he has the run of my entire house; I speak to him intimately, in person, in plain talk without riddle: He ponders the very form of God.—The Message
- …he is entrusted and faithful in all My house. —Amplified Bible
The verse reminds me of what was said of Joseph when he served Potiphar—
So Joseph pleased [Potiphar] and found favor in his sight, and he served him. And [his master] made him supervisor over his house and he put all that he had in his charge. Genesis 39:4 AMP
12. a. Miriam was inflicted with a skin disease that turned her skin white as snow.
Just as Miriam’s rebellion revealed an unclean heart that separated her from God, her outward appearance also became unclean which separated her from the entire community.
b. If Moses had not pleaded with God to heal Miriam, Aaron would have to banish her to live outside the camp. Leviticus 13:45
c. Moses prayed for his sister who criticized and opposed him as God’s chosen servant.
Jesus asked God to forgive those who crucified Him. Luke 23:34; Hebrews 7:25
d. Even under the law, God showed mercy and honored Moses for showing mercy toward someone else.
I’m encouraged that—
- “Jesus, the Mediator (Go-between, Agent) of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood which speaks [of mercy], a better and nobler and more gracious message than the blood of Abel [which cried out for vengeance]
- I’m encouraged that “God expressed His love for the world in this way: He gave His only Son so that whoever believes in Him will not face everlasting destruction, but will have everlasting life.” John 3:16 The Voice
- I’m encouraged to know this means I don’t need Moses to intercede for me when I fail.
“I will be merciful when they fail, and I will erase their sins and wicked acts out of My memory, as though they had never existed.” Hebrews 8:12 The Voice
- I’m encouraged to know I am in right standing with God through faith that Jesus paid it all.
- I’m encouraged that “(I) have been released from the law, for (I) died to it and am no longer captive to its power. Now (I) can serve God, not in the old way of obeying the letter of the law, but in the new way of living in the Spirit.” Romans 5:21 NLT
- I’m encouraged that Paul said “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:2 NLT He did not say, “Make sure I obey the law of Moses.”
- In fact, Paul said, “But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago.” Romans 3:21 NLT
Causing dissension in the body is a serious thing.
But I urge and entreat you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in perfect harmony and full agreement in what you say, and that there be no dissensions or factions or divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in your common understanding and in your opinions and judgments. 1 Corinthians 1:10 AMP
Jesus is now our high priest, our intercessor, our mediator, our redeemer, our deliverer, our righteousness, etc.
The Holy Spirit as our teacher, helper, counselor and comforter leads us into truth.
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Galatians 5:22-23 NLT
Photo Credit Book of Numbers Chapter 12-3 (Bible Illustrations by Sweet Media)” by Distant Shores Media/Sweet Publishing. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons