In this era of “it is my talent,” I was reminded of a particular trend occurring among churches, even the Lord’s church where women are not being denied to make use of their “talents” in preaching. In Numbers 12 we have exactly the same thing. Moses was God’s chosen, but within his own family there arose some resistance to his God-ordained responsibility. Aaron and Miriam arose against him, asking aloud as to why only Moses was speaking on the Lord’s authority; “Has the Lord indeed spoken only through Moses?” (Numbers 12:2).
It appears that Aaron and Miriam were a bit “nonplussed” at that which they thought was Moses’s privilege. One will recall, however, that Moses took on this “privilege” because the Lord made it his responsibility, not because Moses was particularly desiring to take on the task. Moreover, in the previous chapter (Numbers 11), Moses was weighed down by the responsibility given him by the Lord – so much so that he despaired of his life (11:10-15).
One might say that it was a good thing that Aaron and Miriam was desirous to serve the Lord in a greater capacity than they currently were, but it was only a good thing from the vantage point of self-interest. From the Lord’s vantage point, it was not a good thing at all. In fact, the Lord was so displeased that to Miriam He took special notice, but the notice of Miriam was in a most unpleasant personal experience!
The Lord was very pointed in His remarks to Moses, Aaron, and Miriam. If the Lord wanted any one of the three to be a prophet, the Lord would have made this known to each. As it was, to Moses, he was of a greater significance to His plan than even a prophet of ordinary (and divine) measure (12:7-8). This was a stinging rebuke to Aaron and Miriam. They both learned well that it is ALWAYS the Lord’s way, and never one of “my way.”
The lesson is obvious to all of us in this religious trending society. In the Lord’s church, the God-ordained roles of the male and female are firmly in place. Miriam was quite fortunate in that the leprous disease she had was but short term (Numbers 12:9-15). To those who compromise the Lord’s will under the authority of the New Testament, they will not experience a short-term disease!
TAGS: Moses, Miriam, Aaron, responsibility, roles, leprous