Life-Study of Numbers

Life-Study of Numbersby Witness Lee

ISBN: 0-7363-0040-6
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry

Currently in: Chapter 19 of 53 Section 1 of 4

LIFE-STUDY OF NUMBERS

MESSAGE NINETEEN

JOURNEYING

(4)

Scripture Reading: Num. 12

In this message we will be concerned with another failure recorded in the book of Numbers—slandering.

C. Slandering

In chapters eleven and twelve there was one problem after another among the children of Israel. First, those on the extremities of the camp of Israel murmured evil against Moses and against God, and then the mixed multitude lusted for meat. After this, Miriam and Aaron, Moses' sister and brother, both of whom were older than Moses, followed the tide of murmuring and rebellion to stand up against Moses and slander him. At that time, there was turmoil among the Israelites; there was no peace or quiet. There must have been a great deal of gossip circulating among the people, and this might have stirred up Miriam and Aaron to speak against Moses. I believe that their motive for doing this had already been with them for quite a time; it was not something new that originated at this juncture.

1. Moses Having Married a Cushite Woman

Numbers 12:1b tells us that Moses had married a Cushite woman. We are not told when Moses did this; neither do we have a way to find out where or why he did it.

2. Miriam and Aaron Speaking
against Moses, the Deputy Authority of God

It seems that, in Numbers 12, the children of Israel were in the season for murmuring, gossip, and rebellion. Thus, "Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married" (v. 1a). For some reason, they were not happy with Moses concerning this. However, the Bible does not tell us that God was bothered by this marriage or that He condemned it.

Moses, Aaron, and Miriam were blood relatives. They were all over eighty years old. Moses had been called by God, and Aaron also had been called by Him. We are not told that Miriam was called, but the Bible does speak of her as a prophetess (Exo. 15:20). She had been ordained by God, and when the children of Israel crossed the Red Sea, she took the lead in praising God (Exo. 15:21). All three of them were quite distinctive among the people. They were well-educated, they were close to God, they were knowledgeable in the things of God, and they were considered leaders among the people of Israel. Nevertheless, there were "germs" hidden within Miriam and Aaron that were stirred up by the "winds" blowing with the tide of turmoil. From this we need to learn that in the service of the Lord we should not allow anything negative to remain hidden within us. Any such thing that is not rooted out of our being will come out sooner or later. We need to be alert and aware of any germs that may still be in us. We may seem to be very good, but when certain winds begin to blow or when a particular "storm" or turmoil arises, we may be affected and involved. Then, like Miriam and Aaron, we will be exposed.


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