Grace Bible Church
Robert R. McLaughlin
Tree of Life
Dispensation of the Mosaic Law.
This past week we dealt with the principle of loyalty and why Miriam and Aaron should have been loyal to Moses.
NUM 12:1-4, Then Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married (for he had married a Cushite woman); and they said, “Has the Lord indeed spoken only through Moses? Has He not spoken through us as well?” And the Lord heard it. (Now the man Moses was very humble, more than any man who was on the face of the earth.) And suddenly the Lord said to Moses and Aaron and to Miriam, “You three come out to the tent of meeting.” So the three of them came out.
The Lord is about to deal with Moses, Miriam and Aaron and establish the principle of spiritual authority.
NUM 12:5-8, Then the Lord came down in a pillar of cloud and stood at the doorway of the tent, and He called Aaron and Miriam [notice who our Lord is directing His words to]. When they had both come forward, He said, “Hear now My words: If there is a prophet among you, I, the Lord, shall make Myself known to him in a vision. I shall speak with him in a dream. “Not so, with My servant Moses, He is faithful in all My household; With him I speak mouth to mouth, Even openly, and not in dark sayings, And he beholds the form of the Lord [that is a Theophanies, and OT manifestation of the Lord Jesus Christ]. Why then were you not afraid To speak against My servant, against Moses?”
A Theophany is an Old testament manifestation of the Lord Jesus Christ while Christophanies are a New Testament manifestation of the Lord Jesus Christ after He was resurrected.
NUM 12:9, So the anger of the Lord burned against them and He departed.
God was angry because of something He said to the prophet Samuel in 1SA 8:7…”for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them.”
The point is that to speak against representative authority incurs Divine Wrath.
Think about it, Aaron and Miriam were the elder brother and sister to Moses and in the home Moses should be subject to their authority but in the calling and work of God they ought to subject themselves to Moses. Both Miriam and Aaron were not happy with the Ethiopian woman whom Moses had married, so they spoke against Moses.
According to what Moses had said, Moses should not have married this Ethiopian woman. As an older sister, Miriam could reprimand her brother on the basis of their family relationship. But when she opened her mouth to slander Moses, she touched upon the work of God, challenging the position of Moses. God had entrusted His delegated authority in the work to Moses.
It was God who had chosen Moses to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt, nevertheless Miriam despised Moses. And For this God was greatly displeased with her. She could deal with her brother, but she could not revile or question God’s appointment and authority.
The trouble was that neither Aaron nor Miriam recognized God’s authority and God’s choice to lead Israel, Moses. Yet Moses did not answer back. He knew that if he had been set up by God to be the authority and he did not need to defend himself.
So as long as God gave him authority, he could remain silent. A lion needs no protection, since full authority lies within it. Moses was able to represent God in authority because he had first been subject to God’s authority. The authority which Moses represented was God’s own and no one can take away the God given authority. In fact this is why the apostle said what he did 1TI 5.
Let me show you this principle in the New testament when we studied every verse from the original language what it actually says in the original Greek.
1TI 5:17, Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching.
Now, when we studied this from the original language we noted the corrected translation which says 1TI 5:17, Those pastor-teachers who have ruled well with the result that they keep ruling honorably, they must be considered worthy of double honor, most of all those who work hard to the point of exhaustion in the study of the word and the teaching of doctrine.
Verse 18 says, “You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing,” and “The laborer is worthy of his wages.” From Deu 25:4, Deu 24:15.
Then you have in 1Ti 5:19-20, Do not receive an accusation against an elder except on the basis of two or three witnesses. Those who continue in sin, rebuke in the presence of all, so that the rest also may be fearful of sinning.
Now that’s actually a little pitiful because I agree with Dr. J. Vernon McGee and Colonel R.B. Thieme Jr. and many other great Bible teachers that the entire verse from the original language says:
The point is like everything else in life, you need authority or else chaos will inevitably result. Authority is your friend. Just like the cold is your friend, it kills germs and bugs – you may not like but it’s good for you! And so what may God angry was when those under authority attack and discredit those who have authority over them.
That’s why when it comes to spiritual authority we read in a few books forward in HEB 13:7, Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith. Or in HEB 13:17, Obey your leaders, and submit to them; for they keep watch over your souls, as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.
By the way you remember those who speak to you the word of God by honoring what the writer says back in HEB 10:24-26, and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near. For if we go on sinning willfully [in context, by forsaking assembling together with other believers] after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,
There’s nothing you can do, no sacrifice you can offer to make up for your disobedience to gather together…except rebound and most importantly and recover…get your butt back in church either face-to-face or non face-to-face.
Now then back in Num 12.
NUM 12:9-12, So the anger of the Lord burned against them and He departed. But when the cloud had withdrawn from over the tent, behold, Miriam was leprous, as white as snow. As Aaron turned toward Miriam, behold, she was leprous. Then Aaron said to Moses, “Oh, my lord, I beg you, do not account this sin to us, in which we have acted foolishly and in which we have sinned. “Oh, do not let her be like one dead, whose flesh is half eaten away when he comes from his mother’s womb!”
Now, beginning in NUM 12:13, I want you to notice the compassion of Moses. And Moses cried out to the Lord, saying, “O God, heal her, I pray!”
In verses 14 and 15 we see Miriam’s 7 days of solitary confinement or discipline.
Num 12:14, But the Lord said to Moses, if her father had but spit in her face, would she not bear her shame for seven days?
By the way, that was the custom of their day. Then the Lord goes on to say, Let her be shut up for seven days outside the camp, and afterward she may be received again. Therefore Miriam received from Moses the discipline of a person whose father had spit in her face…and that was grace all the way. She had a lot more coming and if Moses had not given that discipline she would have died of leprosy.
Num 12:15, So Miriam was shut up outside the camp for seven days, and the people did not move on until Miriam was received again.
Instead of being a leader over Israel then Miriam is isolated from Israel for 7 days and in a state of leprosy. And the people had to wait for 7 days to reflect upon the terrible evils of maligning, judging, gossiping, slandering…which they had done to Moses.
You see not only does it take spiritual power to execute God’s plan but it also takes spiritual power not to gossip, not to slander, not to malign.
In other words, the same spiritual power that provides Christian integrity for all of us, also provides the power to resist both the arrogant and the emotional complex of sins. The Jews resisted the doctrinal teachings of Moses resulting in no spiritual power…and therefore they spent their lives complaining.
However, remember that the attitude of the spiritually mature believer is one of compassion. Moses was humble and compassionate.
For we read in NUM 12:13, And Moses cried out to the Lord, saying, “O God, heal her, I pray!” Moses was not only a humble man but also a compassionate one.