– Redeemed (3) – Redeemed From a Critical Spirit – May 1, 2016
lesson three (3) in our series of study entitled “Beauty from Ashes: Redeeming
Your Broken Moments.”
scripture is Numbers 12:1-11, 13-15.
spirit damages our lives.
spirit is much like cancer, especially when you do not know that you have
cancer, it destroys your body without you knowing it until it is too late to
treat. As with cancer early detection and treatment is critical and so is a
person seeing and knowing that he or she has a critical spirit. Just as with cancer
the person must do something about it.
spirit among friends is one thing but a critical spirit among family is even
worse. Christians represent the family of GOD. They are the structural building
materials used to form the true Spiritual body of which CHRIST is the head. Unity
and harmony is a must for the Spiritual body to function according to GOD’S
plan and purpose.
lesson today, we learn that sibling rivalry happens among GOD’S chosen people.
Such rivalry not only impacts those around them but the families of the
siblings as well. It also sends the wrong message among GOD’S people and breaks
fellowship with GOD.
reveals that GOD’S chosen can let jealousies come into their lives.
The Book of
Numbers is an account of the journey of the Israelite's from Egyptian slavery to
the Promised Land with hiccups for forty years. In Exodus 32:1-2, we read about
the nature of Aaron, the brother of Moses, when Moses was delayed on the
mountain communing with GOD. We also see the nature of the Israelite's and how
quickly they wanted a substitute god when Moses was delayed on the mountain.
These are serious natures that GOD needed to deal with among HIS chosen people.
1 When the people saw that Moses
delayed in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said
to him, "Come, make us a god who will go before us because this Moses, the
man who brought us up from the land of Egypt-we don't know what has happened to
Israelite's placed their faith in Moses rather than GOD. Often, we as Christians
can worship our pastor rather than our LORD JESUS.
2 Then Aaron replied to them,
"Take off the gold rings that are on the ears of your wives, your sons,
and your daughters and bring [them] to me."
matters into his own hands and GOD was very angry as we read in
9 The Lord also said to Moses: "I
have seen this people, and they are indeed a stiff-necked people.
10 Now leave Me alone, so that My anger
can burn against them and I can destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation."
Moses’ opportunity to be the father of a great nation. GOD was testing him. Did
Moses pass the test? Let’s read on.
11 But Moses interceded with the Lord
his God: "Lord, why does Your anger burn against Your people You brought
out of the land of Egypt with great power and a strong hand?
passed the test! Moses reminded GOD of the covenant HE made with the
Israelite's. Had GOD forgotten? No! GOD tested the character and heart of Moses.
Was he interested in leading the people according to the direction and
leadership of GOD or was he interested in having power? The test proved that
Moses desired to lead the Israelite's according to GOD’S plans and purposes. But
we also know that Moses had his moments, which GOD dealt with him accordingly.
GOD is still
dealing with us humans and our natures as they relate to HIM. We often attempt
to define GOD according to our standards and notions. But GOD tells us in Isaiah
9 "For as heaven is higher than
earth, so My ways are higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your
Let’s read Numbers 12:1-3:
and Aaron Rebel
1 Miriam and Aaron criticized Moses
because of the Cushite woman he married (for he had married a Cushite woman).
Moses’ eldest sister and Aaron was Moses’ eldest brother. Thus Moses was their young brother. How do
siblings look on the young sibling in the family? Often, the younger sibling
needs to grow up or never measures up; he or she is always their little brother
or sister. Moses had married a Cushite woman. The Cushite name came from Ethiopia
which means that Moses’ wife could have had dark skin. Could this have
been prejudice? Could it have been that since Moses, their brother, had married
such a woman, they questioned why GOD would work more directly with him than
them? Or was Moses marriage to a Cushite only an excuse for them to criticize
GOD? We do not know but for sure something was perking in their relationship
and it was not coffee. Our next verse reveals the issue.
2 They said, "Does the Lord speak
only through Moses? Does He not also speak through us?" And the Lord heard
of us want to have a special relationship with GOD? Yes and each of us can but
when it causes us to be puffed up with pride it becomes a problem and reveals
our true self-centered hearts. When we are in right relationship with GOD
through CHRIST, we naturally take on the character that JESUS taught in the
Beatitudes. Notice the nature of Moses as we read our next verse.
3 Moses was a very humble man, more so
than any man on the face of the earth.
Christians walk in step with GOD through their relationship with CHRIST, they
do not have an arrogant attitude but one of humility. They realize that GOD has
forgiven them of so much that they can never repay and that GOD loves them
Let’s read Numbers 12:4-11:
4 Suddenly the Lord said to
Moses, Aaron, and Miriam, "You three come out to the tent of
meeting." So the three of them went out.
The LORD GOD
had heard enough and HE needed to intervene, just as an earthly father needs to
intervene when his children are fussing over something that requires an
authority figure to settle. GOD stepped into the situation. In essence, “Enough
is enough, you three are dealing with a critical issue in MY House and I need
for the three of you to step outside and listen to ME!” Moses, Aaron and Miriam
were obedient and went outside for a teachable moment with GOD.
5 Then the Lord descended in a pillar
of cloud, stood at the entrance to the tent, and summoned Aaron and Miriam.
When the two of them came forward,GOD made HIS
presence known to all three, without question.
HE manifested Himself in such a
manner that all three knew that GOD was addressing them. HE descended in a
pillar of cloud and stood at the entrance of the tent of meeting and called for
Aaron and Miriam to approach HIM. This is much like a human king would issue an
invitation for his subjects to approach his presence. This revealed GOD’S
authority over them as HIS called servants. Unity and harmony is a must for
those who obediently serve GOD.
6 He said: "Listen to what I say:
If there is a prophet among you from the Lord, I make Myself known to him in a
vision; I speak with him in a dream.
"Listen" was a
stern command. Or pay strict attention to what I AM going to tell you. GOD made
it clear that HE speaks to those who obediently serve HIM in specific ways. GOD
speaks to HIS children in many ways.
7 Not so with My servant Moses; he is
faithful in all My household.
GOD made it
clear that Moses had a special calling and he had responded with humility, thus
Moses and GOD had a special relationship that required direct communication.
8 I speak with him directly,
openly, and not in riddles; he sees the form of the Lord. So why
were you not afraid to speak against My servant Moses?"
GOD spoke to
Moses directly because GOD’S instruction had to be clear and followed
precisely. Moses saw the form of GOD but never HIS face.
The Lord's Glory
12 Moses said to the Lord, "Look,
You have told me, 'Lead this people up,' but You have not let me know whom You
will send with me. You said, 'I know you by name, and you have also found favor
in My sight.'
13 Now if I have indeed found favor in
Your sight, please teach me Your ways, and I will know You and find favor in
Your sight. Now consider that this nation is Your people."
14 Then He replied, "My presence
will go [with you], and I will give you rest."
15 "If Your presence does not
go," Moses responded to Him, "don't make us go up from here.
16 How will it be known that I and Your
people have found favor in Your sight unless You go with us? I and Your people
will be distinguished [by this] from all the other people on the face of the
17 The Lord answered Moses, "I
will do this very thing you have asked, for you have found favor in My sight,
and I know you by name."
18 Then Moses said, "Please, let
me see Your glory."
19 He said, "I will cause all My
goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim the name Yahweh before
you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion
on whom I will have compassion."
20 But He answered, "You cannot
see My face, for no one can see Me and live."
21 The Lord said, "Here is a place
near Me. You are to stand on the rock,
22 and when My glory passes by, I will
put you in the crevice of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have
23 Then I will take My hand away, and
you will see My back, but My face will not be seen."
confirmation that GOD would be with him as he obediently responded to HIM. GOD
saw Moses’ heart and found him genuine in his request. GOD and Moses had a
special relationship. CHRIST came to earth as a human and lived as a human. HE was
tempted in all ways as humans are tempted, yet HE remained sinless. HE gave HIS
life to pay, in full, for the sins of every human who will place their faith in
HIM by the shedding of HIS blood. HE was buried as a human. GOD raised HIM from
the physically dead and HE received HIS Glorified body. HE remained on earth for
forty days teaching and then ascended into heaven. When HE arrived in heaven to
sit at the right –hand of the Father, HE requested that GOD, HIS Father to send
the Holy Spirit to earth to indwell every believer. Because of the indwelling Holy
Spirit, every Christian can experience the personal relationship with GOD that
JESUS had and Moses.
an interesting question directed to Miriam and Aaron, “ So why were you not
afraid to speak against My servant Moses?" In essence, Miriam was
questioning Moses’ authority. When speaking to Moses she questioned his authority.
Yet, she did not question GOD about Moses’ authority when GOD was speaking to
of GOD makes things very clear and they did not need to question Moses’ authority.
GOD is the final authority.
9 The Lord's anger burned against
them, and He left.
from their presence in such a manner that they knew that GOD was unhappy with
the manner in which Aaron and Miriam were acting toward Moses and they needed
to settle it. GOD departed for them to get their act together. It was time for
them to do some soul searching and communication with each other to resolve
10 As the cloud moved away from the
tent, Miriam's [skin] suddenly became diseased, as [white] as snow. When Aaron
turned toward her, he saw that she was diseased.
description of the disease appears to be a form of leprosy. Why was Miriam
affected and not Aaron? One speculation is that Miriam was the ring leader.
Another thought that came to mind is that Aaron was a priest and the priest had
to declare a person clean and free of the disease before they could re-enter
11 and said to Moses, "My lord,
please don't hold against us this sin we have so foolishly committed.
into immediate intercessory prayer for Miriam, as well as Aaron and himself.
12 Please don't let her be like a dead
[baby] whose flesh is half eaten away when he comes out of his mother's
was specific for Miriam. Miriam was a prophetess and Moses requested that she
come through this phase of her life such that she could still obediently serve
13 Then Moses cried out to the Lord,
"God, please heal her!"
out to GOD for her total and complete healing – physical and Spiritual.
14 The Lord answered Moses, "If
her father had merely spit in her face, wouldn't she remain in disgrace for
seven days? Let her be confined outside the camp for seven days; after that she
may be brought back in."
responded. Miriam had committed a very serious thing. If her earthly
spit in her face there would have been retribution. In essence, Miriam had
acted such that GOD was insulted and HE had spit in her face.
This again points
to Miriam as the instigator.
15 So Miriam was confined outside the
camp for seven days, and the people did not move on until Miriam was brought
was put on hold until Miriam had been quarantined for seven days. It was an
example to Miriam, Aaron, Moses and all the people that GOD expected unity,
order and respect between HIS chosen and Himself. It also reconfirmed Moses as GOD’S
It is very
sad when GOD’S people are not in unity and harmony with HIM and each other. GOD
has to intervene and when HE does it is not a pretty sight.
If you are
the cause of disunity or have a critical spirit, it is time to repent and ask
for forgiveness. Do not delay. Blessings!!!