Items posted on 9 March 2011
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Numbers 12.1-9 – Pride and resentment of God’s sovereignty
Posted: 9 March 2011 in Numbers

And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses….. And they said, Hath the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the LORD heard it. (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.) And the LORD spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out. And the LORD came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth. And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house. With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses? And the anger of the LORD was kindled against them; and he departed.

Numbers 12 gives yet another display of that besetting human sin, pride. It is certainly the one the Bible seems to allude to more than any other – with the possible exception of idolatry.

I suppose we all know the feeling that we are as well qualified as Mr X, so why shouldn’t we be able to occupy his position? |But as the writer of Numbers hints, when he describes Moses as “very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth,” that feeling in Aaron and Miriam automatically disqualified them as possible alternatives to perform Moses’ leadership role. As a member of the priestly caste, Aaron would already have enjoyed some prestige amongst his contemporaries, but instead of serving God in the role to which he had been called, he wanted more.

At bottom, Aaron resented God’s sovereignty. He did not like the fact that God could call whomsoever he wished, for whatever purpose he wished. Resentment against the Lord would hardly have made him the ideal servant of God, had he been in Moses’ place. As it is, we might wonder at God’s wisdom in even calling him to the priesthood. To indulge in some pure speculation, it is possible, I suppose, that God would have humbled his heart in the fullness of time, and then, that once proud man, would have been able to speak from personal experience when counselling others about the evils of pride and its consequences.

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