Topic: Uncontrolled Speech
[DCLM Daily Manna 4 October 2019 Daily Devotional by Pastor William Folorunso Kumuyi]
Text: Numbers 12:9-16 (KJV)
9 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against them; and he departed.
10 And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous.
11 And Aaron said unto Moses, Alas, my lord, I beseech thee, lay not the sin upon us, wherein we have done foolishly, and wherein we have sinned.
12 Let her not be as one dead, of whom the flesh is half consumed when he cometh out of his mother’s womb.
13 And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, Heal her now, O God, I beseech thee.
14 And the LORD said unto Moses, If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be ashamed seven days? let her be shut out from the camp seven days, and after that let her be received in again.
15 And Miriam was shut out from the camp seven days: and the people journeyed not till Miriam was brought in again.
16 And afterward the people removed from Hazeroth, and pitched in the wilderness of Paran.
Key Verse: “The cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous” (Numbers 12:10).
“The boneless tongue, so small and weak, can crush and kill,” declares the Greek. “The tongue can speak a word whose speed,” say the Chinese, “outstrips the steed.” While Arab sages said, “The tongue’s great storehouse is the heart.” The sacred writer crowns the whole: “Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles” (Proverbs 21:23).
From the passage under consideration, Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses over the issue of his marrying a Cushite or an Ethiopian woman. The Lord summoned the three siblings to the Tabernacle immediately. After a sharp rebuke, God’s judgement fell upon Miriam for her disrespect for Moses. She became leprous, while Aaron was reprimanded but appeared to have escaped unpunished. Miriam looked like the ring leader and the originator of the complaint.
Some people might feel Miriam’s punishment here was severe, compared to her offence. But God who knows the thoughts of men, knew how she deserved to be punished. Miriam, the eldest of the three was used to save Moses when he was but a child at River Nile. She is called a prophetess in Exodus 15:20. That may have made her think she was at the same level with Moses. But in God’s dealings with man, age does not count. Besides, their complaint was tainted with racism against Moses’ wife. Her punishment was just and well deserved.
Making unwise comments about servants of God can incur His wrath and bring about unknown curses to one’s life. We must not join so-called believers who go on the social media to denigrate their leaders. We must treat God’s faithful servants with respect.
Thought For The Day: The tongue is the ambassador of the heart.
The Bible In One Year: Hebrews 10–13