Thursday after Invocavit
Scripture: Numbers 12:1-15 (NKJV)
1 Then Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married; for he had married an Ethiopian woman. 2 So they said, “Has the Lord indeed spoken only through Moses? Has He not spoken through us also?” And the Lord heard it. 3 (Now the man Moses was very humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth.)
4 Suddenly the Lord said to Moses, Aaron, and Miriam, “Come out, you three, to the tabernacle of meeting!” So the three came out. 5 Then the Lord came down in the pillar of cloud and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam. And they both went forward. 6 Then He said,
“Hear now My words: If there is a prophet among you, I, the Lord, make Myself known to him in a vision; I speak to him in a dream.
7 Not so with My servant Moses; He is faithful in all My house.
8 I speak with him face to face, even plainly, and not in dark sayings; And he sees the form of the Lord. Why then were you not afraid to speak against My servant Moses?”
9 So the anger of the Lord was aroused against them, and He departed. 10 And when the cloud departed from above the tabernacle, suddenly Miriam became leprous, as white as snow. Then Aaron turned toward Miriam, and there she was, a leper. 11 So Aaron said to Moses, “Oh, my lord! Please do not lay this sin on us, in which we have done foolishly and in which we have sinned. 12 Please do not let her be as one dead, whose flesh is half consumed when he comes out of his mother’s womb!”
13 So Moses cried out to the Lord, saying, “Please heal her, O God, I pray!”
14 Then the Lord said to Moses, “If her father had but spit in her face, would she not be shamed seven days? Let her be shut out of the camp seven days, and afterward she may be received again.” 15 So Miriam was shut out of the camp seven days, and the people did not journey till Miriam was brought in again.
What is the specific sin that causes Aaron and Miriam to be called to task by the Lord? Is it not a violation of the Eighth Commandment in their attack on Moses and his wife? In so doing they also go down the path of thinking more highly of themselves than they should, the sin that is warned against by Saint Paul in Romans 12:3. This sin though, like every sin, can ultimately be traced back to that original sin in the Garden when mankind desired to be God rather than the blessed beloved children of God.
Though the sin was forgiven by an abundantly gracious Lord there were temporal ramifications for the sin that had to be dealt with. This reality must be faced in our lives when we sin, for being forgiven by God or absolved by the pastor does not necessarily translate into immediate removal of the consequences of our sin in the here and now.
Aaron serves as an example of how we should deal with our own sin in that he does not make excuses or try to shift blame for the sin. He immediately and completely confesses the sinfulness of his and Miriam’s behavior, turning to Moses in humility with a repentant request that Moses bring their fallen state before God with a humble plea of forgiveness through grace. Aaron had faith that though they had been rebellious and foolish, the Lord was merciful and longsuffering toward His beloved children. It is also worth noting that Aaron does not forget his place as priest, for his request is for Miriam especially to be redeemed from her judgment.
Lord, through Your Means may we always be drawn closer to You and ever thankful to come repentantly before You as Your servant. Amen.