Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Thursday after Invocavit

Posted on March 14, 2019 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: Numbers 12:1-15 (NKJV)
12:1 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.
16 And afterward the people moved from Hazeroth and camped in the Wilderness of Paran.
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? This sin, like all our sins, can ultimately be traced back to that original sin in the garden. It goes back to mankind’s desire to rebel against God and His will for us, rather than be His beloved children.
Though the sin of Aaron and Miriam was forgiven by an abundantly gracious Lord, there were temporal ramifications that had to be dealt with. This reality must also 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. He turns 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 long suffering 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.
We pray: Lord, through Your holy Means of Grace may we always be drawn closer to You and be ever thankful to come repentantly before You as Your servants. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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