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Good Morning.

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. Please do not let her be as one dead.” (Numbers 12:11-12)

The rabbinical belief is that Miriam was struck with leprosy because her statements about Moses amounted to slandering her brother. Moreover, because Aaron was not afflicted in the same way suggests he was drawn in, and not the instigator of this sin. Consequently, there is much commentary in Jewish tradition about the danger and lethal impact slander and gossip can have in a community. It could be argued that this is precisely why God responded to this in such a harsh manner — to make a definite point.

Yet, there is another point made here as well and that is, once again, about the man Moses. We’ve already highlighted the attribute of meekness but we also see how he was quick to forgive and committed to intercession on behalf of God’s people. This was not the first time he had stood in the gap for his countrymen and so it is accurate to see his reaction where Miriam was concerned, not as an exception, but in harmony with his nature. Though he was the object of the slander, Moses nevertheless, appeals for Miriam’s healing.

It is my view that this is exactly why Moses was chosen to lead the people — because he was a shepherd and had a compassionate heart toward those he was called to lead, whether they were closely related or not. To underscore the importance of this disposition, consider the Messiah, our Great Shepherd. Even as His countrymen and relatives hurled insults and accusations at Him, He considered their well being. As He was led to His execution, He prayed that God would not hold this sin against them because, as He said, “They don’t know what they’re doing.” May God help us all to act in a similar manner — being quick to forgive and to intercede for those who would speak and act against us, knowing that this is pleasing to the Father.

Blessings and Shalom,  




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