‘Has the LORD spoken only through Moses?’ they asked. ‘Hasn’t he also spoken through us?’ And the LORD heard this.” – Numbers 12:2 (NIV)
Ah, poor Moses. There are very few characters in the Old Testament that I sympathize with more than him. In Numbers 11, he has heard more grumbling from the Israelites and complaints of how they have “lost their appetite” from eating manna. God became angry with them and struck them with a plague for wanting a change in their diet. At that point, Moses might have figured he could at least count on his family for support and to keep their complaints to themselves. But as we can see from their questions in the verse above, his own brother and sister failed him.
Miriam helped save Moses’ life while he was a baby, after their mother placed him in a basket in the Nile to protect him from Pharaoh. Aaron was called by God to help when Moses was afraid to speak to the Israelites and lead them out of slavery and to confront Pharaoh. Miriam and Aaron each had gifts of their own from God. But to them, it wasn’t enough. They instead took a “woe is me” approach and were punished for it. Miriam was then struck with a skin disease, Aaron asked for Moses’ forgiveness, and Moses pleaded with God to heal her, which He did. But Miriam first had to remain outside the camp for seven days. I wonder what she thought about while she was confined, of how foolish she was.
Miriam and Aaron are a reminder that sometimes we can ask the wrong questions. Instead of wondering why someone appears to have a greater blessing than us and asking God why this is, we should turn the questions inward. In what ways has God blessed me ? And more importantly, what ways can I use that blessing to His Glory ?