Moses was clearly God’s appointed leader over Israel, tasked with the job of bringing the children of Israel out of Egypt and into the Promised Land. He saw opposition at various times from individuals and groups within the camp, but some of his most grievous problems came from members of his own family.
The youngest of the three children, Moses had Aaron and Miriam for siblings. Moses was born in the tribe of Levi, although no priesthood had been appointed yet. As was often the case in the Bible, although he was the youngest, God chose him to be the leader.
Being that the three of them were from the same family, and related to Moses, they also had a share in the spotlight. Even from the time of God’s calling of Moses, Aaron was chosen by God to be Moses’ spokesperson, simply because Moses felt inadequate as a speaker.
Moses did not seem capable of being swayed by popular opinion – but Aaron was. When Moses went up on the mountain and was gone for 40 days, the people, Aaron claimed, forced him to make the golden calf. Aaron had also, the Bible says, made them naked and they danced in celebration to the idol. What a shame had been brought on God’s people! Aaron was used of Satan to bring dishonor to Israel!
The leader had to deal with his brother, and there was no sympathy given. Moses caused the idol to be broken to powder and made the people drink. God is not interested in sharing His glory with a non-god – or any substitute!
Positively, Miriam had led the women of Israel in the creation of a song, used in the worship of the Lord (Exodus 15). This was most likely her best moment.
On another occasion, Aaron and Miriam became jealous over Moses’ position and power (Numbers 12), and forgot who he was. They forgot that God appointed him and they wanted Moses to share his authority with them. Unfortunately, as is so often true even today, people do not realize that God has given certain responsibilities to people He appoints, such as pastors.
In this incident, God saw that they did not recognize Him as the Giver of the authority that Moses had. Moses was humble, and God can trust His power to people who are humble and look to God for guidance. God gave leprosy to Miriam and she was quickly removed from the camp for seven days. Aaron was the High Priest and he was spared the leprosy, but not the embarrassment. He had to pronounce her unclean, which meant she needed to leave the camp for seven days.
Others, it seems, did not learn this lesson from their example, and it had to be taught the hard way to men like Korah. It is important to see that God appoints and disappoints, and whom He will, He elevates when He is ready.
The lesson from Moses’ siblings experience is don’t tamper with the power God gives to one of His appointed leaders – to pastors. This includes deacons – who are servants – youth pastors, etc. who are not the ones in charge. God still says, “Touch not mine anointed!”
All too often have I seen the Lord stop presumptuous people from tampering with His appointed people. He does not always do it right away, but when He is ready, He will step in, and it does not matter if you are a sibling or not! Yes, His leaders are human and will make mistakes, but you can be sure that God will take care of His appointed leaders.
Evangelist Mike Valles
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