Miriam and Aaron were the sister and brother of Moses. Both had helped Moses as he was used of God to liberate the Israelite people. Aaron had even been the spokesperson for Moses in their dramatic encounters with Pharaoh and become the chief priest of the people after their deliverance. But by the time they appear in Numbers 12, our scripture for today, they had become critical and jealous.
But God does not like complaining. Once He even opened up the earth and swallowed an even larger group of whiners. So, as you read the passage below, be reminded to always try to be positive and helpful.
(Numbers 12) 1 Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife, for he had married a Cushite. 2 “Has the Lord spoken only through Moses?” they asked. “Hasn’t he also spoken through us?” And the Lord heard this.
3 (Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.)
4 At once the Lord said to Moses, Aaron and Miriam, “Come out to the tent of meeting, all three of you.” So the three of them went out. 5 Then the Lord came down in a pillar of cloud; he stood at the entrance to the tent and summoned Aaron and Miriam. When the two of them stepped forward, 6 he said, “Listen to my words:
“When there is a prophet among you, I, the Lord, reveal myself to them in visions, I speak to them in dreams. 7 But this is not true of my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house. 8 With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the Lord. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?”
9 The anger of the Lord burned against them, and he left them. 10 When the cloud lifted from above the tent, Miriam’s skin was leprous—it became as white as snow. Aaron turned toward her and saw that she had a defiling skin disease, 11 and he said to Moses, “Please, my lord, I ask you not to hold against us the sin we have so foolishly committed. 12 Do not let her be like a stillborn infant coming from its mother’s womb with its flesh half eaten away.” 13 So Moses cried out to the Lord, “Please, God, heal her!”
14 The Lord replied to Moses, “If her father had spit in her face, would she not have been in disgrace for seven days? Confine her outside the camp for seven days; after that she can be brought back.” 15 So Miriam was confined outside the camp for seven days, and the people did not move on till she was brought back. 16 After that, the people left Hazeroth and encamped in the Desert of Paran.