We have reason to be exceedingly cautious of saying or doing anything against the servants of God,
for God will plead their cause if they are true servants and will reckon with the critic.
1 And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman.
2 And they said, Hath the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the LORD heard it.
3 (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)
4 And the LORD spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out.
5 And the LORD came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth.
6 And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.
7 My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house.
8 With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?
9 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against them; and he departed.
10 And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous.
11 And Aaron said unto Moses, Alas, my lord, I beseech thee, lay not the sin upon us, wherein we have done foolishly, and wherein we have sinned.
12 Let her not be as one dead, of whom the flesh is half consumed when he cometh out of his mother’s womb.
13 And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, Heal her now, O God, I beseech thee.
14 ¶ And the LORD said unto Moses, If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be ashamed seven days? let her be shut out from the camp seven days, and after that let her be received in again.
15 And Miriam was shut out from the camp seven days: and the people journeyed not till Miriam was brought in again.
16 And afterward the people removed from Hazeroth, and pitched in the wilderness of Paran.
Numbers 1 – J. Vernon McGee
Numbers 12:1-15 – God Protects Moses against Criticism
This Ethiopian wife may have been Zipporah, or some other woman whom Moses married after his first wife’s death. That Moses, the great lawgiver and leader, who could rule a turbulent multitude and face the great king of Egypt, should take the taunts of his brother and sister so quietly, indicates how deep and far-reaching had been the transformation of his character. Compare Exodus 2:12, etc. “Fret not thyself because of evildoers…. Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him,” Psalm 37.
When we hand our cause over to God He comes down, Numbers 12:5. He rebukes the enemy and avenger. Be faithful to Him and you may reckon on His faithfulness to you! That commendation of faithfulness, which Moses received, may be won by all! See Mark 13:34.
Our intercession may bring pardon and healing; but sin leaves its mark, Numbers 12:15. You are shut out of the enjoyment of the camp, and the march is delayed. Ponder James 3:5-6. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Numbers 12:7-8—My servant Moses is faithful:… with him will I speak mouth to mouth.
The meekest of men was vindicated by God Himself. He held his peace, but his Almighty Friend spoke up for him. It is thus that the meek inherit the earth and rejoice themselves in the abundance of peace. Oh, keep still, ye afflicted and tormented souls, God will not let you be trodden underfoot, if only you commit your cause to Him, and are faithful in all that He has committed to you. “He is able to keep that which I have committed unto him. That good thing which was committed unto thee keep” (2 Timothy 1:12, 14).
Notice to what faithfulness leads! The vision of God is not given to great intellectual ability or mental gift; but to those who as servants are faithful in the administration of God’s Household, and the performance of such duties as are entrusted to them by the Great Householder. Such are they that enjoy the face-to-face fellowship, and the mouth-to-mouth speech.
These words about Moses are quoted in Hebrews 3, as though it was pleasant to the Holy Spirit to commemorate in all ages the faithfulness of his servants: and there is this further thought added, that the Household is one, and that all dispensations are included in its precincts. “Whose house are we” (Hebrews 3:6). It is inspiring to know that we are in the same house with Moses, and may have the same blessing. Are God’s dealings with you in dark speeches, in mysterious and perplexing enigmas? Be patient and faithful in well-doing: He is but testing you, and soon He will say, I have called you not servants, but friends; for the servant knoweth not what his Lord doeth: but all things I have heard of the Father I have made known unto you. —Our Daily Homily