Friday, May 13, 2016

PRAYERS OF THE BIBLE SERIES: THE BOOK OF NUMBERS #3

TRYING THE LORD'S PATIENCE - NOT A GOOD IDEA!
Moses cried out to the LORD, saying, "O God, heal her, I pray!" (NUMBERS 12:13)
Christians have to be very careful in our inter-personal relationships when it comes to our interpretation of what the Lord has said in His Word and what He means. God is an awesome God and is not to be trifled, minimized and disrespected. As many will find out on THAT day, while the Lord is silent as all kinds of atrocities are committed by people with evil intent and while the majority of this world bows down to false cults and religion. The Apostle Paul writes in the New Testament (Romans 2:5) "But because you are stubborn and refuse to turn from your sin, you are storing up terrible punishment for yourself. For a day of anger is coming, when God's righteous judgment will be revealed."

This is an incredible piece of history which is absolute proof that even the best of the best of us can commit despicable sin.  Make no bones about it, racism is unacceptable in the Eyes of God, especially among His chosen.  In terms of the Judeo-Christian faith, the parties involved here are huge in terms of the foundations of our Faith. Aaron (no last name as most of our Old Testament bible heroes) was the first high priest of God. Miriam was the sister of Moses, the instrument of God’s redemption of Israel from slavery and bondage. Yet these two great Levites, the chosen priestly tribe of God’s people, crossed the line.

Aaron had taken it upon himself to criticize Moses, who had no other companionship, for marrying an Ethiopian woman (Cushite in some translation). This means, basically, that she was a black woman, like most Ethiopians. It appears that Aaron chose to couch his distaste for Moses’ wife in terms of how Yahweh chose to speak to Moses ….as opposed to him (Aaron) and Miriam.   Aaron had just finished this criticism of his brother and the Bible says God IMMEDIATELY summoned them, in anger.

God also made a point to put in the Scriptures that “Moses was more humble than any other person on Earth”. He went on to specifically tell them that Moses was His and had a unique face to Face relationship with the Almighty. When the Lord had finished lecturing Aaron and Miriam (Numbers 12:4-9). Miriam was instantly afflicted with leprosy while Aaron, the chief instigator was not. However it was Aaron who repented, falling on his knees and finally respecting Moses, asked for mercy, on behalf of their sister.

Here is where Moses uttered this short prayer, knowing Yahweh would listen to His servant "O God, heal her, I pray!"

God, in His righteous anger, promised to restore her in seven days, but Miriam had to be cut off from the congregation, as a form of discipline. Here are some serious points for all of us to first think about and then accept:
- God is Sovereign. He will have favor upon those He wishes to, regardless of what limitations mortal men see in the person God chooses.
- Racism is a sin and more so, in those who call themselves believers and are actual Christians. 
- Be careful speaking out against a church or ministry leader. If such a person has committed obvious sin,  in Matthew Chapter 18 Jesus gives specific instructions on how church discipline should be enacted.
- God will punish sin, especially in His own people. Miriam developed leprosy and had to be cut off. Aaron was left alone to be scared silly and then intercede on her behalf. Even Moses did not make to the Promised Land in the flesh due to his sin against God (Numbers 27:12-14).
- God is compassionate, longsuffering, patient BUT He is VERY kind. Most lepers – 99.999% of them were lepers for life. Miriam only suffered seven days for her sin, then was restored.
- God literally controls everything, whether even Christians like it or not. The sooner we, who are called by His Name recognize that, the easier it will be for us to move ahead and do the work He called us to do.


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