December 02, 2013
From the desk of Dr. A.J. Higgins
“The LORD spake suddenly. And the LORD came down in the pillar of the cloud,
and stood in the door of the tabernacle.”
It was a family issue. It was no one’s business except theirs: Miriam, Aaron, and Moses. Perhaps out of jealousy, envy, or the competitive spirit usually inherent to leaders, Miriam and Aaron criticized their brother Moses and used his marriage to an Ethiopian as the ‘spiritual cover’ for their attack. Like the Savior that he prefigured in so many ways, Moses had often been the object of false accusations and unjust criticism. But now it was coming from family.
The solemn addendum to verse 2 is, “And the Lord heard it.” What follows must have been as shocking to Miriam as it was to Moses: “The Lord spoke suddenly unto Moses and unto Aaron and unto Miriam …”
God moved swiftly to vindicate His servant. From the inspired record, it appears that virtually no time elapsed between the accusations and the vindication. And the vindication was both within the family and to the nation, as progress by all was halted until Miriam’s leprosy was cleansed.
How different at Calvary! Accusations, false allegations, slurs, blasphemy, and malicious innuendos surrounded the Lord Jesus at Calvary. Did angels stand on the tip toe of expectation, remembering Numbers 12, debating how God would vindicate His perfect Servant? What special intervention would God implement? How severe would be the judgment on the false accusers? Would it be leprosy or something worse?
But heaven was silent! The perfect Servant hung in shame as evil men gloated in self-righteous glee, shouting their vile abuse upon Him. They felt vindicated. And heaven was silent! The God Who came down ‘suddenly’ in the wilderness to set the record straight and honor His servant Moses, allowed men to treat His Son as they did without rushing to His vindication. Denied, deserted, and delivered up, the Lord Jesus would die with the record stating, “He was numbered among the transgressors.”
But God will vindicate His Servant in a coming day. The One Who was obedient unto death will be owned as Lord to the glory of the Father.
1. How many similarities between the life of Moses and that of Christ can you find? For example, he was rejected by his brethren and as a result was given a Gentile bride in the land of Midian.
2. Criticism came from Moses’ family. Was there any time that the Lord Jesus endured criticism from His own family? How did He respond?
3. If we appreciate God’s actions in Numbers 12 as His innate sense of justice and His desire to defend His servants, what does that reveal about what the Father must have felt as men falsely accused His Son?