The Sin of Miriam
||Rev. Ronald Van Overloop
||30, 202, 387, 366
- The occasion for Miriam’s sin was her judgment of Moses’ wife, an Ethiopian woman.
- The focus is on Miriam.
- What the Scriptures tell us of Miriam (around 90 years old).
- Likely the sister who hid in the bulrushes when Moses’ basket was set afloat in the Nile (Ex. 2:4,7).
- She seems to be very able and quick to act; characterized by great zeal for God and His people.
- Miriam’s sin is the way she reacted to Moses’ marriage to an Ethiopian woman and not an Israelite.
- Moses’ marriage is not the problem and is not condemned in Scipture.
- Her criticism arose because she wanted the same honor given to Moses, the honor to give orders.
- Miriam’s sin is one of rebellion against God.
- First, her sin is rooted in her personal pride.
- She believed she knew what was best and so spoke to others against Moses – and his office.
- Specifically Miriam believed she (and Aaron) had equal rights with Moses to be leaders of Israel.
- She lost all respect and honor for the authority of Moses, conferred on him by Jehovah.
- She rebelled against God Who set Moses in his position as prophet of God).
- God tells Miriam that He had appointed Moses to his position (Moses did not left himself to it).
- Further God revealed Himself to Moses “mouth to mouth” (Numbers 12:8), not in visions and dreams (6,7).
- More, they were “not afraid to speak against My servant” (Numbers 12:1,8), contradicting his God-given authority.
- The effect of this rebellion on Moses is implied in the statement that Moses was the meekest of men (Numbers 12:3).
- “Jehovah heard” (2) and responded, showing the seriousness of the sin.
- God suddenly came and called them to the door of the tabernacle (Numbers 12:5).
- God’s anger was kindled against them (9) and Miriam became leprous (Numbers 12:10) picturing her sin!
- Moses’ intercession brings divine healing (Numbers 12:11-13).
- Aaron confesses and pleads for help.
- Moses’ humility is evidenced in his willingness to intercede (like the perfect Mediator).
- God heals, but not until she bears her shame for seven days.