‘Keep your tongue from speaking evil.’ 1 Peter 3:10 NLT
God dealt with Moses because of some of the mistakes he made. In fact, one of them kept him from entering the Promised Land. Nevertheless, God wouldn’t permit anybody else to criticise Moses—not even his sister Miriam. So what can you learn from this? (1) We’re all capable of harbouring a critical attitude. Miriam had great qualities. She saved Moses’ life as a child, and she wrote a song of praise Israel used to celebrate the crossing of the Red Sea. But she paid a high price for her critical attitude—leprosy. (2) When you’re resentful you become critical. ‘Miriam…began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife.’ (Numbers 12:1 NIV) But was that the real issue? No. ‘They said, “Has the Lord indeed spoken only through Moses? Has He not spoken through us also?”’ (Numbers 12:2 NKJV) Moses’ wife was just a diversion; the real issue was Moses’ success. Their beef was: ‘How come he gets all the attention?’ (3) Anytime you succeed you’ll be criticised. The Bible says, ‘Moses was very humble’ (Numbers 12:3 NKJV), yet even he couldn’t escape the pain inflicted by self-appointed critics. And you’re no different; as long as you’re alive somebody will find fault with what you’re doing. Brush it off and keep going. (4) If you’ve been critical, you need to repent. When Aaron acknowledged, ‘We have acted foolishly…we have sinned’ (Numbers 12:11 NAS), God showed mercy and healed Miriam. Most of us would rather classify criticism as a weakness, but from God’s perspective it’s a genuine, bona fide, registered sin. And there’s only one way to deal with sin—repent and stop committing it.
SoulFood: Gen 28:1–30:24, John 14:1–14, Ps 130, Prov 31:28–31
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