I’ve gained a new appreciation for Moses. Reading through the book of Numbers, he is faced with rebellion and discontent over and over and over. There’s no water. There’s no food. There’s no meat. There’s no water again. Didn’t they remember the Lord‘s provision from before? Even his own sister and brother criticized his choice of a wife.
“Has the Lord indeed spoken only through Moses?” Miriam asked. “Has He not spoken through us as well?” Sounds like a little jealousy going on. Big Sister remembers watching out for baby Moses among the reeds of the river. If it wasn’t for her, he might not even be alive today.
But God showed her who was boss. He caused her skin to become white with leprosy, and sentenced her to a time out. Seven days outside the camp. Seven days to think about her pride and envy, her challenge to God’s authority as displayed through Moses, not mention her little brother’s willingness to pray for her healing.
The next challenge to Moses’ personally is recorded in chapter 16. One of the Levites, a man named Korah, leads another rebellion, accusing Moses and Aaron of putting themselves above the people. “You have gone far enough,” he said, “for all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is in their midst; so why do you exalt yourselves above the assembly?”
Moses’ response sticks in my mind. “When Moses heard this, he fell on his face…” (Numbers 12:4)
My reaction would have been to wilt under the criticism or to argue back, defend myself, my motives and actions. But Moses fell on his face before God, assuming the submissive position of a servant before his Master. He saw the criticism for what it really was–a rebellion against God–and fell down in worship and repentance for a nation that couldn’t seem to grasp this concept of a holy, omnipotent and just God.
Oh, to have such an attitude! To be able to see sin for what it is rather than try to rationalize or explain it away. And then to fall on my face, in total submission and repentance to the Lord of my life.
Dear God, Make me like Moses, unaffected by what people say of me, whether good or bad, but ever and always mindful of your holiness and authority. Amen.