Focal Passage: Numbers 12:1-11, 13-15
The 1998 movie “Enemy of the State” was about mild mannered, Washington D.C. area lawyer Robert Dean discovering an extensive world of surveillance carried on by various government agencies. Dean ends up partnering with a mysterious guy named Brill who used to be part of one of those agencies. As Brill is trying to help Dean understand what is happening around him, he tells him that every word of every phone call is being listened to by computers.
For some, the movie was a frightening look into the future. Indeed, some in the movie (and in our culture today) express concern over who is doing the listening. I find that to be fascinating, especially for Christians, because the Bible clearly teaches that God is always listening.
When we look at Miriam and Aaron’s opposition to Moses in Numbers 12:1-11, 13-15, we find the Lord is listening.
Not only is the Lord listening, but He takes decisive action.
Miriam was singled out for discipline likely for being the one to instigate criticism against Moses. Regardless, the critical spirit was born out of comparing themselves to Moses (v. 1).
The Lord acts “at once,” according to verse 4. He brings discipline to Miriam with the intended purpose of restoring her relationship with Moses, and ultimately with the Lord.
While Enemy of the State has to do with governmental intrusion into our lives, Numbers 12 has to do with the intrusion of a different enemy: pride. Their pride led Miriam and Aaron to criticize Moses, the one who intercedes with God on their behalf, without considering that God was listening.
Perhaps you struggle with a critical spirit, too. How can you be free of such a critical spirit? Only by repenting of our pride and turning to the One who intercedes with God on our behalf can we truly become the people God intends us to be.
And, you will find that, just as Miriam was brought back into the camp, “God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).