Aaron and Miriam had an issue with Moses. They disagreed with his marrying an Cushite woman (Numbers 12:1) It is not really obvious why they were against Moses’ marriage to this woman but what can be deduced is that they already had a grudge with Moses and this was just an excuse to show it.
Miriam was first mentioned in that verse and one could deduce that she instigated her brother Aaron to join her in speaking against Moses. The next verse shows us the main reason for their grudge. They were challenged the exclusivity of God’s communion with Moses. Since Miriam was a prophetess, speaking words given to her through the Spirit of God, she saw herself as equal to Moses. The verse ends with the words, ‘And the Lord heard this’. It didn’t mean God did not hear the other conversations, it just meant that the Lord paid special attention to what was said.
When I was reading this portion of scripture, I was somewhat surprised that Moses, who is known for his fierce temper, was not recorded as saying anything. Rather, we were given an account of Moses, being the humblest man on earth (Number 12:3) He could have flared up against Miriam and Aaron and reminded them of how God called him and used him to do all those great miracles in Egypt but he chose to be quiet. God took note of this and had to intervene. He called Moses, Miriam and Aaron to the Tent of Meeting and settled the rebellion once and for all.
The Lord told them, ‘When a prophet of the Lord is among you, I will reveal myself to him in visions, I speak to him in dreams. But this is not true of my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house. With him, I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he seems the form of the Lord. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses? (Numbers 12:6-8)’
The basis of their argument was shredded to pieces by God’s superior argument. God had to use a medium (visions, dreams) to speak with prophets and prophetesses like Miriam, but with Moses, He spoke directly without any form of ambiguity.
Today, God still speaks to us. We only need to recognize His voice. He may not speak audibly like He did with Moses, but there is a way He speaks to us that conveys His will.
God’s voice confirms His word to us. I love the fact that we do not have to take blindly the word of anyone who claims that God has spoken to them concerning us. We have the scriptures to confirm that was we have been told is true. We can also re-confirm by asking God to speak to us and we can be sure that He will respond.
When God speaks to us, often it runs contrary to common sense and human reasoning. This was what Moses faced as he oftentimes came under severe criticisms and even threats to his life by the Israelites. However, when we stand our ground and trust Him because of what we heard from Him, the same people who criticised you, will come back and celebrate with you.
I know the next question would be, ‘Bro Steve, how can I hear the voice of God?’ My reply is simply this; when you start a relationship with a friend or a loved one, once thing that keeps the relationship going is communication. You don’t make a friend and expect the friendship to endure when you do not communicate. In the process, you find out about the friend, his or her likes and dislikes, mannerisms and so on.
The same way in our relationship with God. We know Him more when we spend time in His word and prayer. As we grow in our relationship with Him, He begins to speak to us, not necessarily audibly but also through our inner man, the spirit and sometimes through other people and circumstances. The fact is, when He speaks, you will know deep down in your spirit that He has spoken.
It takes training to know the voice of God. Sometimes we would make mistakes but even in those mistakes, God knows how to steer us to the right path. Sooner or later, we will get it right and when we do, how sweet His words would be to our ears!
Steve O. Popoola
(c) Biblepraise Fellowship, March 2010.
Steve Popoola is the editor of Biblepraise Newsletter and the webmaster of Biblepraise Fellowship Online at http://www.biblepraise.org . British by birth, He currently resides in Lagos , Nigeria with wife Maris and their children; Praise, Stephanie and Precious. He works as an IT professional in a bank. He presently serves as Church Secretary and Head of Music Ministry in his local church. He is the Moderator/Editor of Biblepraise Newsletter. He can be reached through His email address, firstname.lastname@example.org