Wednesday, March 22, 2017
In his first letter to the Corinthian church, Paul wrote: “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.” (1 Cor. 11:1 NKJV) It is a wise thing to try to learn from and then emulate those who faithfully serve or have served the Lord, in particular the heroes of the faith. When the subject of bible heroes comes to mind, who is the first one on your list? Is it David, Moses, Abraham, Joseph, or someone else? The fact is that we can learn good things from any of these and other bible figures. I was thinking about that recently as I was reading again in Numbers, Chapter 12. It is the account of the time when Moses’ brother and sister criticized and openly spoke against him. I, like many other teachers, look for examples, lessons, comparisons, and application when reading a bible story. I found all of that in Numbers 12. I can only go over some of them lightly due to the limited space I have chosen to allot for our blogs, but I trust you’ll read that story for yourself and see what other good things you can learn from it.
Here are some of the valuable lessons I found in this story: (1) It is not wise to openly criticize a faithful servant of God. Though Moses never complained to God for what Miriam and Aaron did, the last part of verse 2 says: “And the Lord heard it.” (2) Meekness, or humility, like we saw in Moses, is a characteristic of God’s exceptional servants. As I often tell our congregation: “Meek does not mean weak.” (3) Our biggest critics and fiercest opponents are often those in our own family. (4) To desire God’s punishment on those who hurt or offend us is not a Christian characteristic. When the Lord was about to punish Aaron and Miriam for it, who was the first to intercede in their behalf? Correct! It was Moses! In fact, the punishment could have been much worse had he not interceded for them. Centuries before Jesus taught it in His Sermon on the Mount, Moses already knew that is God’s will to “bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” (See Luke 6:28)
Can we be imitators of Moses? Can we behave as he did the next time someone offends or hurts us? Can we pray for them and not rejoice or gloat if or when God decides to punish them? Can we patiently accept our trials and tribulations without crying “poor me” or complaining to God about it? If we can, God can use us. It may not even come close to Moses’ level, but He can use us anyway.
God’s promise for today: (Matthew 5:11) “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.”