Miriam and Aaron criticized Moses on account of the Cushite woman whom he had married—for he had married a Cushite woman. They said, “Has the Lord spoken only through Moses? Hasn’t he also spoken through us?” The Lord heard it. Now the man Moses was humble, more so than anyone on earth. – Numbers 12:1-3
These verses are a soap opera unto themselves.
Moses’ own brother and sister display a darkness of heart that, fortunately, wasn’t passed on to him. “On account of the Cushite woman” may have been blatant racism, as some think Cushites were Ethiopian. “Hasn’t God also spoken through us?” oozes with jealousy and ambition. Not surprisingly, they “criticized” their brother, which meant they stirred up the people against him.
Out of nowhere the writer adds, “The man Moses was [the most humble man on earth].” Why? What does that have to do with having a tacky pair of siblings?
Perhaps it means that Moses didn’t take offense at their pettiness. He didn’t feel the need to engage in a Twitter war, nor did he come up with insulting nicknames for them. He simply went about the business of leading the people.
However, “The LORD heard it.”
Read the rest of the chapter and God lays out the siblings. The next verse sets the tone: “Immediately, the Lord said to Moses, Aaron, and Miriam, ‘You three go out to the meeting tent.’” God straightens things out on Moses’ behalf, and we never hear any more grumbling.
That’s the unseen value of humility. When you’re confident in yourself, when you go about your duty to the best of your ability, when you give it your best: you don’t need to brag or defend yourself. Indeed, if you do exchange insult for insult, it says more about your insecurity and less about your opponents. Character speaks for itself.
That’s because God, in some fashion, will tell your antagonists to go out to the meeting place. Regardless of whether you witness that or not, it doesn’t matter.
Humility immunizes you against the hate-viruses spread by others. That is its unseen value.
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June Book of the Month Selection
Given the unrest in our society, The Anatomy of Peace is a timely read. You can find more about it here.