Summary: This is the second message in allowing God to be God in our Death-Experiences. I pray that this offering will be of comfort to you.
The truth which lies at the basis of these series of messages is: THERE IS STUBBORN OPPOSITION EVEN RESISTANCE TO AUTHENTIC AUTHORITY AND LEADERSHIP IN ALL OF US AT TIMES. I said “Authentic Authority and Leadership” because not all leaders and authority figures are authentic. Some have arrogated positions of leadership and authority. Have pushed themselves into the forefront without having moral weight and a mandate to lead. And yet, In spite of our denial to the contrary, the sad fact which hangs like a dark cloud over all our lives is that AT CERTAIN SEASONS, WE REFUSE TO LET GOD BE GOD IN OUR LIFE.
I do contend on solid grounds that Almighty God, the Creator of all that is, is the Ultimate and Absolute Authority and Leader. He is absolute truth, absolute power and possesses unimpeachable character.
And yet at times, we puny, frail, short-sighted, fallible creature of a day do assert our imagined right to rule our own lives. And by asserting that supposed right, we imperil ourselves to the Danger of Death.
That seems to be the gist of our text. For it warns us of a place called Kadesh in which Resistance to God results in Death. For that verse of Scripture, which has been codified, has not been modified or de- leted which says that “The wages of sin is DEATH.” Now on last Sunday, we were confronted with Divine Punctuation Marks. We were enlightened as to the meaning and message of that Interim of Silence between the Semicolon and Conjunction and the Period which awaits the close of the sentence if Repentance is not forth- coming. God is poised to write Periods at the end of each life which does not do Repentance between the Semicolon and Conjunctive “And.”
The loss of life as a result of those airplanes crashing into the World Trade Towers in Manhattan and the Pentagon in Virginia, attests to the fact that GOD WILL WRITE A PERIOD AT THE END OF A SENTENCE WHEN THAT INTERIM BETWEEN THE SEMICOLON AND CONJUNCTION IS NOT FILLED WITH REPENTANCE!!! However, I’m not going to use this preaching moment to address that issue, because I am dealing with that issue on Wednesday evening in our Bible Study. So if you desire a clear, biblical understanding of the events which are taking place now, you need to be present at Bible Study on Wednesday evening.
Yet our Text seems to suggest that THERE IS STUBBORN OPPOSITION TO AUTHORITY IN OUR PERSONAL PREFERENCE OF PROMINENT PEOPLE!!!
The truth of the matter is that there are People who hold Prominent Places in our Personal Preference whom we Prize and Praise more than the Powerful Prince of Peace! That is attested to in a myriad of ways. That person who says that “another individual mean more to him/her than life itself,” is pushing this proposition of Personal Preference of a Prominent Person from their Perspective. That spouse who loses their soul-mate thru death and desires no longer to live without them, is pushing the proposition of Personal Preference of a Prominent Person from their Perspective.
That person who would rather face eternal separation from the righteous God than part company with an evil and adulterous person is expressing Personal Preference of a Prominent Person from his/her Perspective. Any Person who chooses a Deified Piece of Grass over the Immortal and Awesome God has opted for Personal Preference of a Prominent Person from their Perspective.
And yet, our Love, our Eros, our Phileo, our need to be possessed, accepted and loved by other human beings does, at times, cause us to Prefer the Creature over the Creator!!! Sometimes, a mother chooses the life of her child over the safety of her soul. Sometimes, a husband chooses the love of his wife over his commitment to God. Sometimes, squeezed people choose making a living over receiving a life from God! Yes, because of our frailty and firm grip on the here-and-now, we often Prefer a Prominent Person from our Perspective over the Person of the Holy God!!!
Let’s consider MIRIAM.
I was startled when I found out what her name means in Hebrew. I was not prepared for what I learned. For I learned, after having examined my Hebrew Text and Lexicon that Miriam means REBELLIOUS. It suggests the idea of a Stubborn Resistance to Authority.
The word Miriam - Meer-yawn’ reminds us of Eve’s condition after the Fall in Eden: Rebellious, Resisting the Authority of Her Head, Adam.
Let’s look at Miriam as she appears in Scripture as we trace her rise to Prominence and Power.
I. PROMINENT PEOPLE HAVE NOT ALWAYS BEEN WELL KNOW: THEY HAVE HAD INCONSPICUOUS BEGINNINGS. EXODUS 2:1-10.
So Inconspicuous was Miriam that we are not even told Her Name in this Second Chapter of Exodus. She is referred to in verse 4 as “his sister,” that is Moses’ sister. She is referred to in verse 5 as one of the “maids” of Pharaoh’s daughter. And in verse 7, she is referred to again as “his sister,” Moses’ sister.