Summary: This is the third in the series of God’s awesome activity in our Death Experiences. It takes a look at the life and legacy of Miriam.
For the past several Sundays, I have been pushing the premise that At Times, All of Us Project A Stubborn Opposition, even Resistance, to Authentic Authority and Leadership.
That stubbornness is manifested in our Opting For Kadesh (Sacrilegious Sanctuary of Satan) rather than Canaan (Sacred Sanctuary of the Sovereign Savior), and our Personal Preference of Prominent People from our Perspective. We all have some ‘Miriam’ in us.
Our last Sunday we learned that the name Miriam means “Rebellious.” “She who stubbornly resists Authority or Leadership.” On last Sunday, we detected hints of this rebellious spirit in Miriam as she defiantly rebelled against the fiat of Pharaoh in aiding his daughter. We looked at how the Lord had elevated Miriam from a Maid to a Matron, from a Domestic to a Prophetess.
But lest we forget that “we have this treasure in jars of clay,” I must here press the claim that Perturbing Perils Are Paired With Persons Who Are Positioned in Prominent Places of Power.
In Numbers 12, we confront Two Prominent People who are Poised and Positioned by God for Greatness, Paired with the Perturbing Peril of Arrogant High-Mindedness! Verse 1 of chapter 12 of Numbers says:
“And Miriam and Aaron Spake Against Moses ….”
It would greatly enhance our understanding of this part of the Script if you and I would give strict scrutiny to the Word Order of this Main Clause. For Miriam is mentioned first in word-order, not incidentally or accidentally, but purposefully, intentionally. The prominence of her name in the first position indicates that Miriam is the one who is actually doing the Speaking Against and Aaron is there as a silent partner. We need to understand here that it is Miriam who is voicing her displeasure with Moses and Aaron gives his consent with his silent attendance.
Now the last snap-shot we have of Miriam is in Exodus 15:20 & 21 where, as a prophetess under divine inspiration, she has a tambourine in her hand exhorting the women of Israel to Sing to the Lord. As a Prophetess, she Blesses the Name of the Lord; she Praises the Prince; she Sings to the Savior; she Dances to the Deliverer; she Prophesies of God’s Awesome Power.
But the very next snap-shot we have of Miriam is in Numbers 12:1 where she is Speaking Against Moses!! She has gone from Playing a Tambourine to Striking Notes of Discord; from Prophesying to Protestation; from Praise to Pejorative; from Blessing to Blaming; from Dancing to Damning; from Compliment-er to Critic.
Which all underscores How Frequently Our Moods Migrate! We migrate from Blessing to Blaming; from Praising to Finger-Pointing; from Complimenters to Critics; from Inspiration to Imprecation; We Navigate from the Holy to the Horrible, from the Heights to the Depths much-too-much and way-too-often!!!
That’s one of our perennial problems: we cannot Master Our Moods; we fail to Remain Constant!!! One moment we are Speaking Well Of and the next we are Speaking Against. That’s why its imperative that we yield ourselves to the mastery and ministry of the Holy Spirit. We need Him to regulate our minds and monitor our moods. We need His hand on the reigns of our emotions and mind-sets.
The Madness and Mess of our Mood Swings is further exasperated by the Tenses of our Temperaments. It would appear from the context of our text that our Blessing or Praising Mood is of the Qal Kind, the Aorist Kind, the Past Tense Kind of Momentary Action, whereas our Blaming and Hypocritical Mood is of the Piel Kind, the Imperfect of Repeated Action Kind. For back in Exodus 15:20-21, the Tense of Miriam’s Praise is a One-Time Momentary Past Act. Which is to say that Miriam only Praised, Sang and Danced that once. It was not a repeated, protracted maintained mood; just a fleeting feeling. Whereas in Numbers 12:1, the Tense of Miriam’s Criticism is a Repeated, from time-to-time Act. Which is to say that Miriam Kept-On-Speaking Against Moses.
I wonder, can you relate? From our own practical experience from day to day, we find, after retrospection, that our Praise, our Blessing, our Speaking Well Of is much too often a One Time Act. For our Praise, our Worship, our Blessing seems to be compartmentalized. We have designated our Praise Mood to Sunday Mornings. We put on our Worship Face and Blessing Clothes on Sunday Mornings and pull them off after church. Momentarily, we Speak Well of God and our Brothers and Sister with whom we come in contact. But after the 11 o’clock hour, we re-compartmentalize our Praise Mood.
For some fleeting moments in the sanctuary, we refrain, sometimes, from Speaking Against Anyone else, and we just Speak Well Of, Praise the Lord. For one momentary moment, we enjoy the peace of God and the joy of the Lord. But that Mood does not last Long! It appears that we cannot sustain Speaking Well Of the Lord for protracted periods of time. It appears that our Praise dies on our lips and brotherhood is confined to one hour of the week.