“Has the Lord indeed only spoken through Moses?”

Interpreting Moses and his Cushite wife: “Has the Lord indeed only spoken through Moses?”

Context: Numbers 12:

Yes, Moses should not have married a Cushite and compromised with those, not of the faith. Still, the issue of punishment against Aaron and Miriam was not the fact that they were pointing out a failure in the life of Moses, but they "used" that failure in Moses' moral life to determine how to reject Moses' authority. Leaders who have God's calling in their lives are not perfect. We should not judge until we know that God has ruled, and some things we face in life should not be parameters to refuse to listen to God's spokesman or spokeswoman. The issue of authority was reinstated in the mind of Miriam and Aaron when it was through the prayer of Moses which brought about their healing, as God said, "This is my servant."

God will not contradict his purpose, laws, ways, and commands regardless of whether you are a prince or a slave. He punished David in his counting of the people and for his adultery. In God's eyes, there is no "one law for me and one law for thee." One law, in theological rule, must be applied in this case.

We are to find the real purpose of this story, which is to be aware of what goes on in the heart. Do we try and find ways to doubt God? Are leaders aware that disobedience can cause people to be confused? Polygamy was never God's way, and intermarriage was not either. Moses did compromise and sin in his marriage to a Cushite woman, but that did not discredit him as God's voice and prophet to the people of God. That distinction is what Moses and Aaron failed to make, and it resulted in their having to have learned a hard lesson.

"Has the Lord indeed only spoken through Moses?" In other words, it was the Lord who Miriam and Aaron were accusing. The Lord was doing something special in his calling and grace through the ministry of Moses. Using something in Moses' life that was not connected to his calling and his ministry as a prophet to discredit God's word in Moses meant to refuse to listen to God. The punishment was not because they were wrong about Moses marrying a foreign woman. That had nothing to do with the issue.

Mike Epp