“Then Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married; for he had married an Ethiopian woman.
Suddenly the LORD said to Moses, Aaron, and Miriam, “Come out, you three, to the tabernacle of meeting!” So the three came out.
Then He said, “Hear now My words: If there is a prophet among you, I, the LORD, make Myself known to him in a vision; I speak to him in a dream. Not so with My servant Moses; He is faithful in all My house. I speak with him face to face, Even plainly, and not in dark sayings; And he sees the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid To speak against My servant Moses?”
And when the cloud departed from above the tabernacle, suddenly Miriam became leprous, as white as snow. Then Aaron turned toward Miriam, and there she was, a leper.
So Moses cried out to the LORD, saying, “Please heal her, O God, I pray!””
Numbers 12:1, 4, 6-8, 10, 13 NKJV
I read a story of a woman years ago, who was driving home on a freeway and was struck by a frozen turkey thrown from an oncoming car by four teens. The twenty pound turkey had crashed through her windshield, and hit her in the face. She suffered much injury, requiring her to be in an induced coma for two weeks. She suffered massive damage, requiring much surgery.
Her attackers were caught, and the one who had actually thrown the turkey was facing twenty five years for the crime. The college freshman was described as a follower. At a time when most of us would have desired that the young man receive the harshest possible sentence, the victim pleaded for mercy.
If I had a role model from the bible, other than Jesus, I would choose Moses. He was the epitome of God’s mercy, time and time again, as recounted in the book of Numbers.
In chapter twelve, his siblings were going after him because of his romantic choices, and began to doubt his ability to lead. They committed the sin of racism, and more importantly, they sinned against God, as they challenged His wisdom, as He had chosen Moses.
When the consequences came, Miriam was stricken with leprosy, one of the worst things that could happen. In that moment, Moses cried out to God for her healing.
I wish I could say that I would be one to do that. In my own life, I have had many incidents when I have been wronged. I can’t think of many times when I have not felt some kind of glee, deep down, when those opposing me went down in flames.
When I read of Moses in Numbers, I see a foreshadowing of Jesus, as He came to earth, God in the flesh to live among us. Moses faced a lot of backbiting and complaint from the children of Israel, including his family, but he continued to lead, to plead, and stand in the gap for those the Lord had entrusted to him. I think of Jesus, having been rejected in Jerusalem, weeping over them.
““O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!”
Matthew 23:37 NKJV
His own would betray Him, deny Him, yet Jesus would go to the cross to die for the sins of the world. People still reject Him, still run after other gods, and even His own will allow themselves to be consumed by worldly concerns, and turn from Him. Yet, Jesus is always near, always giving mercy. Even as they nailed Him to the cross, He called out to the Lord.
“Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” And they divided His garments and cast lots.”
Luke 23:34 NKJV
Brothers and sisters, we have been given the power to show mercy. As we live in these perilous times, there will be hardships, and times when things are done to us that cause injury, emotional, financial or physical. In those moments, we too, may be called upon to show mercy.
I have seen first hand the power of God to turn a heart from sin. I have seen enemies saved, and I have seen my own heart changed. My testimony is full of stories of God urging me to pray for people who have abused me, and then seeing God deliver them to the kingdom. It is worth it for the advancement of the Gospel.
“Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, We shall also live with Him. If we endure, We shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us. If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.”
II Timothy 2:10-13 NKJV