Muhammad Ali was in his prime, and as he was about to take off on an airplane flight, the stewardess reminded him to fasten his seat belt. He came back brashly, "Superman don't need no seat belt." The stewardess quickly came back, "Superman don't need no airplane, either." Ali fastened his belt. -- James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988) p. 295.
5. God stepped in to defend Moses, Moses felt no need to do so himself.
a. All 3 are summoned by God to appear at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting … right before God's presence!
b. God called Aaron and Miriam to step forward without Moses.
c. God shares with them how He is willing to use them as prophetess and priest by speaking to them via visions and dreams, but with Moses He talks face to face as one friend to another!
d. Their out of control attitude toward another servant of God's cost them humiliation and pain, pride comes before a fall!
(1. The Spirit of God withdraws from them for the moment "… and He left them."
(2. Miriam is struck with leprosy! Aaron was probably spared because as High priest he was not allowed to have any physical imperfections since he represented Christ as high priest … but he is certainly humiliated in the eyes of Israel in all this.
6. Moses shines as an example here of one who even though offended has a different way of dealing with it, the natural man would strike back, the spiritual man is under control and gets things done with a gentleness that is only God breathed!
B. Compassionate - Read Num. 12:10-16
1. If Moses had responded in the natural he might have yelled, "HA, serves you both right, see if you give me a hard time again!"
a. Aaron immediately responds by crying out to Moses for compassion!
b. No doubt Miriam must have looked toward her brother Moses too for help!
2. Moses immediately cries out to God to heal his sister! What an act of "Gentleness!"
a. Rather than take delight in their suffering Moses cries out for them to be restored.
b. Moses is not thinking of himself, only the well being on Aaron and Miriam and their ministry within Israel.
c. This is the quality of "gentleness" at work, the obvious work of the Holy Spirit in the life of Moses.
3. No doubt this act of love and compassion on Moses' part had a great impact on his relationship with Miriam and Aaron following this, an act of love and kindness can dramatically change even the hardest soul!
A woman was suffering from depression, so her concerned husband took her to a psychiatrist. The doctor listened to the couple talk about their relationships, and then said, "The treatment I prescribe is really quite simple." With that he went over to the man's wife, gathered her up in his arms, and gave her a big kiss. He then stepped back and looked at the woman's glowing face and broad smile. Turning to the woman's husband, he said, "See! That's all she needs to put new life back into her." Expressionless, the husband said, "OK, Doc, I can bring her in on Tuesdays and Thursdays." -- James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988), p. 334.
4. Miriam is required to stay "unclean" the prescribed 7 days outside the camp (see Lev. 14:9) before she is allowed to return.
a. Moses' love for her and her healing as well as Israel's love by stopping and waiting for her full return was an act of gentleness consistent with the quality of the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
b. Gentleness and graciousness is the expression of a strong individual, one is controlled by God rather than their own passions and desires.
c. Moses' ability to forgive and even restore his jealous sister is testimony to what God had