“Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife, for he had married a Cushite. 'Has the LORD spoken only through Moses?' they asked. 'Hasn’t he also spoken through us?' And the LORD heard this. ”
Probably most of us if not all of us have criticized something or someone in our lifetimes. And I would wager that we have had criticism directed at us as well. Most of the time we think of criticism as an arrow directed at one certain thing or person. But in our text this morning, we will discover that criticism is more like a shotgun, scattering in a wide pattern, rather than an arrow that zeroes in on a single object.
It seems that Miriam had to receive the brunt of the judgment while Aaron’s sin of rebelling and criticizing is overlooked. When you consider that God calls the man to be the spiritual leader you would think that God would punish Aaron rather than Miriam. But if we look close we might see that is what did indeed happen.
Miriam got the leprosy yes, but Aaron is the one pleading to Moses to not lay the sin upon them. Aaron is the one confessing and repenting. I think Aaron understood far too well that God was displeased with his rebellion and even worse for this bad example, and because of that God smites his sister Miriam with leprosy. Imagine if you led someone into sin, and then because of it that person faced a severe tragedy. This is how Aaron felt. He looked at Miriam and was struck with conviction for encouraging their rebellion and now his sister was a leper. His sin was staring him in the face. He immediately took to repentance.
We might think that our criticism is just, unless of course we realize that someone else is punished because of what our sin started.