Men of Character: Moses (Numbers 12:1-3)
Numbers 12:1-3, And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman. And they said, Hath the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the LORD heard it. (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)
Moses was a great spiritual leader who had wilderness experience and an admirable spirit. Moses went from herding sheep to herding a very large flock of God’s people. He walked with God and had God's power upon his life, yet, he was criticized continuously. Excellence does not give you immunity from criticism, especially spiritual excellence. Christ was the epitome of perfection, but was still slandered and criticized by men. If you serve the Lord, criticism will come, from carnal Christians and unsaved people. Some of the most painful criticisms will come from those who are closest to us, family and friends. From Numbers 12:1-3, Moses' older brother and sister are protesting at him. This first complaint is a diversion. This happens many times with people. Discernment is needed to see the real problem at hand. The real problem is not Moses’ wife. The real problem is in Numbers 12:2. It was the position or the rank that was sought. Miriam and Aaron rejected God’s authority over them and they wanted more prestige. This comes after God put His spirit on seventy men. These two folks were left out of this anointing of God. They felt threatened and were jealous. They tried to destroy Moses in order to gain power and position. This tactic is practiced today, unfortunately, even in the Lord’s churches.
Some believe that meekness is weakness. Meekness should not be misunderstood as weakness. Meekness is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Meekness is an attribute of Moses, Christ, and Paul (Numbers 12:3; Psalm 45:4; Matthew 1:29; 21:25; I Corinthians 4:21; II Corinthians 10:1). Jesus demonstrated this in (Matthew 26:53). Jesus had the authority to pray and immediately call twelve legions of angels. Meekness is not a quality that is weak and passive. Meekness possesses control, discipline, and restraint. Meekness is not weakness; it is strength or power under control. A meek person is not weak but very strong and able to control his or her emotions and actions. The word "meekness” means, gentle, tender, humble, considerate, mildness of nature or gentleness of spirit. It does not throw its weight around, but seeks the good of others, as well as the Lord. Meekness is the ability to disagree agreeably. When you consider meekness, it has to be looked upon as an inward grace of the soul. Meekness is the ability to keep your tongue in control when being attacked by unjust criticism. Meekness has faith to trust God to vindicate you. Meekness is humbly yielding oneself to the will of God and His ways. Meekness is necessary for salvation (James 1:21). Moses (the meekest man on earth) demonstrated this attitude in his life. Moses never struck back at them or sought revenge. He let the Lord deal with them and humbly submitted to Him. Moses’ meekness is both vertical (towards God) and horizontal (towards man). In Numbers 12:13, Moses prayed for them rather than rejoicing at their judgment. As children of God, we are to display a meek attitude toward the Lord, His Word, and towards others (Titus 3:2).
What do you do with the criticism? Learn to blow it off and forgive them. You can choose to reject an offense. If someone attacks, you can choose to respond in a way that reverses the hurt rather than retain and nurse the hurt. You can refuse to carry an offense in our heart, or you can turn it into a grievance story. Let me illustrate: a delivery arrives for you at your front door with a package and you’re asked to sign for it. When you asked what is in the box, he looks at his clipboard as says, “The form says this is a box full of rattlesnakes”. At that point, you shake the box and hear the snakes rattling inside it. You hand the box back to the man and say, “There‘s no way I‘m signing for this. Return it to the sender!” God will take care of those who willfully offend you. Trust Him to do it. Your part is to refuse to sign up for the offense; refuse to think about it or to talk about it. When we receive an offense, we may as well be signing for a box of rattlesnakes. The more we allow offenses to occupy our minds, the more we begin to develop a criticism story. The more we rehearse and retell that grievance story, the more we do ourselves harm in the long run.
7 things that help us to deal with difficult people:
1. Recognize the “difficult” people in your life or when you are becoming a “difficult” person.
2. Realize that they won’t change just because you want them to.
3. Remember that hurt people, hurt people.
4. Refuse to allow difficult people to rule your life.
5. Resist the urge to remain resentful.
6. Release them from their relationship debts.
7. Repay evil with good every time.
PRAYER: Father, thank You for the true example of humility that is seen in the life of Jesus. Draw me into the spirit of meekness that You would show me through Jesus how to live in love every day. Lord, lead me in humbleness. Help me to clothe myself in humility that people would see Jesus in my life. Teach me, I pray, to live as Christ lived, in the power of the Spirit and to Your praise and glory, In Jesus name, AMEN!
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.