And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked on Miriam, and…
I. THE DIVINE JUDGMENT BECAUSE OF THE SIN OF MIRIAM AND AARON.
1. The punishment was inflicted by the Lord.
2. The punishment was appropriate to the sin.
3. The punishment fell most severely upon Miriam.
(1) She was the instigator of the sin.
(2) Aaron's office of high priest also probably helped to shield him.Had he been smitten with leprosy he would have been disgraced in the eyes of the people, and his holy office would probably have been brought into disesteem amongst them.
(3) Yet Aaron was not altogether exempted from punishment.As priest he had to examine Miriam and pronounce her leprous. Again he had to examine her and pronounce her clean before she was readmitted to the camp. That he deeply realised his painful position is evident from the narrative (vers. 10-12). Let us remember that there is judgment with God.
II. THE DIVINE JUDGMENT LEADING TO PERSONAL HUMILIATION.
1. Humble acknowledgment to Moses.
2. Confession of sin.
3. Entreaty for the removal of the judgment from Miriam.
III. THE REMARKABLE ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF THE EMINENCE OF MOSES THE SERVANT OF THE LORD.
1. In the manner in which he was addressed by Aaron.
2. In the appeal which was made to him by Aaron. This appeal implies on the part of Aaron —
(1) Faith in the magnanimity of Moses — that he would not retaliate upon them for their attack upon him; that he was forgiving and generous.
(2) Faith in the influence which Moses had with God.
IV. THE DISTINGUISHED MAGNANIMITY AND GRACE OF MOSES. "And Moses cried unto the Lord, saying, Heal her now, O God, I beseech Thee." There was no resentment in his heart, but fullest forgiveness and sincerest pity. His prayer for Miriam is an anticipation of the precept of our Lord, "Pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you" (Matthew 5:44).
V. THE GREAT POWER OF THE INTERCESSION OF GOOD MEN.
VI. THE JUSTICE AND MERCY OF GOD AS MANIFESTED IN HIS TREATMENT OF MIRIAM.
VII. THE SIN OF ONE PERSON CHECKING THE PROGRESS OF AN ENTIRE NATION.
Parallel VersesKJV: And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous.