And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked on Miriam, and…
Was this weakness, as some would say? Nay, verily, it was the exhibition of colossal spiritual strength. It is the weak man who gives blow for blow, who blurts out his wrath, who cannot control the passion of his spirit. It may be well to give some closing rules as to the attainment of this meek and quiet spirit, which in sight of God is of great price.
1. Let us claim the meekness of Christ. This, of course, was not possible for Moses in the direct way in which it is for us. And yet there was no doubt in his case also a constant appeal for heavenly grace. And in moments of provocation there is nothing better than to turn to Him and claim His calm, His sweet silence, His patience and meekness, saying, "I claim all these, my Lord, for the bitter need of my spirit."
2. It is acquired, next, by cultivating the habit of silence. Express a thought, and you give it strength; repress it, and it will wither and die. You will often hear it said that the best way of getting rid of an importunate passion is to let it out and have done with it. It is, however, a very mistaken policy. Silence will kill it as ice kills fish when there are no ventholes by which they can come up to breathe. Learn to be still, to keep the door of the lips closed.
3. Next, by considering the harm done by the aggressors to themselves. The cloud removed from over the tent, as if it must leave the very spot where the culprits stood; and behold, Miriam was leprous, white as snow. There is a profound piece of instruction here; you cannot say unkind or bitter things about another without hurting yourself more than you hurt him. Like the boomerang of the savage, curses come back to the spot from which they start.
4. In allowing God to vindicate our cause. Moses let God vindicate him, and the Almighty God rode upon a cherub and did fly, and flew on the wings of the wind. This is the secret of rest, to cultivate the habit of handing all over to God, as Hezekiah did, when he spread out Sennacherib's letter in the house of the Lord. Commit yourself to Him that judgeth righteously.
5. Also in intercessory prayer. Moses cried unto the Lord, saying, "Heal her, O God, I beseech Thee." When we pray for those who have despitefully used and persecuted us, it is marvellous how soon the soul gets calm and tender. And the Lord heard His servant's prayer, and healed Miriam; but the whole host was delayed a week through her sin. We may be forgiven, but these outbreaks of sin always entail disaster and delay. Neither we nor others can be where we might have been had they not occurred.
(F. B. Meyer, B. A.)
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.