July 04, 2017


Numbers 12

Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.

—  Numbers 12:3

Moses’ relationship with his sister, Miriam, and brother, Aaron, was complicated. Miriam had been used by God to rescue baby Moses from slaughter, and Aaron had been Moses’ mouthpiece when speaking to the king of Egypt (see Exodus 1-3). Doubtless the three loved each other. Yet sibling rivalry apparently began to gnaw at Miriam and Aaron: they didn’t like Moses’ foreign wife, and they seemed jealous of Moses’ position as God’s special prophet. They began to talk against Moses: “Hasn’t [God] also spoken through us?”

Moses’ humility and love were evident in that he didn’t hold a grudge against his brother and sister for undercutting him. He hadn’t been looking for prestige when God chose him to be the leader of Israel. He hadn’t even wanted the job! He also knew that his privilege of speaking face to face with God was completely because of God’s grace. He didn’t become proud. Like Jesus, Moses was an intercessor. He pleaded with God for Miriam’s healing.

Moses’ humility was precisely what made him a great servant of God. As Jesus said, “The great­est among you will be your servant” (Matthew 23:11).

As Colossians 3:12 says, “Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” We know from Jesus’ and Moses’ examples that humility covers a multitude of sins, and it brings healing to what would otherwise be ruined relationships.

Lord, give us patience and humility, and make us instruments of your peace. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — George Young

George Young, a native New Yorker, worked as a taxi driver in New York City before studying to become a pastor. Then he, his wife Ruth, and their children were missionaries for many years in northeastern Japan. They worked with ministers and believers from the Reformed Church in Japan to spread the good news of salvation in Christ and ­establish new churches. Now George and Ruth are retired and live in the northeastern United States, nearer to their children and grandchildren.

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