Have you ever read one short sentence in the Bible and the Lord lifts it straight off the pages and aims His Word directly at your heart? That happened to me on Sunday. Five little words got my attention. “…And the Lord heard it.” (Numbers 12:2)
When Miriam and Aaron spoke against their brother (Moses) for marrying a Cushite woman, “the Lord heard it.” What did the Lord do when He heard their criticism? Well, what would any loving father do? The Lord called an immediate family meeting and He met with all three siblings at the doorway of the tent. He gave Miriam and Aaron a huge piece of His holy mind (Numbers 12:6-8). His anger burned against them as He defended His servant Moses. He left Miriam with a visual aid to help her remember. When the Lord withdrew His presence, Miriam was as white as snow with leprosy. She was kept away from others, isolated outside the camp for seven days. Then, the Lord healed her as a result of Moses’ prayer.
How did Miriam get to this place of sin? This is the same Miriam who led worship after the Lord dried up the Red Sea. (Exodus 15:20-21). The same Miriam that once had lips filled with praise used the same mouth as a weapon against her brother.
Isn’t that just like us as women? We use so many words. One minute our mouths are praising and building up and the next minute they are criticizing and tearing down? I’ve fallen prey to women using hurtful critical words. Being a non-confrontational person, I embrace the situation by not saying a word and stuffing it deep down within my heart knowing that ultimately the Lord will deal with it. BUT NOW! NOW, I know that when someone criticizes, gossips, or murmurs against me, I can know for sure the Lord will hear it.
Somehow that gives me great comfort. Maybe the next time I am confronted with undeserved criticism, I will whisper to the Lord (as I turn and walk away) Hey Jesus, did you hear that?
Have you ever been the victim of unwarranted verbal criticism? How did you respond? How will you respond now? How carefully do you weigh your words? What will you remember when you are tempted to murmur and criticize another?
Heavenly Father, Guard our lips and let no unwholesome words proceed from our mouths, help us to use our words in a manner that honors others and glorifies you. (Ephesians 4:29) In Jesus Name, Amen
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