Sibling Rivalry

Is it an undeniable fact of life that siblings fight?  I don’t think it has to be that way.  My theory is that anytime you get any two sinners in close proximity for any period of time there is a chance for conflict.  Siblings would be a natural case having to spend years together.  I was blessed with two brothers, but we spent a few afternoons wrestling, fighting, and picking on each other.  We managed to break four light fixtures, a closet door, and knocked down more than a few pictures.  I don’t even think that the fight began with a malicious intent.  Two of us would start to wrestle.  One would get tired of it and then the fight would begin.

What’s different about Miriam and Moses?  This seems to be more than a little roughhousing.  There are racist tones.  Miriam becomes jealous.  What is worse it seems like Aaron the High Priest was sucked into this rebellion also.  God openly question what was she thinking?  A move against Moses was a move against God himself!

Miriam is struck with leprosy.  A chronic and ultimately fatal skin disease.  While there are treatments if the disease is caught early now, that wasn’t the case during this time.  Moses was horrified when he saw what happens to his sister.  He prays immediately that God spares her.  Her life is spared, but she must spend seven days outside the camp and 2,000,000 people are forced to wait until his time is done.  I’m sure it was a powerful object lesson for everyone involved.

There are some who have called this is discipline, while others see it as a punishment.  Are these just semantic differences?  Not exactly.  Maybe you are going through a trial right now.  Is God punishing you?  Are you getting what you deserve?  Sometimes we do things that bring down severe consequences.  Does that mean God has left us?  We walk through this application at the end of the class.  A couple points to keep in mind.

1st – There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  That means Jesus was punished for your sins.  There is no sacrifice left for sin that you can do or are responsible for.  Jesus has done it all.

2nd – That means all that’s left for you is a blessing.

Let’s walk through your case of the flu last week.  God isn’t getting back at you for your behavior on the job or in your family.  You can say, “God thank you for the flu.  Now PLEASE take it away.”  Just because a blessing isn’t fun, doesn’t mean that God can’t work it out for your good.

To explore this thought and more please watch this week’s Bible study talk from the book of Numbers, Counting on God.

Please click HERE to find the Bible class slides.