Then Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married (for he had married a Cushite woman); and they said, “Has the LORD indeed spoken only through Moses? Has He not spoken through us as well?” And the LORD heard it. (Now the man Moses was very humble, more than any man who was on the face of the earth.) (Numbers 12:1-3 NASB)

It’s a deadly disease. Jealousy has caused untold misery in relationships. We find it in families, churches, businesses, government. Wherever two people are, there is the possibility of jealousy.

Its Root

Moses was a humble man. God records that he was “very humble, more than any man who was on the face of the earth.”

God had broken and remade him on the backside of the desert, and Moses knew where his strength and his responsibilities originated. He had taken some steps that his brother and sister disliked. They began to criticize him in their jealousy, and their envy was evident to everyone except them.

At the heart of this was nothing less than pride. Their arrogance led them to look back at times when God used them and say, “Look at us. We’re as good as (or better than) Moses!”

What conceit. They longed for the position Moses had, and they tried to pull Moses down merely to exalt themselves.

Its Fruit

The root of pride always—always—brings forth bitter fruits. Aaron and Miriam gossiped, exalted themselves, criticized, ignored God’s choice, and on and on. They were full of the basest type of jealousy, and it led to multiple manifestations.

God heard it and was not pleased. He gave them a little tutorial about Moses that was beautiful and revealing. God wanted them to see (in their pride) that humility opens the door to greater intimacy with God.

He said, “Hear now My words: If there is a prophet among you, I, the LORD, shall make Myself known to him in a vision. I shall speak with him in a dream. Not so, with My servant Moses, He is faithful in all My household. With him I speak mouth to mouth, even openly, and not in dark sayings, and he beholds the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid to speak against My servant, against Moses?” (Numbers 12:6-8)

God’s anger burned against these two, and His judgment came in the form of leprosy on Miriam. Had Moses not interceded for her, she would have died from this judgment. But Moses’ humble compassion intervened, and God answered Moses’ prayer on behalf of his sister.

Be Careful

Have you ever thought, “I’m as good as they are. Why am I not in that position?” Tremble when you find this in your heart, and stop it at its genesis. Think humbly before you try to exalt yourself over someone God is using.

Don’t open your mouth in accusation or criticize in jealousy. It will not help you and is a clear indication that you are not ready for greater leadership. A jealous, criticizing life may incur the displeasure of God.

God puts down one and exalts another. Never seek a position you think you deserve. Humbly serve the Lord, and leave the leadership choices to Him.

Father, keep me from pride. Let me humbly do what You tell me to do and keep my eyes off those around me that You may be blessing and using. Help me to humble myself before You and trust You to use me as You desire. And I pray that You will raise up many leaders who will humbly walk with You and be used by You.