“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?” Num 12:6-8
This passage may seem familiar to some of you in that I referenced it in yesterday's posting. I'm keeping it in front of us today because it is central to another point discussed in last Sunday evening's bible study. The extracted lesson was that we should be careful how we treat God's chosen leaders.
Moses' brother and sister, Aaron and Miriam, were upset that he had married a Cushite (a person of African descent) and began to not only speak against him but advance themselves, saying that the Lord had spoken through them as well. God heard this and immediately called the three of them together. During the conversation, God outlined His relationship with Moses and made it crystal clear that Miriam and Aaron had made a grave error. Their mistake was so significant that Miriam was struck with leprosy on the spot.
It is no secret that I serve God by serving His people in the capacity of minister (which literally means servant). However, the point here is not as self serving as you might think. God has given us everything we need to spiritually succeed in life. Among the gifts he provides are leaders whose roles are to equip, support, serve and care for His people. There are three important things the bible teaches us about our appointed leaders. First, Jesus told those who aspired to lead that they, "must be the very last and the servant of all," Mark 9:35. Second, it is written, "Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly," James 3:1. Lastly, leadership of God's people is seen throughout the bible as a dangerous and life threatening calling. They must face not only threats from non-believers, but more often than not, those who are believers but disagree with the message and/or the individual. How many times were the apostles jailed and beaten? How many lost their lives through terrible forms of death? How many prophets were killed by God's own?
Beloved, it is not about elevating the man of God but appreciating the gift of God. It is not about putting anyone on a pedestal, but respecting the call and the called of God. It is not about whether or not he is "just a man" or "just like anyone else" but that God has equipped and positioned that particular leader by His will for your benefit. Despite the fact that King Saul was after David's life, David did not lay a hand on him when he could have because Saul was God's anointed.
In a display of true compassionate servant leadership, it was Moses who appealed to God on Miriam's behalf that she be cured of the leprosy she brought on herself by her mistreatment of him. Further, it was Moses who sought mercy for the people when God wanted to destroy them all for the heinous sins. Let us love and respect those who have dedicated their lives to serving God by loving and respecting us.