How was Moses great in his intercession? what are the great events in the journey to the promising land confirming such fact? why God made Miriam the prophet woman leprous? what are the great lessons we can benefit from all of these?
From Marah to Elim
(Now when they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter. And the people complained against Moses.) (EXODUS 15:23-24)
(So, he cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a tree, when he cast it into the waters, the waters were made sweet.) (EXODUS 15:25)
(Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve wells of water and seventy palm trees.) (EXODUS 15:27)
Dear reader, you got to know that after each Marah, there’s Elim, meaning, after each after each pain, wound or sadness, there’s rest and condolence. So, if you right now pass on a hard time, a narrow or great sadness, then you are near to Elim when you can find your real rest.
The twelve wells of water denote to the twelve tribes of Israel and the twelve disciples of Jesus. The seventy trees of palm denote to the seventy aged men of Israel and the seventy messengers of Jesus Christ. Since, this pass over happens from Marah to Elim, also, would happen from the Old Testament to the new one.
A grumble because of hunger
(For you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.) (EXODUS 16:3)
The children of Israel grumbled after the great exodus out of Egypt and forgot what God have done to them.
But I guess we should not blame them because all of us may do the same. Since we may forget the great blessings, God gives us every day and remember only what diminish us.
(Then the Lord said to Moses: “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you.”) (EXODUS 16:4)
(So, it was that quails came up at evening and covered the camp.) (EXODUS 16:13)
(Then all the congregation of the children of Israel camped in Rephidim, but there was no water. Therefore, the people contended with Moses.) (EXODUS 17:1,2)
(Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock in Horeb: and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it. And Moses did so.) (EXODUS 17:6)
How wonderful God is in his gentleness and longsuffering! that he bears our many grumblings and deals us as children.
So, Moses learned many lessons out all of this, and we also should do the same. Firstly, if God accounted for us in every mistake, no one would be saved.
Secondly, “I stand before you” teach us that God is with us and that he is the source of every good doing that we may do.
The successfulness in our lives comes from God since we are limited creatures.
The Gold Calf
(And the Lord said to Moses, “Go, get down for your people whom you brought out of the land of Egypt have corrupted themselves. They have turned aside quickly out of the which I commanded them.) (EXODUS 32:7-8)
(They have made themselves a molded calf and worshiped it, and sacrificed to it and said, “This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!”) (EXODUS 32:8)
What a horrible paradox! between what happens in the top of the mountain, Moses talks to God a mouth to mouth and delivers the tablets of law and what happens under the mountain the children of Israel sacrifice to the gold calf.
Please, do not wonder dear reader, as the children of Israel worshipped a gold calf made out of their gold saying: “this is your god that brought you out of the land of Egypt.” We nowadays do as them, put our trust in money, health or power forgetting our spiritual life and our relation to God.
(And the Lord said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and indeed it is a stiff-necked people! Now therefore, let me alone, that my wrath may burn hot against them, and I may consume them. And I will make of you a great nation.” (EXODUS 32:9-10)
Here, God felt betrayal from His people, but was not it little bit strange when God said to Moses: “let me alone, that my wrath may burn hot.” What a humble God you are! that you ask Moses to punish your people.
(Then Moses pleaded with the Lord his God, and said: “Lord, why does your wrath burn hot against your people. Why should the Egyptians speak, and say: “He brought them out to harm them, to kill them in the mountains? Turn from your fierce wrath and relent from this harm to Your people.) (EXODUS 32:11,12)
Thus, Moses pleaded God not to harm the people and did not pay any attention for God’s personal promise to him to be a greater nation.
(So, the Lord relented from the harm which He said He would do to His people.) (EXODUS 32:14)
(So, it was, that he saw the calf and the dancing. So, Moses’s anger became hot, and he cast the tablets out of his hands and broke them.) (EXODUS 32:19)
Despite of his intercession for the people, Moses burnt the calf and scattered it on the water and made the people drink of it. So, loving his people did not prevent him to be conclusive and do the right thing.
(Then Moses returned to the Lord and said, “Oh, these people have committed a great sin, and have made for themselves a god of gold! You now, if you will forgive their sin-but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which you have written.” (EXODUS 32:31-32)
Here, Moses felt the great sin his people has done, then, he preferred to sacrifice himself to be blot out of the book for the sake of saving his people.
Dissension of Miriam and Aaron
(Then Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married; for he had married an Ethiopian woman. So, they said, “Has the Lord indeed spoken only through Moses?) (NUMBERS 12:1-2)
So, it passed that a gossip has been happened between Miriam and Aaron because of that Miriam felt jealous toward Moses’s wife as being the first lady taking from her the prestige and the love of people. Also, it might be that Miriam had a racist vision to Moses’s wife due to her skin color.
(So, the anger of the Lord was aroused against them, and He departed. Suddenly Miriam became leprous. So, Moses cried out to the Lord, saying, “Please heal her, O God, I pray!”) (NUMBERS 12:9,10,13)
Being leprous as to Miriam was a great punishment. But why God did so to her? since, she was a prophet woman leading the people to praise God after the great exodus out of Egypt.
That’s because, (“For whom the Lord loves He corrects, just as a father the son in whom he delights.”) (PROVERBS 3:12)
As Moses was interceding to the people, he also interceded for his sister crying out for her to the Lord to heal her. Facing her mistake with a greater love. That was Moses the great in prophets, the chief of prophets.
Tawfik, S. (2023). Moses’s great intercession. www.orthodox-beliefs.com
Source is THE HOLY BIBLE NKJV. Arabic New van Dyck text C. The Bible Society of Egypt. Fifth Edition Third print2019.ISBN 978-1-84364-188-9. Printed in China.
Reference: – Moses, the great in Prophets. For Father Priest Dawoud Lamie.