Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife, for he had married a Cushite. “Has the LORD spoken only through Moses?” they asked. “Hasn’t he also spoken through us?”
No Sibling Rivalry
Alexander and James Campbell were two brothers who had a lot in common. Both emigrated from their native Scotland to the United States in the 1850s. Both enlisted and fought in the Civil War. In fact, both played prominent roles in the First Battle of James Island in 1862. But right now if you’re picturing two inseparable siblings locking arms and boldly marching side by side into battle to face a common enemy, there’s one more detail I should probably mention. Alexander Campbell wore a blue coat in the Civil War, and James Campbell wore grey. They were shooting at each other at the First Battle of James Island, fighting on opposite sides of a bitter and bloody war.
While it’s true that ammunition isn’t usually involved, sibling rivalry is nothing new. And we see yet another example of sibling misbehavior in our Bible story today with Moses, Aaron, and Miriam—the first family of ancient Israel.
You can tell by their words that there was more going on than just a little dislike for their sister-in-law on the part of Aaron and Miriam. They were using their brother’s wife as a pretext to tear Moses down. And as is so often the case, when we tear others down, we’re hoping to build ourselves up. The jealousy of Aaron and Miriam wasn’t just a sibling problem. It was a human problem—a reflection of the depravity that we all share in our sinful hearts.
Realizing that depravity, that persistent pull that we feel to pull others down, makes us marvel all the more at the selfless love of Jesus. He’s the One who came from heaven not to pull us down but to raise us up to life eternal. He became our sibling in flesh and blood so that we could become his siblings in the family of the Father. There is no sibling rivalry here. Jesus exalts us as his blood—bought baptism-washed family. And because he does, we exalt him with thankful hearts.
Dearest Jesus, Brother from heaven. How blessed and grateful I am that you call me your family. Help me to live my life worthy of the calling that I have received. Amen.