“You can feel anything. All is free for you to feel. But I guarantee you that if you allow yourself to feel envy and then to swim in it, that envy will destroy you and the people around you.
~C. JoyBell C.
Envy is an ancient feeling. As far back as fig leaves and manna.
~ Eve felt envy toward God. That’s why she ate the apple. She was hoping to be just like him.
~ Cain felt envy toward Abel. That’s why he killed his own brother.
~ Esau felt envy toward Jacob. That’s why he failed to see his own wrong in giving away the birthright in the first place.
~ Saul felt envy toward David. That’s why his initial appreciation for the Shepherd turned to jealousy, causing him to hurl a spear at him.
~ The Pharisees felt envy toward Jesus. That’s why they lost sight of their own goal–to point people toward God. Jealous of his popularity over their own status in the community, Jesus became their enemy instead of their Messiah.
~ The Jews felt envy toward Paul. That’s why their motives for causing a riot were rooted in jealousy instead of the counterfeit, doctrinal purity.
Aside from all of these examples, however, today we focus on Miriam.
My point exactly!! Poll random people on the street and the majority will typically know Moses, but less will know the name of his big sister who is the only reason Moses survived in the first place. Not only was Miriam creative enough to place her brother in a basket and watch it float toward Pharaoh’s place, she was also shrewd enough to suggest to Pharaoh’s daughter, at the opportune time, a woman to nurse the baby (his own mother). The story is crafty, calculated and deliciously daring.
But I’ve never really thought about Miriam and her feelings once Moses became became the head hancho.
Scripture reveals that jealousy slithered in much like what became of the staff Moses threw on the ground…
“While they were at Hazeroth, Miriam and Aaron criticized Moses because he had married a Cushite woman. 2 They said, ‘Has the Lord spoken only through Moses? Hasn’t he spoken through us, too?’ But the Lord heard them.” Numbers 12:1-2
Let’s bring the past into the future, and imagine for a moment what it’d be like if Moses had a facebook page. The photos would show:
*Moses lounging by the pool in Pharaoh’s palace while some gorgeous brunette with wide gold bracelets fanned his face and another dame dangled grapes above his opened mouth.
*Moses, shirtless, sun just right, flexing his muscles while holding up the Ten Commandments.
*Moses in a selfie, high-fiving the freed Israelites (all of them smiling for the photo, while grumbling away from the camera).
Moses, Moses, Moses… everyone knows about Moses.
Yet, look what Scripture says:
“For I brought you out of Egypt
and redeemed you from slavery.
I sent Moses, Aaron, and Miriam to help you.” Micah 6:4
Did anyone high-five Miriam?
This scripture reads she was just as responsible. Miriam was equally used and called of God to help lead the nation of Israel out of its bondage and was considered an equal by God. When Moses (reluctantly) stepped up to Pharaoh, his older sister was obviously still very much in the mix. She was called a prophetess and she acted as the nation’s principle worship leader when the Lord overthrew the Egyptian army.
Unfortunately, however, like many leaders do, she stepped across the line.
Miriam went too far.
She began to think that she deserved recognition, rather than humbly surprised that God would choose to use her. She took all of her authority for granted and wanted more.
I deal with self-doubt and discouragement on a regular basis, but I also think too highly of myself. Might the latter be where envy comes from?
I suppose I’m in good company…Eve, Cain, Esau, Saul, Pharisees, Jews, and Miriam…I don’t think their envy stemmed from doubt and insecurity. They felt overlooked. Self importance drove them to envy.
Photo credit: Flickr (Creative Commons)
Kim’s signature closing:
Welcome new readers, and those well loved! My blogs are focused on authentic Christianity and real life decisions. History proves that my readers interact most comfortably through an email exchange, rather than a public comment. You are always welcome to find me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I welcome your questions or comments and will do my best to respond in a timely manner.
My deepest desire is for you to know Jesus real. He is not just a positive thought, a model to follow, or a comfortable space to hear love. He is life. Adventure. He can be the very air you breathe with just one decision. I never knew Him until I ended up sitting on a dirty field in India. He met me there, and that gripping tale of redemption is found in my life’s work: The Chance to Choose: Become Who You Were Meant to Be One Choice At a Time. I’d love all my reader’s to know the story. It is there where you’ll understand me, and the One I serve, best. Click on printed/signed copy, or Kindle version (also available on Nook and Apple iBook) to purchase, and if you need more, check out the book trailer below: