Miriam's Heart Problem
by kevin castle
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Heart problems are a common occurrence today. People are having to take more nitroglycerin tablets than ever before. There have been numerous studies done on heart problems by many people and organizations. Food companies is now advertising that there food is better for the heart. There seems to be one thing missing however. We as a society have forgotten about the heart.
I know my last statement may seem like a total contradiction to the whole paragraph above but it's not. The church as a whole has taken on a light view of sin, ingratitude for Jesus' sacrifice, and a seeker sensitive don't offend anyone type of view. There are many who are saved that don't take God's word very seriously. Let's find out how God thinks about heart problems.
In Num. 12, Miriam and Aaron had a life changing experience that changed their outlook toward their brother Moses and also their lives. Unfortunately for Miriam and Aaron they also had to bear the consequences of that experience. Miriam’s consequence was she became instantly sick with leprosy. Leprosy is, “A disease that begins with specks on the eyelids and on the palms, gradually spreading over the body, bleaching the hair white wherever they appear, crusting the affected parts with white scales, and causing terrible sores and swellings. From the skin the disease eats inward to the bones, rotting the whole body.” (1897 Easton’s Bible Dictionary) What did Miriam and Aaron do to deserve such a punishment? She had a heart problem.
Num. 12:1 tells us that, “While they were at Hazeroth, Miriam and Aaron criticized Moses.” Miriam and Aaron had enough pride to think that they were better than God’s appointed leader. In fact, they had already been thinking about it long before they complained. Matt. 12:34 says, “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” Miriam and Aaron had a heart problem befoe anyone else saw it or heard about it. Easton’s 1897 Bible Dictionary tells us a heart problem, “Evidences itself by light views of sin; partial acknowledgment and confession of it; pride and conceit; ingratitude; unconcern about the word and ordinances of God; inattention to divine providences; stifling convictions of conscience; shunning reproof; presumption, and general ignorance of divine things."
If Miriam had known the following things about her heart problem, she probably would have changed her heart to avoid having leprosy.
1. Miriam’s heart problem was seen by God. Even though Miriam was only complaining with Aaron, Num. 12:2 says, “But the Lord heard them.” God is always watching us and keeping a tally of what we do right and what we do wrong.
2. Miriam’s heart problem singled her out. God called Moses, Aaron and Miriam out to the tabernacle to deal with them. Everyone that was with them was probably wondering what was going on and eventually found out about it. She had to bear her consequences in front of everyone.
3. Miriam’s heart problem separated her from God. Num. 12:9 states, “The LORD was furious with them, and he departed.”
4. Miriam’s heart problem stopped everything and everyone. Num. 12:15 says, “So Miriam was excluded from the camp for seven days, and the people waited until she was brought back before they traveled again.” Her heart problem made everyone wait just for her. The people were probably angered and frustrated because a single little heart problem from one person stopped an entire society in their tracks.
There is only one thing we can do to get rid of our heart problems: give them to God. If there is a legitimate reason to have a problem, God will take care of it.
As a final thought, heart problems can be mostly avoided by just remembering and doing what is obvious: obeying God and his word at all costs and loving people.
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