69. Don't argue over trivial matters

The Israelites were mumbling and groaning about their lot in the wilderness and it was all getting too much for Moses. He cried out to the Lord for help and the Lord gave him 70 other men who could help him in his task of leading the Israelites. It would ease his burden somewhat. But soon after this Miriam and Aaron started to criticize Moses too. Poor Moses, his own family, who was also in the leadership of Israel, with Aaron as the High Priest, started to turn against him. How awful. Poor Moses must have felt so alone. The two people he relied on the most, turned against him. They criticized him because he had married a Cushite woman. Now why they were so upset about that, we can only guess. Plus what happened to his first wife, Zipporah, a Midianite, we don't know either. But it soon becomes clear that they were using Moses' supposedly wrong marriage as a smoke screen of why they really were upset:

'They said, "Has the Lord spoken only through Moses? Hasn't He spoken through us too?" Numbers 12:2

The real issue was that they were jealous of Moses and jealous of his close relationship with God. They didn't like his growing influence over the people and that he had so much authority. They wanted some of that authority for themselves. Aaron was already the High Priest and Miriam was seen as a prophet and had a high standing as Moses' sister, but they both wanted more. They wanted more recognition and they wanted more power. They forgot all about Moses' hardships and what he had to go through to lead these people out of Egypt. They only saw the position he had now and they wanted part of it. And instead of dealing with the sinful attitude in their hearts, they decided to attack Moses. They couldn't attack his character, because his behavior was exemplary, so they decided to attack his wife and use this as a smoke screen for their jealousy.

God of course knew their hearts and what it was really about and He was furious and struck Miriam with leprosy. Aaron and Miriam were soon very sorry about their sinful attitude and begged Moses to help them, which he did. Moses prayed to the Lord and the Lord said that after seven days of exclusion of the camp, Miriam will be healed.

Wow, Moses is really remarkable. He wasn't angry with them, he didn't retaliate, he left the problem with God and even stood up for them when he felt God's punishment was too severe. I wonder what I would have done…

We often use smoke screens to attack people we don't like. We are so glad when they do something wrong, so that we can finally have something to use against them, even if the issue is not that big. We should make sure that when we are in a disagreement over something, that we really are addressing the issue at hand and not arguing over some built up jealousy that we might have. And vice versa. You can sometimes be attacked over trivial matters and criticized over issues that you deem to be small, remember that you might be criticized over an issue that they might be struggling with. Don't take such criticism seriously; don't even waste your time on it. Give it to God; He will handle it according to His good will.

And in general, even if there is no underlying jealousy or issue, don't argue over trivial matters and ruin a relationship. It really is not worth it. I have seen so many people argue about things that are really so stupid! Don't fall into that trap, relationships are far too important. Rather focus on all the good things of that person, rather than on the small issues. It really isn't worth your breath.

Lord, thank you for the relationships that You have given us. Thank you that You have blessed us with loved ones in our lives. Please forgive us that we sometimes argue with them over stupid matters and help us to rather focus on the attitude in our hearts. Amen

 

1 comment for “69. Don't argue over trivial matters”

  1. Gravatar of RonelleRonelle
    Posted Thursday, November 28, 2013 at 10:28:06 AM

    I sometimes try to think if this issue that I am arguing over will still matter in a year's time. If not, drop it!

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