Our Defender

“Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married, for he had married a Cushite woman.  And they said, ‘Has the Lord indeed spoken only through Moses? Has he not spoken through us also?’ And the Lord heard it.  Now the man Moses was very meek, more than all people who were on the face of the earth.  And suddenly the Lord said to Moses and to Aaron and Miriam, ‘Come out, you three, to the tent of meeting.’ And the three of them came out.  And the Lord came down in a pillar of cloud and stood at the entrance of the tent and called Aaron and Miriam, and they both came forward. And he said, ‘Hear my words: If there is a prophet among you, I the Lord make myself known to him in a vision; I speak with him in a dream.  Not so with my servant Moses. He is faithful in all my house.  With him I speak mouth to mouth, clearly, and not in riddles, and he beholds the form of the Lord. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?’  And the anger of the Lord was kindled against them, and he departed.” Numbers 12:1-9

And the Lord heard it. What a vital understanding from the author and brunt of the criticism. Humble he was, positioned so rightly before his God he knew that any and all flack directed his way went through the knowledge and loving hands of the One he served and trusted. No need for touchy offense, nor chastisement, nor retaliation. His was not to correct, put in place, defend, or avenge. The Lord was his Defender. (Deuteronomy 32:35; Psalm 62:5-7; Romans 12:19)

And the Lord stepped up and in, putting these catty siblings in their rightful place. He was in charge, His order would prevail. Moses could rest in that, even when his secure and tender heart thought the punishment severe and he pled for God’s mercy he well knew. (Numbers 12:10-15)

Do we find ourselves jealous of others, insecure in comparison, prone to finding fault or criticizing what we cannot have ourselves? Have we refused to accept the role He’s assigned us? Any mental or verbal attacks are not against the individuals but against their Maker, their Defender. What change of heart and understanding of God’s all-wise authority could move us from jealousy of to jealousy for our peers? (Numbers 11:26-29; John 15:18)

What would change in our sensitivities to criticism, our touchiness, if we were settled in spirit in our Defender? Every chastisement that’s fallen on us has fallen on Him, and He’s borne our wounds on the cross. He is the perfect One in whom we find security, identity, and protection from worldly attacks. In fact, we are counted blessed when we are persecuted for His sake as we share the glory of His sufferings and experience His grace and resurrection power therein. (Psalm 69:9; Isaiah 53:3-6; Matthew 5:11-12; Philippians 3:7-11; Hebrews 4:15-16)

“O worship the King all-glorious above,
O gratefully sing his power and his love:
our shield and defender, the Ancient of Days,
pavilioned in splendor and girded with praise.” ~Robert Grant (1833)

Lord my Defender, help me trust You with any rebuff. May I exhibit genuine mercy to those who attempt to hurt or undermine, by Your grace and for Your glory.

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