Today you should read: Numbers 12
When I was a punk in middle school, I used to have that “stick it to the man” type attitude that I see in many other people who question any type of authority today. I was “that guy” who would deface property with anarchy signs and wear Rage Against The Machine t-shirts once a week. I guess Miriam and Aaron were in my camp. In Numbers 12, we see them bringing up charges with their Biblical authority (Moses) with an underlying motive. That underlying motive is found here in vs. 2:
And they said, “Has the Lord indeed spoken only through Moses? Has he not spoken through us also?
For obvious reasons, God wasn’t too happy about it. To tell you the truth, I’m pretty sure God is just as unhappy about our lack of respect or honor in Biblical authority in today’s church. At one time the pastor was a pillar in the community, respected and honored by all, whether the people believed in Jesus or not. Today we are mocked and made out to be money hungry, hypocritical, bigoted people who abuse their authority – all in the name of Jesus. Those labels can come with the calling and a few bad examples and I’m ok with that. What rubs me the wrong way is exactly what happens in Numbers 12. When the very people you shepherd and will be held accountable for (and for whom you have spent many nights ministering to, praying for, and counseling) question your authority and try to rebel. With this being said, here are a couple of pointers from this chapter on what to do with Biblical authority:
- Before questioning or accusing a church leader with sin, check your own motives. (vs. 1-2) I understand that pastors and church leaders will sin and need to be held accountable. The last thing I would want is a Roman Catholic ranking system where religious figures have little accountability from their flock. However as you noticed, the heart of Miriam and Aaron’s accusations wasn’t about Moses’ wife but was about his God given position.
- When being questioned or accused as a church leader, stay humble. (vs. 3) Moses was described as meek when questioned by his people and I believe this is the exact opposite of how some church leaders act when first being accused about something. God is sovereign and just; your pride does nothing but hinder what God wants to do in the situation.
- God will be the final judge. (vs. 4-16). By God’s grace, I haven’t had a lot of people question my calling or position of church leadership under false motives. But I’ve heard a lot of stories and have seen a lot of church splits because of them. In the end, I know one thing; God will be the final judge of those people and those leaders. As I mentioned to the church leader when tempted to get prideful, He’s sovereign and just. Even when we receive messy and unjust results in the situation, God will use it to glorify Himself and we can trust in that.
Before trying to point out the sawdust in your pastor or ministry leader’s eye, have you measured and dealt with the plank in yours? (Matthew 7:3)
Posted by: Erik Koliser