FUSSING OVER NOTHING: MAKING A BIG DEAL OUT OF SOMETHING THAT ISN’T A BIG DEAL TO GOD

We are so prone to fussing and fighting. Complaining and criticizing. Sometimes we do it just to pick a fight because we’re in a downright dirty, adversarial frame of mind. At other times, we do it because we feel so passionately about what we believe. We’re out to right the wrong. We’re on a mission to right the world. Brethren, there’s nothing wrong with the passion or the mission, so long as you’re truly in the right, in the Spirit, and in the center of God’s will. But, as personal experience and Scriptures show, that’s not always the case. Beloved, IT’S POSSIBLE TO FIGHT FOR SOMETHING YOU BELIEVE IS RIGHT, BUT, UNBEKNOWNST TO YOU, AND TO YOUR UTTER SHOCK AND DISBELIEF, YOU’RE AS WRONG AS WRONG CAN BE. That’s a hard one to accept and admit. In all probability, no one can convince you you’re  wrong because you’re so dead sure you’re right. It’ll have to be the Lord Himself to show you the wrongness of it all. Here’s a case in point.

The story is found in Numbers 12:1-15. And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman. {2} And they said, Hath the Lord indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the Lord heard it. {3} (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.) {4} And the Lord spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out. {5} And the Lord came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth. {6} And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. {7} My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house. {8} With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the Lord shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses? {9} And the anger of the Lord was kindled against them; and he departed. {10} And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous. {11} And Aaron said unto Moses, Alas, my Lord, I beseech thee, lay not the sin upon us, wherein we have done foolishly, and wherein we have sinned. {12} Let her not be as one dead, of whom the flesh is half consumed when he cometh out of his mother’s womb. {13} And Moses cried unto the Lord, saying, Heal her now, O God, I beseech thee. {14} And the Lord said unto Moses, If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be ashamed seven days? let her be shut out from the camp seven days, and after that let her be received in again. {15} And Miriam was shut out from the camp seven days: and the people journeyed not till Miriam was brought in again.

Moses, you will remember, married Zipporah while he was in exile in Midian. We don’t know what became of her. All we’re told in the text is that Moses married an Ethiopian woman. Miriam, evidently, objected to this marriage. She was against it. She was dead sure that Moses was wrong to marry the woman. So she roped her brother Aaron into raising a stink about it. Boy did it stink. It stunk so bad that the Lord Himself showed up to clear the air. Let this be a lesson to us. Fighting stinks. It gets the Lord involved. And when He’s done talking, somebody’s going to get the rod of chastisement and it’s going hurt for a little while.

Like many of us today, Miriam believed she was so totally right. Moses was so totally wrong. She was right to fight. She was out to right a wrong. But the simple fact of the matter was, she was wrong. The good Lord had to tell her she was wrong. She was chastised for her conduct and her lip. And Aaron came to acknowledge the foolishness and sinfulness of what he and Miriam had done. Friends, IT’S POSSIBLE FOR YOU TO THINK YOU’RE RIGHT. BUT UNBEKNOWNST TO YOU, YOU’RE WRONG. Said differently, IT’S POSSIBLE FOR YOU TO BE WRONG EVEN WHEN YOU THINK YOU’RE RIGHT. IT’S POSSIBLE FOR YOU TO BE WRONG IN A MATTER THAT YOU’RE SO SURE YOU’RE RIGHT. You don’t think you’re wrong. There’s no possible way you’re wrong. You’re blinded to the right. You can’t see you’re wrong.

Brethren, if you don’t want the Lord to show up with the rod, you’ve got to take the time to see things from a different perspective. Step out of your shoes and try to see what other people see. Ask the Lord to show you the true perspective of things. Don’t be fast to fight. Think before you stink. Pray before you pounce. Cool off before you criticize and complain. Get the Lord’s mind before you speak yours. If you do these things you’ll come to see things differently. You’ll see things you didn’t see before.

For example, in the text of Scripture, you’ll see that there’s nothing wrong with Moses marrying an Ethiopian woman. You may not like it. But that doesn’t mean the marriage is wrong. You may not agree with Moses. But that doesn’t mean Moses is wrong. The only marriages the Lord forbade were marriages with the Canaanites (Exodus 34:11-16). The woman in question here was a Cushite (KJV Ethiopian). So, technically, even Scripturally, Moses was within his right to marry the woman.

If Miriam had taken the time to set her own feelings aside and see the bigger picture she would have seen that God didn’t punish Moses for marrying the woman. Moses was not under Divine censure or chastisement for marrying the woman. In fact, God’s blessings and anointing were still on Moses as His chosen leader of the Israelite nation. Moses was still in good standing with God. All these go to show that the Lord Himself didn’t disapprove of the marriage. He evidently didn’t find anything wrong with the marriage. Hence, while Moses’ marriage was a big deal to Miriam, it clearly wasn’t a big deal to God. What really bothered Miriam didn’t bother God. What was so disagreeable to Miriam wasn’t at all disagreeable to God.

Brethren, the rule of thumb is this. IF GOD ISN’T BOTHERED, DON’T BOTHER. IF HE ISN’T CONCERNED, DON’T BE. IF IT ISN’T A BIG DEAL TO GOD, DON’T MAKE IT ONE. IF GOD DOESN’T OBJECT OR CONDEMN, NEITHER SHOULD YOU. IF HE’S SILENT, YOU OUGHT TO BE TOO. IF THE BIBLE ISN’T BEING TRANSGRESSED, DON’T ACT AND TALK AS IF IT IS. Friends, learn from Miriam and Aaron. DON’T FUSS WHEN THERE’S REALLY NOTHING SCRIPTURALLY WRONG OR NOTHING WORTH FUSSING OVER. Personal is one thing. Scriptural is another. You can have all kinds of personal feelings, opinions, and convictions. But unless something is definitely, Scripturally wrong, keep your feelings and objections to yourself. Keep your mouth shut. Don’t start a war. If you do otherwise, you just might find yourself standing before the Lord at the Tabernacle of the congregation. And that, my friends, is one meeting you just don’t want to have with the Lord!

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