Mouth to Mouth


God speaks "face to face" with Moses! It's as if God were putting His own words into Moses' mouth.


Father of lights, You are the source of my life, and every good thing comes from You.


Numbers 12:1-16


Why was Miriam upset?

A leadership feud that is also a family feud: Miriam and Aaron are put out about Moses' wife--she is from Cush (Ethiopia) and seems not to be the same person as Zipporah the Midianite, his first wife (Exod. 2:21). They also don't like his apparent sense of being the only one God speaks through. After all, God speaks to them too, surely?

God's response is blunt: no one else receives God's word like Moses does. God speaks "face to face" with Moses (8). Although almost all English translations say that, the phrase is actually "mouth to mouth," as if God were putting God's own words into Moses' mouth. Tough for Miriam and Aaron: they do indeed need to listen to their brother.

Oddly, verse 3 mentions that Moses is the most humble man on the earth. Maybe true humility is found in receiving one's words from God--in depending on God for all we say.

The story does not end well for Miriam, though note that Moses himself prays for her in the midst of her trouble (13). How many other siblings would have done that?


Tell the Lord of your desire to share such intimacy that it could be said that you share breath with him.


Precious Lord, may my words be Your words and my heart beat in rhythm with Your own.

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