A third-grader was instructed to walk home after school but constantly was tardy. He regularly arrived home fifteen minutes late. His mother asked him, “Why are you always late?” The boy explained, “The cars.” His Mom inquired, “What do you mean, cars?” The child clarified, “The crossing guard who walks us across the road makes us wait until some cars arrive so he can make them stop.” From this illustration, we are reminded that those in leadership roles can sometimes abuse their authority. Instead of immediately letting the third-grader cross the street, the patrol boy held up the students. No doubt this was a scheme to exercise his authoritative ability.
Numbers chapter 12 records the account of the attempted usurping of Moses’ authority. The people were complaining about a lack of variety to their heavenly menu (Numbers 11:5-6). Rather than being thankful for their provisions and leadership, they complained. As an added twist, the verbal opposition to Moses came from his older siblings Aaron and Miriam (12:1-2). Miriam was a prophetess (Exodus 15:20) and Aaron was the high priest of Israel (Exodus 28:1). They were no strangers to the Lord’s will. They attacked Moses’ choice for a wife (Numbers 12:1) and questioned his authority to be the sole leader (12:2). They asked the question, “Has He not spoken through us as well?” Similar to a squabble between little children, they interrogated Moses, “Who made you boss?”
This same chapter explains that Moses was extremely humble (12:3). Unlike his siblings, we do not see Moses abusing his position of authority. God declared that Moses was indeed His chosen representative. He communicated to prophets through visions and dreams (12:6), but with Moses, it was “mouth to mouth” (12:8). He was the Old Testament lawgiver (John 1:17). In the New Testament, our authority comes from Jesus Christ (Colossians 3:17; Hebrews 1:1-2). He is the New Testament Lawgiver (James 4:12). Christians must follow the words He spoke, which will judge us one day (John 12:48). Let us always remember who’s the Boss!