“Miryam was shut out of the camp seven days, and the people did not travel until she was brought back in. Afterwards, the people went on from Hatzerot and camped in the Paran Desert.”-Numbers 12:15-16
In one setting, God afflicts Miriam with TZARA-AT and then after Aaron’s plea is instantly healed.
Does this scene bring back memories of a similar situation that occurred way back in the Book of Exodus?
Recall when the Lord told Moses at the Burning Bush to put his arm into his cloak and pull it out.
When he did, he discovered his whole arm was stricken with TZARA-AT.
Then the Lord told Moses to put his arm back into his cloak and pull it out again.
When he did, he was instantly healed.
This is pretty much what just happened with Moses’ sister, the prophetess Miriam.
However, in Moses’ case it was done to teach him a lesson that God has the power to afflict and heal instantaneously.
With Miriam it was done out of anger and as a punishment for the inner wickedness in her heart.
Now notice we’re told that all of Israel remained camped at HAZEROTH until Miriam’s 7-day purification period ended.
Since Miriam was Moses’ sister, she had great standing within the Hebrew community and because of this the people were not going to leave her behind.
The lesson to be learned here is simple.
Our sins whether inward or outward WILL affect others.
Although we will be individually held accountable and punished, the whole group of which we are a part of will also pay the consequences for our asinine thoughts and behavior.
No man (or woman in this case) lives in a vacuum.
This chapter finishes up by giving us a few geographical details of Israel’s journey.
We’re told that after Miriam’s purification period passed, the community traveled on from HAZEROTH to PARAN (a desert area).
NEXT TIME WE BEGIN NUMBERS CHAPTER THIRTEEN