Do me a favor before you go any further, and look up the town of Nuweibaa on your Google maps. Don’t just look and see where it is (on the banks of the Gulf of Aqaba – a branch of the Red Sea – in present-day Egypt), but have a scan through the photos. GORGEOUS, and the Google photos even include seaside huts and everything! Do the photos and location on Google maps make it a little easier to picture where and how the Israelites were camped in this chapter? Hazeroth, according to the map in my Bible (Life Application Study Bible NLT, Tyndale House), was right about where we can find the village of Nuweibaa today, and from the looks of it, I don’t think I’d mind camping there for a few days (years), but it sounds as though our main three siblings got a little too comfortable in their tranquil desert paradise. They had nothing better to do than complain about their brother’s wife. I imagine them sitting around a campfire outside their tents, chatting as siblings do, and then one pointed comment led to another, and BAM, God is not too happy with these kids. If you have kids (or have been a kid with siblings yourself) you know all too well how situations can escalate quickly. I can’t count the number of times I’ve sat and smiled as I watched my kids happily playing games or doing activities together, and in the exact same sigh of happiness, one of them bursts into tears, and the shouting begins. It’s maddening. And sometimes I KNOW if I had the power to pull one of them aside and strike that kid with instant leprosy I darn sure would, (especially if I knew I could heal it in an instant). I also have no doubt that whichever kid of mine got the curse, the other ones would plead for his or her healing no matter what argument had taken place beforehand. I love how in this case it was Moses, the baby brother and the accused, who begged God to heal Miriam. I think at that point in time, Moses could have asked God to do anything. God makes it very clear that He and Moses are buds, and we’ve seen evidence of how convincing Moses can be when he chats with God. We should all strive to be in relationship with God like Moses did.
Writing prompt: regret
Do you have siblings or even a close circle of friends with whom you argue once in a while? Disagreements can be healthy sometimes and lead to better understanding and growth, or they can be a hard lesson learned. Write about a time you argued with someone close to you and regretted it horribly later.