“Oh, my master! Please don’t punish us for this sin we have so foolishly committed…
So Miriam was kept outside the camp for seven days, and the people waited until she was brought back before they traveled again.”
Numbers 12:11, 15
Thirty-four years ago, the Chernobyl nuclear explosion stranded untold thousands under devastating radiation fallout. Three weeks after the disaster, Beverly Schmidgall flew directly into the highest radiation zone to share Jesus with two thousand pregnant women. The fallout from Chernobyl has since killed an estimated 4,000 people, and Bev too gave her life in a slow, painful death.
Fallout is often more damaging than the initial eruption. That was certainly the case with the Israelites when the explosions of complaining began…first there was no water, then they got tired of manna, and finally Aaron and Miriam criticized Moses. As a result, Miriam became leprous and was isolated from community, unprotected in the wilderness for seven days. But that was not the only fallout. The entire community had to halt their Promised Land journey and wait for Miriam to be healed…all consequences of grouchy eruptions.
When critical outbursts persist, the fallout compounds. The Israelites’ complaints evolved into unbelief which finally erupted into a full-blown rebellion, devastating their lives for forty years. Notice Aaron labeled complaining as a sin they foolishly committed. So true…only days away from their Promised Land, the Israelites foolishly complained, and millions of people died a slow death from the fallout.
Father, from this day on, please keep us from foolish
complaining and its devastating fallout!