The Surprise of Forgiveness, Day 4

Today’s reading is drawn from Numbers 12:13-15.

Moses was an advocate for mercy for Miriam. He asked God to heal her, even though she had turned against him. Moses could have supported Miriam’s punishment and rightfully have insisted on “eye for eye” (Exodus 21:24). However, having been a murderer and fugitive himself (see Exodus 2:11–15), he had personally experienced the power of God’s grace and forgiveness.

Our natural tendency is to treat others the way they treat us. We are kind to the kind and often unloving to the unloving. However, Jesus’ words, thousands of years after this event, still provide the higher ground for us: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:43–44).

When we are not treated well, we need to ask God to give us the attitude of Moses, who had compassion on the hurts of one who had not treated him well. This type of attitude releases us from a life of keeping emotional score cards and insisting that everything be fair and leads to a life of love, grace, freedom and forgiveness.

Bible Gateway

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