Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Word Study Wednesday -- Cry Out

So Moses cried out to the LORD, "O God, please heal her!" ~~ Numbers 12:13 (NIV)

Recorded in Numbers 12 for us to know for all time, God spoke to Moses face to face. Moses was the most humble man on all the earth.

When Miriam received her punishment of leprosy for speaking against her brother, Moses cried out to the Lord on her behalf.

In the Hebrew, the word for cried is “Tsa`aq” which means “to cry, to cry out (for help) or (in distress or need). [1]

Moses felt deep despair over what happened to his sister and wanted help. He cried out to the only One who could heal her, the Lord. I like how Matthew Henry’s Commentary explains Moses in this situation:

"III. The intercession made for Miriam (v. 13): He cried unto the Lord with a loud voice, because the cloud, the symbol of his presence, was removed and stood at some distance, and to express his fervency in this request, Heal her now, O Lord, I beseech thee. By this he made it to appear that he did heartily forgive her the injury she had one him, that he had not accused her to God, nor called for justice against her; so far from this that, when God in tenderness to his honour had chastised her insolence, he was the first that moved for reversing the judgment. By this example we are taught to pray for those that despitefully use us; and not to take pleasure in the most righteous punishment inflicted either by God or man on those that have been injurious to us. Jeroboam’s withered hand was restored at the special instance and request of the prophet against whom it had been stretched out, 1 Ki. 13:6. So Miriam here was healed by the prayer of Moses, whom she had abused, and Abimelech by the prayer of Abraham, Gen. 20:17. Moses might have stood off, and have said, "She is served well enough, let her govern her tongue better next time;’’ but, not content with being able to say that he had not prayed for the inflicting of the judgment, he prays earnestly for the removal of it. This pattern of Moses, and that of our Saviour, Father, forgive them, we must study to conform to."[2]

Matthew Henry’s goes on to explain that mercy and justice both met Miriam. Mercy in that Miriam did receive healing, forgiveness and God’s will to restore her. Justice in the fact she was put outside the camp for seven days. Yet the process of mercy started when Moses immediately forgave her and cried out.

Engrafted by His Grace--

[1] Brown, Driver, Briggs and Gesenius. "Hebrew Lexicon entry for Tsa`aq". "The KJV Old Testament Hebrew Lexicon". .

[2]Henry, Matthew: Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible : Complete and Unabridged in One Volume. Peabody : Hendrickson, 1996, c1991, S. Nu 12:10

4 gracious comments:

Leigh Anne said...

How do people get through life not knowing God and being able to cry out to Him. I am so thankful for those whom have cried out for me.

Chel - An Abiding Branch said...

We may not be able to allow people into Heaven but we can share in the gift of mercy He has bestowed upon us! That is an awesome insight into those verses and the heart of Moses!
I, too am very grateful for those whom have cried out for me.

Leah said...

I am so grateful He hears our cries!! Praise Him!!


Cherdecor said...

Sibling rivalry! That is what I think of when I read this story.
Every once in a while I hear full grown adult sibling saying things to the other that ought not to be. Some never grow up.

Oh, sorry, this was about intercession. See how my mind works?

I am glad that someone prayed for me.
Intercession is so important.

This is a great post, Shonda.