Because Moses was married to a Cushite woman...

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Then Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married (for he had married a Cushite woman)...  - Numbers 12:1

Preaching on Psalm 90 the first Lord's Day of the new year, I wanted to say a bit about Moses since this Psalm begins with the attribution, "A prayer of Moses, the man of God." At the time of the rebellion against Moses led by his sister and brother, Miriam and Aaron, Scripture brings the account to an end with that wonderful statement that Moses was "very humble, more than any man who was on the face of the earth."

Wanting to explain the context of this high praise, I went roaming for commentary on the racism of Miriam and Aaron that was behind their rebellion...

Their real reason for opposing Moses was that he had married a "Cushite woman." Moses was scorned for marrying an African, and I was delighted to find this short commentary on the conflict by John Piper. Take time to read it.

To the cynics among us, I recommend this piece not because, but in spite of, John's confession that early in his life he was a racist. Every man is a racist. All of us have prejudices against some race or ethnic group and almost any man who denies it is a liar. Selfishness is a besetting sin all of us spend our lives repenting of, and our selfishness rarely fails to attach itself to our national or racial or ethnic or denominational or educational (which is to say, our tribal) identity.

For instance, I've always found it hard to restrain my hostility against people who like Neil Diamond and the Bee Gees. It's an instinctive thing you may understand when I tell you I'm currently listening to Monteverdi duets.

Like confessions of bitterness, confessions of racism are Godly. And healing. And boring.

Tim Bayly

Tim serves Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. He and Mary Lee have five children and big lots of grandchildren.

Want to get in touch? Send Tim an email!