I’ve been thinking quite a bit lately about Western christians women’s continued resistance to being obedient to the word of God when it comes to submitting to their husbands. One of the reasons I often hear as to why a wife shouldn’t be “too submissive” to their husbands is because pastors and other christian women warn them that they might “make an idol out of their husbands”, and that this would mean they are putting their husbands before God in their lives, which is a big no-no. So while I was bandying about and considering scripture a few questions crossed my mind. Questions I would certainly like to ask those same pastors and christian women who cause wives to stumble by trotting out this lame and fake excuse for rebellion.

Question: Was Moses an idol?

God told the Israelites to follow and obey Moses because God set him up as a messenger and leader. In Numbers 12 we find his own brother and sister, Aaron and Miriam, questioned Moses’s God given authority to their own detriment. So what happened?

Well, Moses had told the Israelites they were forbidden from marrying foreign women, then he ended up taking an Ethiopian woman, which, naturally, caused some contention. Rather than going to Moses and the elders and calling him on his hypocrisy they chose to challenge his mandated leadership from God, likely because they had their eyes set on that leadership long before this incident.

Now, Moses was not a perfect man by any means, and by this time he had already screwed up on several occasions and he would continue to screw up on many occasions after this incident, but the bible tells us he was a meek leader, “…above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.”, meaning he was not ruling with an iron fist or in an incorrect way. He wasn’t harsh, but he was stern and, for the most part, commanded the people as God commanded him.

Anyhow here we have Aaron and Miriam who are challenging the authority of Moses by asking (and I am just paraphrasing here, go read it for yourself), “Is God really speaking to us only through Moses? Didn’t He also speak to us?”. Basically, “Why is Moses the one in charge of God speaks to us as well? Are we sure God wants us to obey ONLY Moses?”. Unfortunately for them God heard their rants and decided to intervene – IN PERSON.

Numbers 12:

And the Lord spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out.

And the Lord came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth.

And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.

My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house.

With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the Lord shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?

And the anger of the Lord was kindled against them; and he departed.

10 And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous.

11 And Aaron said unto Moses, Alas, my lord, I beseech thee, lay not the sin upon us, wherein we have done foolishly, and wherein we have sinned.

So, for those who have trouble with the KJV: God called them outside and, speaking directly to Aaron and Miriam said, “Everyone else I speak to I speak to through visions and dreams, but Moses I speak to face-to-face, because he is faithful to me more than all other people. I speak to him directly and not through shadows or mysteries. Because of this, why do you not fear speaking against him?”

After that the Lord was angry and He split, but as he left Miriam became leprous, and her skin instantly turned white with the disease.

Aaron, upon seeing this, freaked out and turned then to Moses, NOT TO GOD, and begged Moses to ask God for forgiveness:

Numbers 12:

11 And Aaron said unto Moses, Alas, my lord, I beseech thee, lay not the sin upon us, wherein we have done foolishly, and wherein we have sinned.

12 Let her not be as one dead, of whom the flesh is half consumed when he cometh out of his mother’s womb.

Yes, though Aaron could have cried out directly to God, he got the gist of what God was saying: That Moses had been given Gods authority, and it was through him and by him that God would deliver His instruction.

Moses, fortunately, loved his brother and sister and immediately cried out to God to forgive Miriam, but he had every right not to, and if he had told both of them that they had gotten their just desserts, God would have not batted an eye, for it was Gods judgement that she should be stricken.

God heard Moses and, even in His mercy, punished Miriam rightly, telling Moses:

Numbers 12:

“…If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be ashamed seven days? let her be shut out from the camp seven days, and after that let her be received in again.”

Thus Miriam was shut out from the camp for seven days, suffering as a leper the entire time, until she was healed and allowed to return.

So, my question is: Did God create an idol of His servant, Moses? Do you think that if Aaron and Miriam had told God, “We don’t want to be TOO obedient to Moses’ authority because we fear we might make an idol out of him!”, that God would have accepted such a silly and nonsensical excuse? Absolutely not! To be obedient to God was to be obedient to Moses, who had been given Gods authority. HE BORE THE SAME AUTHORITY AMONGST THE PEOPLE THAT GOD DID, BECAUSE GOD BESTOWED THAT UPON HIM. To disobey instruction from Moses was to disobey instruction from God, provided that Moses was speaking within Gods intent. Had the people disobeyed a commandment from Moses to build another golden calf then God would have punished Moses and sided with the people because that commandment would have been against Gods law, but even so, if Moses had commanded the people in any thing that was not against Gods law the people were to obey.

Husbands have been given authority over their wives and children, over their entire household, as Christ has been given over the church. They are the final word, and to rebel against them is to rebel against God Himself. A husband is not a replacement for God, but as a knight who rode out from his Lords castle with a writ of authority, granting his words the same weight as the king himself, so husbands have been given the same power.

With that power comes great responsibility and an even heftier punishment if it is used incorrectly. That same knight, using the weight of the kings authority to further his kings desires would receive great reward, while using that authority to commit atrocities and perform actions contrary to the kings desires would garner him a fate worse than death, because his actions reflected directly back onto the king, whom the knight represented.

In this same manner christian husbands will be held to a higher standard than their wives, and will be judged accordingly.

1 Corinthians 11: 7

For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.

Christian women should reject the concept of “making an idol out of their husbands by being too submissive” because the concept has dangerous consequences. It’s nowhere supported in scripture and, as we can see from this example, God does not take lightly those who rally against those whom He has given authority. I don’t suspect you will be struck with leprosy, but as the scripture says, “God will not be mocked”, and you certainly take your spiritual life into your own hands when you choose to be a rebellious wife. Remember that God commended Sarah (through Peter) for her obedience to her husband, and reminds us that christian women who show the same obedience are likened to the daughters of Sarah, a champion of faith!

Be like Sarah and be blessed as she was, or be like Miriam. The choice is yours.