Today’s passage might seem extremely odd. This is a civil law about dealing with skin disease. At first glance it seems like it has nothing to do with truthfulness in our speech. But then the author brings up an event regarding Miriam and Aaron found in Numbers 12.
It’s a reference to an incident where Miriam and Aaron stirred up the masses to rebel against Moses, Israel’s God-appointed leader. Because of their slander and dishonor, Miriam was struck with a terrible skin disease. So today’s command in Deuteronomy 24.8-9 is telling the Israelites they are to be careful with the words they use about their leaders.
The way we speak about our leaders is a big deal, especially behind closed doors. God has appointed different men and women to lead us. And they will stand accountable in a unique manner. When we erode the platform of those leaders with malicious words, we’re actually fighting against God’s plan. Granted, sometimes we’re right to challenge poor or malevolent leadership, but that’s very different from gossip or slander.
Today, consider your own heart. Have you allowed malicious words to come from your mouth about the leaders God has appointed over you? If so, take a few minutes to confess to God and ask for forgiveness. Choose to honor those in authority and allow God to be the judge of those he’s appointed.