A Study on Envy

“But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth.  This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic.  For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.”  James 3:14-16

Definition:  A desire for the traits status, abilities or situation of another.


Scripture Reading:  Numbers 12:1-13

 Envy creeps into our lives through such seemingly small things and once it takes root it becomes a very difficult spiritual parasite to contend with.  Today our study leads you through the lives of Miriam, Aaron, and Moses and the envy that could have torn the young nation of Israel apart.  I hope you are able to drink deeply today and that you have time to explore some of the additional scriptures I have added in the prayer and scripture meditation section below.


Diving In:  After reading the scripture referenced above, answer the following questions.

  • What reason does verse 2 give for why Miriam and Aaron were envious of Moses?

  •  Going back to verse 1, what does it say about what started their envy towards Moses?

  •   In a surprising twist, God chooses to reveal Moses’ character in verse 3.  What does He say about Moses?

  • Describe what God said to Miriam and Aaron regarding how different His relationship was with Moses verses any other prophet?  (See verses 6 – 8)

  • Verse 9 tells us how Miriam and Aaron’s envy aroused God’s character.  Write what it says below.

  • What happen to Miriam as a result of God acting out of His righteousness character? (Verse 10)

  • Who pleaded for Miriam’s relief and what was said on her behalf?  (See verses 11 – 13)






Prayer and Scripture Meditation: 

  • Praise Jesus Christ for “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself  (Ephesians 1:7-9). 

  • Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to, you through the scripture in this study or any of the additional scripture verses provided (see below), ways you struggle with envy in your life or ways you struggle to understand how others deal with envy in their lives. (Additional scriptures:    Proverbs 14:30, Romans 13:11-14, 1 Corinthians 13:1-7, Galatians 5:19-21, Titus 3:3, 1 Peter 2:1, Philippians 4:6-7, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, 2 Corinthians 6:3-10, Psalm 100:4, Psalm 136)

  • Take time to write down the verses that speak to you. 

  • Pray through them while asking God to restore those areas of your life and the destruction envy has caused in them. 

  • Then seek God and how He is calling you to start the process of reconciliation and healing both in your life and in your heart.


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