From a scarcity to abundance mentalityThe Israelites had been complaining again. They were sick of Manna and wanted meat. Moses wasn't coping with the strain of leading the people and their complaints. He'd reached the point of burnout...
So God asked Moses to gather the 70 elders who would be given the same Spirit that was on Moses. This would assure Moses that he was not carrying the load alone. And that's exactly what happened... These elders were powerfully filled with God's Spirit. The NIV Study Bible explains that they probably broke out in spontaneous prophetic utterance which was regarded as the presence of God's Spirit.
But there were only 68 elders at the Tent of Meeting. Two had stayed behind in the camp. Maybe they weren't well, maybe they were ritually unclean, or maybe they had a legitimate reason to be in the camp. But they had the same spiritual experience even though they weren't at the tent. God's Spirit is not confined to a place. (Makes one wonder at all the people who insist that one must go to a person or a place to be blessed!!!)
When this is reported to Joshua, he responds defensively. He perceives these two as a threat. This has happened outside of his sphere of influence and control and he is threatened by it. It is a sign of a scarcity mentality and a need to be in control.
Moses invites him to a more abundant view...
"I wish this could happen to everyone!"
Three important lessons emerge:
1. We don't have to do everything by ourselves.
2. God often works in ways that extend beyond our knowledge and control.
3. Good spiritual leaders recognise the work of the Spirit in others and encourage it with a beautiful sense of the abundance of God's love and the opportunities He gives us to serve Him.
|However, two men, whose names were Eldad and Medad, had remained in the camp. They were listed among the elders, but did not go out to the Tent. Yet the Spirit also rested on them, and they prophesied in the camp. 27 A young man ran and told Moses, "Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp." |
28 Joshua son of Nun, who had been Moses' aide since youth, spoke up and said, "Moses, my lord, stop them!"
29 But Moses replied, "Are you jealous for my sake? I wish that all the LORD's people were prophets and that the LORD would put his Spirit on them!" 30 Then Moses and the elders of Israel returned to the camp. (Numbers11:26-30)
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