Did you bake Moses a birthday cake? Because he’s about to make this awesome wish in this story and God is willing to grant it… on our behalf!!!
We’re picking up mid-stream, where God says…
Say to the people,
‘Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow, and you shall eat meat; for you have wept in the ears of the Lord, saying,
“Oh that someone would give us meat to eat! For we were well off in Egypt.”
Therefore the Lord will give you meat and you shall eat. You shall eat, not one day, nor two days, nor five days, nor ten days, nor twenty days, but a whole month, until it comes out of your nostrils and becomes loathsome to you; because you have rejected the Lord who is among you and have wept before Him, saying,
“Why did we ever leave Egypt?”‘”
But Moses said,
“The people, among whom I am, are 600,000 on foot; yet You have said, ‘I will give them meat, so that they may eat for a whole month.’ Should flocks and herds be slaughtered for them, to be sufficient for them? Or should all the fish of the sea be gathered together for them, to be sufficient for them?”
The Lord said to Moses,
“Is the Lord’s power limited? Now you shall see whether my word will come true for you or not.”
So Moses went out and told the people the words of the Lord. Also, he gathered seventy men of the elders of the people, and stationed them around the tent.
Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke to him; and He took of the Spirit who was upon him and placed Him upon the seventy elders.
And when the Spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. But they did not do it again.
But two men had remained in the camp; the name of one was Eldad and the name of the other Medad. And the Spirit rested upon them (now they were among those who had been registered, but had not gone out to the tent), and they prophesied in the camp.
So a young man ran and told Moses and said,
“Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.”
Then Joshua the son of Nun, the attendant of Moses from his youth, said,
“Moses, my lord, restrain them.”
But Moses said to him,
“Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets, that the Lord would put His Spirit upon them!”
Then Moses returned to camp, both he and the elders of Israel.
Birthday Presents for All
Yes, God’s response in this story is strange. Kinda like the parent who says, “You want to try smoking a cigarette? Here, smoke two packs.”
But check it out:
The people, each man weeping at his own tent, had rejected God. Family protest.
So God gathers the elders of the families, the inherent leadership of the tribes, and changes what’s coming out of their mouths. He puts His Spirit on them, and they prophesy.
Now prophesying isn’t just telling the future. When we look at the books of the prophets we see some future telling, but we also see declarations of judgment, warnings, and calls to worship the greatness of God. God is glorified by the prophets.
These 70 dudes go from being guys who were not squashing the rebellious attitude of those under them to being men anointed by God. A change came upon them. They prophesied. They could have done any or all of the above and more. Whether they had been silent before, or had even been complainers themselves–that ended. Now they spoke, like Moses, in a way that glorified God.
We don’t know why 2 guys didn’t show up to the meeting.
But we know God came upon them anyway. They couldn’t escape it.
Why does Joshua not want people prophesying in the camp? Who knows? Perhaps it was as wild as it appears in Acts 2 and caused quite a disturbance. It seems more likely that Joshua thought this special change/encounter with God was something reserved for certain individuals and that he is trying to maintain Moses as leader and give opportunity to these other guys to become even more insubordinate.
But Moses said, “No way, man. I wish God did this to everyone!”
Moses’ wish that God would pour out His Spirit on all the children of Israel IS HUGE!
- It flat-lines Joshua’s idea of leadership. Shouldn’t we reserve encountering God’s Spirit and glorifying Him with our words to just a few select people? NO. Kill that idea. That’s no good. That’s not how God wants to bring about change. God wants His people to encounter MORE of Himself, not less.
- God later promises through Joel to pour out His Spirit on ALL flesh. He’s not just building leaders. No, everybody gets a present. Moses wished for all the children of Israel and God answered with, ‘Yes, but we’re going to go a few steps further and put My Spirit on and in the people. And let’s include non-Israelites too. Kick the door open. Anyone who will come to Me can be anointed and filled with My Spirit.”
when God’s Spirit drops in on the people in Acts 2, God is granting–or better said, beginning to grant Moses’ wish. Let’s all grab a corner on this wrapping paper and give it a tear, shall we?