Numbers 11:24-29; 12:1-16 and Luke 17:20-37

Numbers 11:25-29 Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke to him, and took some of the Spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders. And as soon as the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied. But they did not continue doing it. 

Now two men remained in the camp, one named Eldad, and the other named Medad, and the Spirit rested on them. They were among those registered, but they had not gone out to the tent, and so they prophesied in the camp. And a young man ran and told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.” And Joshua the son of Nun, the assistant of Moses from his youth, said, “My lord Moses, stop 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 on them!”

 

“The Gift of the Holy Spirit”

That old green monster, jealousy! It was creeping up on Joshua. Moses had been the leader, guiding God’s children out of Egypt, through the Red Sea and now they were making course through the wilderness. But the task was getting too big for one person to handle. So God sets apart seventy men, seventy elders. The Holy Spirit fills them and they prophesy.

But only sixty-eight of the seventy are at the tent of meeting when the Spirit pours out on them. The tent of meeting was where people would come to meet God. It indicated God’s presence to the people. The other two, Eldad and Medad, are in the camp. Like the others, they prophesied but Joshua wanted them silenced. Moses had the better idea.

“Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets, that the Lord would put His Spirit on them!” Let them speak. Let God pour out His Spirit upon His people. We see this taking place after Jesus’ death and resurrection. The disciples gathered together on Pentecost and the Holy Spirit filled them with His power. Then they spoke the Good News of Jesus in languages of everyone gathered there. They heard that Good News for them and their people.

You, too, were given the gift of the Holy Spirit. When the waters of Baptism were poured upon you and the words were spoken: “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirit”, the Spirit was poured into you. You became God’s dwelling place. You became a tent of meeting, where people could come to meet God.

As someone with the power of the Spirit within you, you have been given a task, a responsibility.  You are to share the Good News of Jesus. But how often we hear the argument, “But I don’t have the gift of evangelism. I don’t know what to do or what to say.”

Likely, God didn’t call you to be an evangelist. But He did send you to be a witness. Eldad and Medad were witness of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The disciples were witness of the outpouring of the Spirit. And, when asked to give reason for our faith, we are witness of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in our life.

Don’t be jealous of those whose gifts may differ from yours at the moment. Let God continue to develop in you the gift, or gifts, He has given you. Furthermore, do not let a gift set idol. Open up to the possibilities God has for you. Then, speak His Word to others. Let them know of His great love for you, and for all mankind. Share the joy. Share the excitement of letting His speak through you!

PRAYER:  Heavenly Father, too often we allow jealousy to creep into our lives. We see what others do, how they use their gifts, and we want to do more. Yet, we fear to do so even as we may desire. Remind us that it is not we who go forth, but You in us. We are but the instrument of carrying Your message to those who need to hear. We are the messengers of Your Holy Spirit, carrying Your forgiveness and love to others. Forgive us when we fail to recognize the opportunity You give us to share that hope. Bless the message and bless those opportunities when the Spirit moves us to speak. May Your Word be proclaimed, unhindered, to Your Son’s glory. Amen.