Leading Outside the Box
Two men, Eldad and Medad, had stayed behind in the camp. They were listed among the elders, but they had not gone out to the Tabernacle. Yet the Spirit rested upon them as well, so they prophesied there in the camp. A young man ran and reported to Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp!” Joshua son of Nun, who had been Moses’ assistant since his youth, protested, “Moses, my master, make them stop!” 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 upon them all!” Then Moses returned to the camp with the elders of Israel.
Numbers 11:26-30 NLT
We have a learning moment for Joshua and Moses. Moses has been the leader of the nation as they traveled out of Egypt and headed to the Promised Land. The people began to complain about the food and wanted Moses to give them something better than manna. Moses complained to God about the burden of having to lead all these whining people. He was aggravated and overwhelmed.
God gave Moses a plan that involved choosing seventy men who were elders among the people and invited them to the Tabernacle. God told Moses He was going to take some of the Spirit that is on Moses and put it upon those seventy men. God said the purpose was so they could bear the burden of the people along with Moses.
Moses invited the seventy elders to the Tabernacle, and the Spirit came upon them, and they began to prophesy as a sign the Spirit was on them. But two men didn’t come to the Tabernacle and remained in the camp. They received the same experience in the camp.
Young Joshua spoke up because he thought it was wrong for someone to experience the Spirit of God if they were not at the Tabernacle with the others. (We don’t know why they didn’t come. The text does not indicate that there was some sin on their part perhaps; they were sick or just unable to get to the Tabernacle.)
Moses rebuked Joshua. He let Joshua know it is okay for God to work outside the normal pattern of visiting with people at the Tabernacle.
There are some lessons to learn here. First, never do life alone. Invite the Holy Spirit to bring into your life others to walk with you in your journey.
Second, God’s works are beyond our knowledge and control. Joshua wanted to control who got the anointing and where. Moses was willing for everyone anywhere to share the anointing. God seems to love to work outside our box of understanding. When we open our lives to the work of God, it seems He loves to surprise us with a new twist. Perhaps, it is just so we don’t try to program God.
Finally, I think we can learn that we should always be looking for the work of the Spirit in others’ lives and encouraging that work, not attacking it because it might be different from our work.
Holy Spirit, I want You to work in my life and the life of others. Help me not to put You in my box of understanding. Help me to be open to what You want to do, where You want to do it, and through whom You want to do it.
Scroll down to share what you feel God is saying to you based on today’s reading.