Sunday, February 16, 2014

Numbers 11-13 Please prophesy and continue to do so

From Numbers 11-13

Q. If you asked God for a spiritual gift what would it be?

Num 11.1-6 Story-Sin; The people complain, are lament leaving Egypt, The LORD's wrath burns
Num 11.7-9 Story; The LORD provides manna like coriander seeds for the people
Num 11.10-15 Story; Moses complains to the LORD about being leader of the people
Num 11.16-17 Story; Elders appointed to help Moses lead the people, they are spiritually anointed
Num 11.18-23 Story-Sin; The LORD gives them more meat than what they want as a punishment
Num 11.24-30 Story; The spiritually anointed prophesy for a short time
Num 11.31-34 Story-Sin; The LORD sends quail and a plague
Num 12.1-16 Story-Sin; Miriam and Aaron oppose Moses and the LORD responds
Num 13.1-20 Story; Spies sent into the land of Canaan from among the tribes
Num 13.21-33 Story-Sin; The spies return and give a mixed report. They say good land and strong people. Caleb and Joshua say let's go, the remainder are afraid and won't go.
Passage and Comments
The following passage is interesting in that we can see the most common effect the Spirit has on people. It makes them speak of the LORD.
[24] So Moses went out and told the people the words of the LORD. And he gathered seventy men of the elders of the people and placed them around the tent. [25] 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.[26] 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. [27] And a young man ran and told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.” [28] And Joshua the son of Nun, the assistant of Moses from his youth, said, “My lord Moses, stop them.” [29] 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!” [30] And Moses and the elders of Israel returned to the camp. (Num 11:24-30)
Now we should note a few things from this passage. Firstly as I have just mentioned, when these people were anointed with some of the Spirit placed on Moses they prophesied. They began to speak to others about the LORD. Secondly and regrettably, they did not continue speaking of Him. Lastly, Joshua jealous for how the people perceive Moses, suggests they should be stopped. Moses shows humility and wisdom by expressing the hope that everyone would have the LORD's Spirit on them. Anticipating Joel 2 and Acts 2.
Story of Israel
Its unfortunate, but through most of Israel's history when the LORD spoke through his prophets. Most of it was judgment. But this changes.

Story of Jesus
Where can we take this? First, God gives his Spirit to all who believe Jesus is the promised Christ. The Spirit, also called the Spirit of Christ dwells within, like the tabernacle amongst the people, all believers. Second, A fair majority of the gifts of the Spirit are speaking gifts. The one I think we need most and the one we need to keep asking for is the gift of evangelism. The ability to tell the story of Jesus, the gospel, in such a way that it creates faith in Jesus as the risen Christ and Lord (Rom 10.9-10) in those who hear the message. Last, we should not seek to prevent people from speaking of the LORD. Rather support and pray for those who do.