Theme of the Week: The Holy Spirit
Bible Verse: I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take some of the power of the Spirit that is on you and put it on them. They will share the burden of the people with you so that you will not have to carry it alone. Numbers 11:17
Scripture Reading: Numbers 11:1-35
Leading is a difficult job. Leading any group of people is difficult and it requires many attributes. Perhaps not least is wisdom. Moses was the lone leader of the nation of Israel. Let’s not beat around the bush with how difficult this job had to be. A nation with a painful history and an especially painful recent history. They had just been reintroduced to the powerful God that had rescued them from slavery. They were leaving behind the life they knew and wandering into the wilderness. Their culture and society were in their infancy. New laws, on everything from diets to worship practices. If ever there was a society in need of leadership, it was Israel. But what a task!
Perhaps unsurprisingly, it was too much. You can read Moses’s meltdown to God in Numbers 11:11-15. It’s quite the tantrum.
But, as God often does, He did not leave Moses in frustration and confusion. God’s solution (Numbers 11:16-17) tells us several important things:
Moses was already leading the people through the gifting of the Spirit for the task. We don’t know when the Spirit, as He would with the Judges in Israel’s future, descended on Moses to enable Him to lead, but the text is clear that the Spirit was on Him to lead the people.
The second thing that we can see in this episode is that sometimes even with our gifting, our calling can be overwhelming. That’s a bit of a struggle to write. It doesn’t sound or feel quite right. We are fond of saying that if God calls, He will equip us. But even with the equipping, it seems that leading this nation was too much for one person. Could it have been Moses’s weakness? It also could have been God showing Moses what was best for the people. If it were just that it was too much for Moses, one or two, or even a few people would have been an adequate resolution. But that’s not what happens.
The third element important to notice is that shared burden is sometimes the answer. God instructed Moses to gather 70 elders from Israel. 70! If anything, that should help us see how daunting the task Moses was accomplishing really was. It did not require a helping hand or two; it needed an additional 140! God said that he would take from the Spirit on Moses and give it to them to help him lead the people. Which leads to the final point.
- >What God gives is extravagant, but never more than necessary. God took from the Spirit on Moses and gave to the elders. What the elders got, Moses seems to have lost. But it was enough that they could accomplish the task of leading the people.
The chaos of the people in their grumbling and Moses’s chaotic impertinent response were met with the solution of the Spirit being shared to meet the burden of leading the people. The Spirit did not leave the chaos of an infant nation to sort itself out. He empowered the people to bring order and civility under God’s laws.
Prayer: Lord, forgive me for the times I throw a tantrum over life’s difficulties. Sometimes life is hard and I do not always react in the most mature way. Thank You that You meet us in our moments of need and that Your Spirit helps to bring order to the chaos of our lives when it is too much for us.
Reflection: Has God ever given you a task that you have found to be too much? How has He met you in that situation and provided order when things seemed out of control?
Copyright © 2023 Impactus | Promise Keepers Canada. All rights reserved.