Lectionary passages for Wednesday, June 3, 2020: Psalm 104:24-34, 35b; Numbers 11:24-30; John 7:37-39
Numbers 11:24-30 (NIV) "So Moses went out and told the people what the LORD had said. He brought together seventy of their elders and had them stand around the Tent.  Then the LORD came down in the cloud and spoke with him, and he took of the Spirit that was on him and put the Spirit on the seventy elders. When the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied, but they did not do so again.  However, two men, whose names were Eldad and Medad, had remained in the camp. They were listed among the elders, but did not go out to the Tent. Yet the Spirit also rested on them, and they prophesied in the camp.  A young man ran and told Moses, "Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp."  Joshua son of Nun, who had been Moses' aide since youth, spoke up and said, "Moses, my lord, stop them!"  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 on them!"  Then Moses and the elders of Israel returned to the camp.
In the Old Testament lectionary reading for today there are many truths - but I would like to highlight just one of them. In this chapter, as a result of the people’s grumbling that was wearing Moses out, God had instructed Moses to bring seventy known leaders to the Tent of Meeting and God would…
“...come down and speak with you there, and I will take of the Spirit that is on you and put the Spirit on them. They will help you carry the burden of the people so that you will not have to carry it alone.” Numbers 11:17 (NIV)
This happened as we see in verse 25 above, but there were two men who were not at the Tent of Meeting and God’s Spirit still came and rested on them. Joshua came and reported this to Moses commanding that Moses would stop them from the prophesying. But Moses replied from an including heart, "Are you jealous for my sake? I wish that all the Lord's people were prophets and that the LORD would put his Spirit on them!"
This situation reminds me of what Jesus told his disciples when they were trying to stop someone:
"Teacher," said John, "we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us."  "Do not stop him," Jesus said. "No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me,  for whoever is not against us is for us." Mark 9:38-40 (NIV)
I like how Luke records this teaching, "Do not stop him," Jesus said, "for whoever is not against you is for you." Luke 9:49-50 (NIV)
Here are the questions and conversation that I am having with God based on these scriptures: Is there anyone I am trying to stop because they haven’t been in my church, my theological circle, in my political camp, in my ideology, in my race, in my country?
Do I have a generous heart that would only wish God’s best for everyone, even though they didn’t show up to where I was physically, or in my belief or political position?
Do I see that when others are not against me that they are actually for me?
What is the Holy Spirit revealing to you based on these passages and in light of what is happening in our society today? May God grant me, and grant you, the fullness of the Spirit of Jesus so we may see and treat others as Christ would!
What about him? What about her? What about them?
You can find these passages at https://lectionary.library.vanderbilt.edu/daily.php?year=A. I encourage you to try using these tools yourself the next time you are having your devotions and reading scripture. Keep it simple and allow God’s Word to shape your life, thoughts and actions.