Not About Us

So Moses went out and told the people the words of the Lord; and he gathered seventy elders of the people, and placed them all around the tent. 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 when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. But they did not do so again.

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 son of Nun, the assistant of Moses, one of his chosen men, 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, and that the Lord would put his spirit on them!" And Moses and the elders of Israel returned to the camp. Numbers 11: 24-30 )NRSV)

Most of us have probably heard the saying "Be good, and I'll give you a treat." Sometimes we think bout God in much the same way - that God will give us favors in return for our good deeds. However, scripture teaches that our good deeds and good behavior will not change God's character or influence God's choices. We do not need to impress God to gain God's grace.

In today's scripture reading, Eldad and Medad clearly did not follow orders to go out to the tent, but God's Spirit rested on them and they prophesied. At times we react like Joshua when we see what God is doing through people like Eldad and Medad, who do not seem to be following God's will. But in those moments, we can remember that it is about God, not us. God can work through any person for God's purpose. That's not an invitation to live in any manner we choose or simply wait passively for the Lord's blessing. Instead, it is assurance that it is not our performance but our willingness to fulfill God's purpose that God desires, by David Garcia Escobar, from Valle del Cauca, Colombia.

Prayer: Almighty God, rest your Spirit on us and grant us the wisdom to trust in the plans you have for us, and for others. Make us willing to fulfill your purpose for our lives, and to trust You as You work in the lives of others, in Jesus' name, amen.

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