Holy Spirit Power
I shared in my post on Thursday about an interesting story in the Bible. It was referring to the Spirit that was on Moses being divided onto the 70 elders of the camp of Israel. Seeing the power of the Spirit work in that way, I felt led to pray that the Spirit that lived in me would carry to the recipient of my bone marrow donation, so that he or she would have the opportunity to know Jesus. It’s not that the recipient would be saved by that action, but that the Holy Spirit would begin to work in his or her heart to learn about Jesus and gain an interest in Him. To have a thirst and desire for a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Not knowing any information about the recipient, other than the fact that he or she was younger than me, it was hard not being able to give more than just my marrow. I wanted to sit with the person and share where life really comes from and the power and gift that the second chance of life can offer. An abundant life. But, since I didn’t have any access to this person, I entrusted the Lord to do what only He can.
I realize that my prayer was out of context from the Scripture’s purpose at that point of history, but that’s what I felt led to pray. Since I am aware of that though, I would like to take the opportunity to share an amazing story of God’s power that most people miss, since Numbers is part of what some people find the “boring part of the Bible”.
Moses had enough with the Israelites. He, by the Lord’s power and guidance, led the nation of Israel out of Egypt. They had been slaves for 400 years! Egypt had an entire nation of over a million people, doing all of their hard labour for free. It was a brutal life for the nation of Israel! God heard the cry of His people and decided in His perfect timing to bring them home. To the home He had promised to Abraham centuries earlier.
Since they were slaves, the Lord needed to rework their mentality. He had to break down their bad habits, teach them about their identity, and work through all their weaknesses to prepare them to claim the land that He promised them. That would take a lot of grit on their part. They needed to be strong and know who their true Master was, so that they didn’t fall as slaves into the hands of the nations that occupied the land they would possess. They needed to know where they came from so that they didn’t intermix their culture with the ones about to surround them. They needed to be standing on the “Solid Rock”.
All that work doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time. And the more the people resisted the discipline and teaching, the longer they had to sit in the desert. God was gracious enough to not bring them into a place they weren’t ready for yet. Their training wasn’t complete.
But you see, there were some Israelites that had married Egyptians, even though they weren’t supposed to intermix cultures. Some of these Egyptians came with the Israelites when they left Egypt. The longer they were outside of their country, the more they craved their comfortable lifestyle back home.
You know the old saying, “misery invites company”? This saying was definitely true for them. The people connected to these Egyptians began complaining as well until the whole camp became dissatisfied with what the Lord had given them. The complainers wanted to return to Egypt. They wanted to eat their fancy cuisine instead of being satisfied with the manna from heaven. The thing that we usually forget is that the Israelites were most likely not chowing down on the riches of “cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic” (Numbers 11:5) that they complained about. They were forgetting the full brunt of the hardship they were saved from.
At this point, both God and Moses had enough. They were furious with the Israelites. Moses was tired of leading them and cried out to the Lord to either kill him or help him. He surrendered his authority and claimed that he could not handle it anymore. But as Paul shares in 1 Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity. God is faithful, and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape so that you are able to bear it.”
The Lord gave grace and stepped into action. He told Moses to call the 70 elders together that oversaw the various tribes of Israel. They came to the Tent of Meeting and stood with Moses. “Then the Lord descended in the cloud and spoke to him. He took some of the Spirit that was on Moses and placed the Spirit on the 70 elders. As the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied, but they never did it again.” (Numbers 11:25).
Moses and the elders returned to the camp. God sent a massive amount of quail to the camp for the people to eat. “The people were up all that day and night and all the next day gathering the quail—the one who took the least gathered 50 bushels—and they spread them out all around the camp. (to cure the meat)
“While the meat was still between their teeth, before it was chewed, the Lord’s anger burned against the people, and the Lord struck them with a very severe plague.So they named that place Kibroth-hattaavah (Graves of Craving), because there they buried the people who had craved the meat.” (Numbers 11: 32-34)
All of the people who craved the meat and food in Egypt died that day. The Israelites couldn’t afford to have devious and discontented people spreading despair and hate for God around them. He did what was necessary to discipline the Israelites in order to refine and purify them for His purposes. It sounds awful, but it was really done in God’s love. It’s awful that they all died. But in reality, it was either those people, or eventually the entire nation that would have paid the price.
Since that time, the Spirit imparted wisdom amongst the elders to help Moses carry the burdens of the people before God.
The Holy Spirit is incredible. This story was a foreshadowing of the Spirit’s capabilities for our lives today. The Spirit rested on the men of that day. Today, it can now rest within us. The Spirit would come and go from people before Jesus’ life on earth. But after Jesus’ resurrection, the Spirit of God can dwell within our little finite beings if we choose to have a relationship with Jesus. It doesn’t come or go. It’s ours to stay.
That is extremely powerful. We cannot fathom the authority that is within those who believe. We cannot get a full understanding of what we are capable of in the name of Jesus.
But I want to learn and grow in this. I want to set aside my weaknesses so that the strength and power of the Lord may have His glory and testimony come to light through me, and to all those who believe. Scripture is fascinating because it gives us a window into the glorious inheritance we have coming. We can begin to see all the dots connecting.
For example, did you know that the Holy Spirit is the down payment of our inheritance??
“When you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and when you believed in Him, you were also sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.He is the down payment of our inheritance, for the redemption of the possession, to the praise of His glory.” (Ephesians 1:13-14)
Amazing! God Himself is the down payment of the incredible inheritance believers will receive in the New Kingdom. What joy and awe that sparks within me each time I read that passage!
May we ask the Lord to help us set ourselves aside so that the Spirit has room to work within and through us for the glory of God!