Grace From Surprising Places
Joshua . . . protested, “Moses, my master, make them stop!” (v.28).
In June 2011, pro hockey player Gilbert Brule was
driving in Vancouver with his girlfriend. As they
passed two hitchhikers, Brule blurted out, “That’s
Bono!” Brule’s girlfriend wasn’t buying it. “I didn’t believe
him, so I kept driving.” Brule convinced her to turn
around, and indeed it was U2’s lead singer Bono and
his assistant. They’d been hiking when a rainstorm struck,
and now they were trying to hitch a ride back to their
vehicle. The couple gave the rocker a ride, and Bono
thanked them with tickets and backstage passes to his
show that evening. Brule had tickets to the Stanley Cup
finals that night, but ditched the Cup for U2.
Grace and blessing come from all kinds of surprising
places. Moses knew this as well. He had been
overwhelmed with the responsibilities of leading Israel. So
God instructed Moses to gather 70 respected elders of the
tribe, and they would “bear the burden of the people along
with [Moses]” (Numbers 11:17). The stretched leader gathered
the 70 and the Spirit of God came over the group and
“gave [them] the same Spirit that was upon Moses” (v.25).
Two other Israelite leaders, however, were not present
and later began to prophesy on their own. Joshua,
incensed that this act challenged Moses’ leadership,
protested. Moses wisely and calmly 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
upon them all” (v.29).
Human nature wants to control grace. We want to manipulate the people
God uses—and how God uses them. We grow jealous of those who don’t seem
to follow the precise path we’ve followed. Just like Moses, however, we should
rejoice anytime God does His work—no matter how (or with whom)
God chooses to do it.
Read Mark 9:38. What are the parallels and differences between
this story and the story in Numbers?
Where are you tempted to judge someone else who is doing God’s
work? How can you walk in peace with someone who is attempting to
follow God but doing it differently than you would do?