The Seventy Elders

According to the Bureau of Standards in Washington, a dense fog covering seven city blocks to a depth of 100 feet is composed of less than one glass of water. That amount of water is divided into about 60 billion tiny droplets. Yet when those minute particles settle over a city o … More

Problems

Many Christians today live their lives in a fog. They allow a cupful of problems to cloud their vision and dampen their spirit. Anxiety, turmoil and defeat strangle their thoughts. Moses had witnessed God’s power in spectacular miracles, yet at this time he questioned God’s ability to feed the wandering Israelites (vv. 21-22). If Moses doubted God’s power, how much easier it is for us to do the same. We see how the Lord helped Moses in a period of despair to solve two difficult problems:

  1. How to pastor so many people. (vv. 16,17) - God commanded Moses to select seventy godly elders to assist him in the spiritual leadership of the people. At the heart of every problem is the problem in the heart and unless people’s hearts are changed by the Lord, their conduct will never change. God gave these men the power of the Holy Spirit to assist Moses in his work. Taking the same Spirit which was upon Moses, God put it upon them. The immediate sign of the Spirit resting upon these seventy men was that they prophesied (v. 25).
  2. How to provide meat for all the people. (vv. 18-23, 31-35) - The Jews certainly weren’t going to slaughter their flocks because that would have left them destitute. Moses questioned God as to how he was going to provide meat every day for six hundred thousand grown men. He basically said, “just wathch me” (v. 23). By sending a strong wind, God brought quail right into their camp. The Jews spent two days and a night capturing and killing the birds (v. 32). When God wants to judge people, He lets them have their own way (Rom. 1:24, 26, 28). So, He gave them what they asked for, but He sent a plague along with it. The people began to devour the meat, happy that their craving was satisfied; then God’s judgment struck and many of them died (v. 33)

Application

Many lives are being “choked by the cares of this world” (Luke 8:14). But “God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (II Tim. 1:7). Lord help me to not live in a fog.

Numbers 11:16-35 (English Standard Version)


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