Theodore Epp, the noted Bible teacher said: “ Crises do not produce heroes, nor do they make cowards. However when a person is exposed to extraordinary circumstances, strengths and weaknesses come to light which even he or she did not know!
Moses was severely tested in his position as leader of Israel. The people grumbled, because they had only manna to eat. Moses heard the people of every family wailing at the entrance to their tents. The Lord became exceedingly angry, and Moses was troubled (Num 11:10).
Moses had finally became so discouraged he could not take it any longer, so he complained to God. His complaining was different, however than the complaining of the people. They had taken out their complaints on him, but he did not respond by attacking them; instead he went to God and poured out his heart to Him.
Caught in a weak moment, Moses lost sight of the sovereignty of God and began to feel sorry for himself. This did not happen very often in Moses’ life, but it shows how human Moses was. Because God had understood all that Moses was going through, he did not rebuke him. Instead the Lord told Moses, “Gather for Me seventy men from the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people and their officers and bring them to the tent of meeting, and let them take their stand there with you. Then I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take of the Spirit who is upon you, and will put Him upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, so that you will not bear it all alone. (Numbers 11: 16,17). God alleviated Moses’ aloneness in his responsibility by providing 70 elders to share the load.
Moses did as he was instructed to do. The Lord came down in the cloud and spoke to him. When the Spirit rested upon the 70, they prophesied. However, two men, Eldad and Medad, who were listed as leaders, didn’t leave the camp to go to the Tent to join the seventy. Still, the Spirit rested on them as well and they prophesied in the camp. It was not understood or explained why!
So a young man ran and told Moses about this and Joshua the son of Nun, the attendant of Moses from his youth, said, “Moses, my lord, restrain them.” Joshua was jealous for his mentor , as he did not want Moses’ privilege diminished in any way.
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 upon them all!” Moses harboured no jealousy at all. He could safely leave such matters in the hands of God , because he did not choose his own responsibility of leadership – that was God’s doing.
Moses’ reaction revealed a spirit of greatness. He rejoiced when others shared honour with him. When a person’s desires are eagerly and intently concentrated on seeing God’s will done, the glory of that light extinguishes the fire of self ambition. We are not what we are because of what we do; we do what we do because of what we are.
As students, our emotions run high when we are criticised. By the time a programme or an activity comes to a close, many discouraging comments are flashed! EU leaders who handled responsibilities get frustrated and slowly move out of the scene as they find it difficult to take criticism.
But such trying experiences mould our character. Our spiritual maturity should take us beyond reactive attitude. Let Moses be our model, the true servant leader.
– S.Arul Manohar