Numbers 11:24-12:16; Mark 14:22-31; Psalms 52:8-9; Proverbs 15:12-14
OT: “Moses went out and told the people the words of the Lord. He brought seventy men from the elders of the people and had them stand around the tent. Then the Lord descended in the cloud and spoke to him. He took some of the Spirit who was on Moses and placed the Spirit on the seventy elders. As the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied, but they never did it again. Two men had remained in the camp, one named Eldad and the other Medad; the Spirit rested on them — they were among those listed, but had not gone out to the tent — and they prophesied in the camp. A young man ran and reported to Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.” Joshua son of Nun, assistant to Moses since his youth, responded, “Moses, my lord, stop them!” But Moses asked him, “Are you jealous on my account? If only all the Lord’s people were prophets and the Lord would place his Spirit on them!” Then Moses returned to the camp along with the elders of Israel… Miriam and Aaron criticized Moses because of the Cushite woman he married (for he had married a Cushite woman). They said, “Does the Lord speak only through Moses? Does he not also speak through us?” And the Lord heard it. Moses was a very humble man, more so than anyone on the face of the earth. Suddenly the Lord said to Moses, Aaron, and Miriam, “You three come out to the tent of meeting.” So the three of them went out… He said: “Listen to what I say: If there is a prophet among you from the Lord, I make myself known to him in a vision; I speak with him in a dream. Not so with my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my household. I speak with him directly, openly, and not in riddles; he sees the form of the Lord. So why were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?” The Lord’s anger burned against them, and he left.” (Numbers 11:24-30; 12:1-4, 6-9 CSB)
Before Jesus ascended to heaven and subsequently poured out the Holy Spirit upon all who believed in Him, anointing was only graced on individuals. God would anoint specific people for a specific time and/or a specific task. Often-times that anointing would go to peoples heads and they would “lift up their hearts” and become proud. We see this happen to leaders, judges, and kings throughout the Bible. Anointing, however, is not something that belongs to the anointed. It is not something to be exclusively held on to. Anointing was (and is) a gift from God, and is not the property of the anointed. Moses was specifically and uniquely anointed by God to lead the Israelites out of bondage in Egypt, and to hear from God and communicate to Israel the words, will, and ways of God. When the burden became too great for Moses to bear alone, God disbursed some of the anointing that was on Moses to 70 elders. Instead of clinging to His position and title, Moses humbly welcomed God’s anointing on the 70. At some point in that process, Aaron and Miriam (Moses’ siblings) got jealous of Moses. They wanted in on the action. To lift themselves up, they attempted to pull Moses down by slandering his wife and hurling racial epithets at her. Again, Moses did not get drug down into self-preservation. He did not arrogantly put Aaron and Miriam down through the power that came from His position. Instead, God Himself stepped in and defended Moses. As a side note: when I was growing up, this scripture was used as proof text against allowing inter-racial marriage. Yet, as I read this text, I don’t see God siding with Aaron and Miriam. The only ones making an issue of Moses’ interracial marriage were his jealous brother and sister. God quickly put their spurious complaints down and brought and end to the “controversy.” Anointing has never been a trophy to flaunt in peoples faces. Anointing is to be received and stewarded with humility… even more so in the current age of the church. Now, in the age of our Lord, anointing isn’t something that rests on the select few. Anointing is given to everyone who is in Christ by faith. The anointing that was uniquely given to Christ before the cross has been poured out on all who are in Him. Moses’ desire for all of God’s people to be prophets anointed by the Spirit of God has come to be. A humble believer recognizes the anointing and work of the Holy Spirit on each and every submitted disciple of Christ, and is willing to mutually submit to one another in the body. There aren’t, and should not be, superstars and celebrities in the body of Christ… and we should never put someone else down in order to lift ourselves up or maintain our position.