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The Holy Spirit Anticipated

July 17, 2018

“Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets, that the Lord would put his Spirit on them!” Numbers 11:29

When God led his people through the desert on their way to the Promised Land, they were constantly complaining (11:1-6). Moses gets to the point where he has had enough: “Why have you dealt ill with your servant? And why have I not found favor in your sight, that you lay the burden of all this people on me?” (11:11).

The Lord is very compassionate toward him, and he tells Moses to gather seventy men from among of the elders of Israel: “I will take some of the Spirit that is on you and put it on them, and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, so that you may not bear it yourself alone” (11:17). So now through the wonderful promise of God, Moses has some helpers.

But the people complained about the helpers! The Israelites who professed faith and bore the name of the Lord were habitual complainers, self-absorbed, and thoroughly ungrateful for the blessings they received every day. But putting godly elders over them didn’t solve the problem.

Moses then gives this marvelous response: “Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets, that the Lord would put his Spirit on them!” (11:29). He must have been saying these words with a huge sigh: “The only hope for this crowd would be if God gave his Spirit to every single one of them. If they were all filled with the Spirit, then they wouldn’t be constantly complaining, self-absorbed, and ungrateful! If only….”

What differences have you observed in a person who is filled with the Spirit?

The Author
Colin Smith

Colin Smith is the senior pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. He has authored a number of books, including Heaven, How I Got Here and Heaven, So Near - So Far. Colin is the president and teacher for Unlocking the Bible. Follow him on Twitter.

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