Now two men remained in the camp, one named Eldad, and the other named Medad, and the Spirit rested on them. They were among those registered, but they had not gone out to the tent, and so they prophesied in the camp. And a young man ran and told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.” And Joshua the son of Nun, the assistant of Moses from his youth, said, “My lord Moses, stop them.” But Moses said to him, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets, that the Lord would put his Spirit on them!” And Moses and the elders of Israel returned to the camp. Numbers 11:26-30, ESV.
The work is too much for Moses and the people are grumbling. The Lord intervenes and tells Moses to get together seventy elders to share the load. Not only would they share the load, but the Lord would also take some of the Spirit from Moses and place it on these men so they can do the Lord’s work. Moses then holds an installation ceremony for the elders where the Spirit falls on them and they prophesy.
Two of the seventy elders, Eldad and Medad, remained behind in the camp. Nonetheless, the Holy Spirit falls on them, too. With the Spirit on them, they also prophesy while in the camp. Moses’s aide Joshua learns of this and takes offense, crying out, “My lord Moses, stop them.” Moses puts an end to Joshua’s protective indignation and declares, “Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets, that the Lord would put his Spirit on them!”
Moses taught Joshua a particularly important lesson that we all need to learn. There is no room for pride of ownership in ministry. We may be gifted and called to some act of service to our God, but that does not prevent God from gifting others and calling others to similar work. Jealousy over ministry success is not evidence of a devotion to or a commitment to His service. It reveals a selfish heart longing for praise.
How has God gifted and called you in His service? Are you answering the call? How do you react when you see someone else answering the same call, particularly if they are not doing so according to your ministry template? Do you view them as co-workers for the King or competition for a prize?
I pray that you will know great contentment with your gifting and calling and be able to rejoice when you see others succeeding in that same calling.