I love this chapter of Scripture. Numbers is an oft-overlooked book of the Bible, with many considering it to be dry and boring, just list of genealogies and the like. But there are some real gems in this book, and this chapter in particular is fantastic. There is so much in it. In my next few posts I will attempt to enthuse you about this chapter. Here's my first point:
The First Prophetic Mention of Pentecost
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 on them!" (v29)
There are three prophets in the Scriptures who foresaw God's plan to pour out his Spirit on his people with a lasting anointing.
The last was John the Baptist. He is recorded as being the greatest of all the prophets and yet we only have one recorded prophecy he gave: "After me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and with fire." It is interesting that his prophetic vision of Christ and his work, jumps straight from his coming to the baptism in the Spirit. There is no mention of the cross! Whilst the cross is essential to the salvation plan of God, it is important to remember that it was the means to an ends, not the ends in itself. It was for the joy set before him that Jesus endured the cross. Jesus, like John saw beyond the cross to see what was on the other side. A people filled with the Spirit doing the works of God on his behalf. A Church as a bride fit for the King. The true sign of our faith, is not a cross we wear around our necks, but the infilling of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
The second was Joel: "I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions." This is the prophecy that Peter refers to in Acts 2:17 when he explains what is happening on the day of Pentecost. The promise has arrived! God has always desired to have a prophetic people, who are filled with his Spirit. Now after Jesus' triumphant resurrection and ascension, that promise is ours. The gift of the Spirit is not just for the spiritual elite, or those who a "charismatic", but for all. That is why Paul informs the Corinthians that they can all prophesy (1Co 14:31)
But the fist prophet to catch God's heart in this matter was Moses. And it is here in Numbers 11 that he voices that heart.
[To be continued...]