grace from surprising places
Read Mark 9:38-50. What are the parallels and differences between this story and the story in Numbers?
Where are you tempted to judge someone else who is doing God’s work? How can you walk in peace with someone who is attempting to follow God but doing it differently than you would do?
In June 2011, pro hockey player Gilbert Brule was driving in Vancouver with his girlfriend. As they passed two hitchhikers, Brule blurted out, “That’s Bono!” Brule’s girlfriend wasn’t buying it. “I didn’t believe him, so I kept driving.” Brule convinced her to turn around, and indeed it was U2’s lead singer Bono and his assistant. They’d been hiking when a rainstorm struck, and now they were trying to hitch a ride back to their vehicle. The couple gave the rocker a ride, and Bono thanked them with tickets and backstage passes to his show that evening. Brule had tickets to the Stanley Cup finals that night, but ditched the Cup for U2.
Grace and blessing come from all kinds of surprising places. Moses knew this as well. He had been overwhelmed with the responsibilities of leading Israel. So God instructed Moses to gather 70 respected elders of the tribe, and they would “bear the burden of the people along with [Moses]” (Numbers 11:17). The stretched leader gathered the 70 and the Spirit of God came over the group and “gave [them] the same Spirit that was upon Moses” (Numbers 11:25).
Two other Israelite leaders, however, were not present and later began to prophesy on their own. Joshua, incensed that this act challenged Moses’ leadership, protested. Moses wisely and calmly 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” (Numbers 11:29).
Human nature wants to control grace. We want to manipulate the people God uses—and how God uses them. We grow jealous of those who don’t seem to follow the precise path we’ve followed. Just like Moses, however, we should rejoice anytime God does His work—no matter how (or with whom) God chooses to do it.
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Job 38:1-41
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