“So Moses went out and told the people the words of the LORD; and he gathered seventy elders of the people, and placed them all around the tent. Then the LORD came down in the cloud and spoke to him, and took some of the spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders; and when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. But they did not do so again.” (Numbers 11:24 – 25)
Mindful of the fact that Pentecost is the apparent first time that the Holy Presence came to earth & humanity to linger & stay, and to be made manifest from generation to generation – I want to point out that it was a portion of the Spirit who was on Moses that was temporarily deposited on a portion of the elders. Take about your trickle down! SOME of the Spirit that was on Moses rested for a SHORT time on SOME of elders. If one were to simply gloss over the verses, you would suppose that the Spirit was rampant in the camp. But no, at this point the Israelites as a people were not yet ready for the in-dwelling of the Spirit.
“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 son of Nun, the assistant of Moses, one of his chosen men, said, “My lord Moses, stop them!” (Verses 26 – 28)
Moreover I am guessing it was unusual for someone to prophesy in the Spirit. It makes me think of another Old Testament passage that talks about people young and old being touched by the Spirit at a time in the future, and that would be a sought after blessing.
“But Moses said to him, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the LORD would put his spirit on them!” And Moses and the elders of Israel returned to the camp.” (Verses 29 – 30)
Moses knew then, that the Spirit would not be resting on the people that he lead. And it was not an attribute/blessing, the in-dwelling of the Spirit, that Moses wished to keep for himself. That gives me pause. And makes me appreciate all the more the coming of Pentecost. To you think, beloved reader, that the disciples might have had no idea what Jesus was talking about when he said the Spirit would come to them – the Holy Advocate? And how it must have empowered them when they realized what had happened. Stay tuned as we journey ever nearer to the actual event! Shalom & Selah!