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A Story Shared

Numbers 11:26a & 28-29
Now two men remained in the camp, one named Eldad, and the other named Medad, and the Spirit rested on them … and so they prophesied 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!”

There’s a simple litmus test for examining whether you’re actively seeking the face of God, and it’s this: that you’re yearning to share the vision with others.

It’s astonishing really that Moses hasn’t grown puffed up after so many years of Theophanous witness. Those occasions when God met him on Sinai’s Mount, lavishing his eyes with ineffable glory, filling the atmosphere of his faith with Shekinah light, didn’t get to his head. He never covered his face as a means of concealing the vision from others either, the way certain cardinals during the Middle Ages concealed Scriptural truths from their poorer constituents who couldn’t read Latin, but only because the people begged him to cover it up. He wanted more than anything to show them. They just didn’t want to see it for themselves.

We’ve chronicled Moses’ shortcomings throughout this pilgrimage: his murder of the Egyptian soldier, his ambivalence toward enslaved brothers, his pathetic excuses when God asked him to speak to Pharaoh, his disobedience in failing to circumcise his sons, his petulance in destroying testimonial stones, his brazen accusations toward God when the people complained. But this humility, this distinguishing mark of his devotion is remarkable when you get down to it. In a world where power has tainted even the saintliest of shepherds, in a hall of heroes where David counted his followers like coins and Gideon accepted a golden ephod and Hezekiah touted his wealth before pagan kings, Moses somehow remains unspoiled by his numerous spiritual victories.

“He must increase and I must decrease!” That’s the cry that reverberates along the rocks of this wilderness, rising from Moses’ heart. Because his highest aim isn’t to amass followers under his leadership or to establish a kingdom under his headship or to build a church in his image, but to seek God, and to see God, and to share that superlative vision with all others. May that true of us as well.