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Another important thing happened in the middle of that whole quail bird situation. Moses got mad and a little discouraged about the people who were being so ungrateful. All the whining, crying, panicking and pouting was upsetting him.
He went to God and said, “Why do I have to carry the weight of all these people’s problems? Are they my children? Am I their father? Why did You tell me to carry them in my arms like a mother carries a little baby? And You want me to deliver them all the way to the promised land? I don’t think I can do it any more. I can’t carry all these people’s problems alone. The weight is too heavy, heavy for me.”
The way the people were acting was upsetting God, too, so God understood how Moses felt. God said, “Gather together seventy of the older men who you know are good leaders of Israel. Bring them to the Tabernacle and I’ll come down and talk to you there. I will take some of the same Spirit that is on you, and I will put the Spirit on them also. This way, they will help you carry the weight of the people and all their problems.
Whew! Moses was probably relieved about this. Moses gathered the seventy men around the Tabernacle. Then, God came down in the cloud. He gave the seventy elders the same Spirit that was on Moses. And when the Spirit rested on them, they spoke God’s words — they prophesied.
Interestingly, there were two men who were chosen to go to the Tabernacle, but who decided to stay behind in the camp. But the Spirit came and rested on them as well. They prophesied right there in the camp.
A young man ran and told Moses, “Two men are prophesying in the camp!”
Joshua, who had been Moses’ assistant since he was a boy, protested, “Moses, make them stop!”
But Moses replied, “Are you feeling jealous for me? I wish that all the Lord’s people would speak God’s words and that the Lord would put His Spirit on all of them! I want ALL of God’s people to connect with Him.”
But sadly, those seventy men never prophesied again.
But, it was the right idea. God wanted all His People to connect to Him and speak His words. It was all part of His Big Plan. And later in this big story, they will.