I was always jealous of Bobby. His father owned the hobby shop in our town. In junior high, Bobby always had the coolest stuff: model rockets, a remote controlled airplane, ham radio gear, even a huge, wonderful, sparking Tesla coil that his father helped him build for a science fair. It seemed like everything wonderful had been poured out on that kid, and not on me.
I’ve chosen the Old Testament text for this Pentecost Sunday, Numbers 11:24-30, about the Spirit being given to two Israelites, Eldad and Medad. They received the Spirit and prophesied out of turn and out of place, apart from where the main manifestation of the Spirit and prophecy took place among seventy elders gathered around the tent of the Tabernacle.
Joshua, in a kind of righteous jealousy, wants to rebuke and stop the two extra-curricular prophets. But Moses rebukes Joshua’s jealousy on his behalf, and says, “Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit on them.” That wish of Moses was fulfilled on Pentecost, as the Spirit came down upon all the disciples and from them was passed on to the whole church.
We live now in that same Holy Spirit whose gifts and blessings are to be sought for everyone, not just for ourselves. What we have is to be freely shared, and what others have of the Spirit need not be envied, because He is poured out on everyone who will receive Him.