Magazine article Sojourners Magazine

September 28: For or against? (Living the Word)

Magazine article Sojourners Magazine

September 28: For or against? (Living the Word)

Article excerpt

Numbers 11:4-6, 10-16, 24-29; Psalm 19:7-14; James 5:13-20; Mark 9:38-50

From the Israelites in the desert to the disciples, the people of God have a history of losing perspective and dwelling on their own well-being instead of God's kingdom. The passage from Numbers paints a bleak picture. Weary from the difficult transition to liberation, the Israelites demand the comforts of slavery rather than God's nourishment; in a moment of weakness, they are happy to trade the possibility of freedom for a few leeks and cucumbers. Equally weary of their constant whining, Moses has his own words with God, preferring to die rather than spend one more day leading them: "It: this is the way you are going to treat me, put me to death at once ... and do not let me see my misery" (Numbers 11:15).

Ironically, when God responds to Moses' pleas and empowers others to assume the responsibility of leadership, Moses' assistant, Joshua, becomes alarmed and jealous of their power and begs Moses to stop them. "Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord's people were prophets . …

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