All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit . . . .
— Acts 2:4
Many centuries before the events of Pentecost, Moses and the children of Israel had a horrible experience with fire, and Moses prayed for it to stop. You see, God had responded to the constant whining and rebellion of Israel by consuming some of the people with fire. Moses prayed that the fire would die down, and God granted Moses’ request immediately (see Numbers 11:1-2).
Soon after that episode, Moses said to his coleader Joshua, “I wish that all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put his Spirit on them!” (Numbers 11:29). God would grant that request too, but it wouldn’t be until the day described in today’s reading.
At Pentecost, God’s Holy Spirit came on the apostles in the form of fire. This was not a fire of destruction but a symbol of God’s purifying love and blessing. The Spirit would come on many others too, taking people from confusion about Jesus to clarity, from ignorance to repentance, from darkness to light. God through the apostles trained believers from all nations for faith, obedience, and ministry.
The Spirit’s ongoing work in people today is why Scripture penetrates souls, faith in Jesus springs to life, and all of his followers can speak with authority about him. The Spirit’s work in their lives makes them prophets, and that is an answer to Moses’ prayer. Is the Spirit working in your life too?
Thank you for answering Moses’ prayer, Lord. Make us your prophets, through your Spirit, for your glory. Amen.
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