July 05, 2015

Moses and Joshua: Moving Past Jealousy

Numbers 11:28-29

Moses replied, “Are you jealous for my sake? I wish that all the LORD’s people were prophets and that the LORD would put his Spirit on them!”

—  Numbers 11:29

Joshua has been serving alongside Moses as an apprentice. At this point Moses is grooming Joshua to lead God’s people, but he is still young and is sometimes a bit clueless.

Joshua shows immaturity in wanting his mentor to be the only one who offers spiritual leadership. He complains that two elders who have not been with the others are prophesying. Jealous that God has placed his gifts on some others, Joshua wants Moses to make them stop prophesying.

Moses helps Joshua to see the bigger picture. He points Joshua away from self-interest and back to God. God is the giver of gifts, not us. It is not our place to question the giver or even to desire the gifts of ­others, but rather to use our gifts in his ­service.

Jealousy limits our focus to ourselves and our desires. Moses instead mentored Joshua to see the wider view of all God’s blessing. We should rejoice that God empowers others to work in his kingdom.

If we are pursuing faith for our own benefit, our heart is in the wrong place. Celebrate the gifts God has given you, and do not be jealous of the gifting and calling that God has placed on others. May our desire be that everyone experiences God’s Spirit at work in their lives!

Lord, help me to be grateful for the gifts you have given me. May I never be jealous of another’s gifts, but cele-brate your equipping in all our lives. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — Steven and Deb Koster

Steven and Deb Koster have a passion for marriages, families, and spiritual growth in the home. Both are ordained ministers in the Christian Reformed Church in North America. Steven formerly served as editor of Today and director of ReFrame's English-language outreach. Deb leads Family Fire, ReFrame’s family ministry at FamilyFire.com and on Facebook. The Kosters have three children.

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