“Quench not the Spirit.”
AND Moses went out, and told the people the words of the Lord, and gathered the seventy men of the elders of the people, and set them round about the tabernacle.
25 And the Lord came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease.
See what the Lord can do, and let it encourage us to pray the Lord of the harvest to send forth labourers into his harvest. Many a Moses is burdened for want of helpers, but the Lord can send him all the assistance he needs.
26 But there remained two of the men in the camp, the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad: and the spirit rested upon them; and they were of them that were written, but went not out unto the tabernacle: and they prophesied in the camp. (Perhaps Moses and the people had not looked for prophetic gifts to follow the gift of the Spirit, but only the power to govern; hence the excitement when two of the elders began to preach in parts of the camp where the prophesying at the tabernacle had not yet been made known.)
27 And there ran a young man, and told Moses, and said, Eldad and Medad do prophesy in the camp.
28 And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one of his young men, answered and said, My lord Moses, forbid them.
Jealousy for his master’s honour moved Joshua to stay the irregular ministry of Eldad and Medad; and still there are many who are zealous to put down those who presume to prophesy, because they are “men authorised by God alone,” as if that were not authority enough.
29 And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them! (Moses was of a noble spirit. If the men were really moved by the Spirit of God, he had no desire to restrain their unusual procedure; but far otherwise, he wished that all the Lord’s servants had the same gifts and graces. Irregular ministries have been the means of the salvation of thousands, and therein we rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.)
30 And Moses gat him into the camp, he and the elders of Israel.
31 ¶ And there went forth a wind from the Lord, and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, as it were a day’s journey on this side, and as it were a day’s journey on the other side, round about the camp, and as it were two cubits high upon the face of the earth.
32 And the people stood up all that day, and all that night, and all the next day, and they gathered the quails: he that gathered least gathered ten homers: and they spread them all abroad for themselves round about the camp.
They feasted themselves without fear, though they had been told that evil would come of it. No doubt they fed ravenously, and then gave their whole minds to the curing of what remained, as if they thought they should never have such provision again. Greediness is, in itself, a plague, and brings other evils with it.
33 And while the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of the Lord was kindled against the people, and the Lord smote the people with a very great plague.
These gluttons digged their graves with their teeth. Many die through sins of the table; drunkenness and gluttony devour their thousands. Thus by one sin God punished another. Those who murmured for flesh, received, as a penalty, death while eating the flesh for which they murmured.
34 And he called the name of that place Kibroth-hattaavah: because there they buried the people that lusted. (Scandalous sins have their memorials; may they act as warnings to us, that we do not become discontented and greedy. The Lord make us thankful for His mercies, and save us from fleshly lusts.)
O Lord, Thy messengers ordain,
And whom Thou wilt inspire;
We will not of Thy course complain,
But hail the sacred fire.
Blow as He list, the Spirit’s choice
Of instruments we bless;
We will, if Christ be preached, rejoice.
And wish the Word success.
C. H. Spurgeon, The Interpreter: Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1964), 115.