Read: Numbers 11:16,24-29
However, two men, whose names were Eldad and Medad, had remained in the camp. They were listed among the elders, but did not go out to the tent. Yet the Spirit also rested on them, and they prophesied in the camp. A young man ran and told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.”
Joshua son of Nun, who had been Moses’ aide since youth, spoke up and said, “Moses, my lord, stop them!”
But 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!”
Are You Jealous?
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Nora loved attention. During classes when teachers would ask questions, she would be the one to raise her hand and do the, “Ooh ooh ooh! Look at me, me, me!” thing. At lunch she talked and told jokes non-stop. In gymnastics, she loved to pose on the podium when she won medals (and she loved to tell her classmates later how many she won). Nora loved attention so much that it started to become a problem.
That year the school was going to do Frozen for their annual school musical. Of course, Nora wanted to be Anna in the musical. The problem is, she didn’t get the part. She didn’t get the part of Elsa, either. Carly and Heidi were going to be Anna and Elsa. Nora was going to be Olaf. Nora thought, “What? Olaf? A dumb snowman? How come Carly and Heidi got to be Anna and Elsa? They aren’t even that good at singing! I’m waaaay better! This isn’t fair!” Nora was so angry because she was jealous. In fact, she was so jealous that she didn’t even think to be happy for her friends (who were actually very good singers and actresses)!
In today’s reading, we hear about another story of jealousy. Certain people had been blessed by God to be leaders and to prophesy—to speak God’s words. Two men named Eldad and Medad didn’t follow all of God’s directions—and yet they were still leaders and still prophesying (speaking God’s words). Joshua, who was Moses’ helper, was so jealous that he told Moses to stop them at once!
But Moses teaches Joshua and us an important lesson. Moses was happy for Eldad and Medad. He was glad that God had blessed them to be leaders and to speak his words, too. By doing this, Moses showed that he was humble. He thought of others and cared for others before he cared for himself. That’s something that Nora struggled with, and something we do, too.
Moses was a very humble and caring person, but Jesus is the most humble and loving of all. Jesus lovingly thought of others so much that he humbled himself to take our place and die on a cross. By doing that he won forgiveness for us, even though we don’t deserve it. We will get to be in heaven with him even though we haven’t earned it. But this doesn’t make Jesus jealous, it makes him so happy!
Knowing how Jesus humbly put us first and loved us, let’s live like Jesus and show that same kind of love to others!
Heavenly Father, help me to be humble and to love others like Jesus did. Help me also to be happy for others when they receive blessings from you. Protect my heart from being jealous, and fill it instead with love. Amen.
The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.
Questions for Younger Children
- What does it mean to be jealous?
- Have you ever been jealous of someone else?
Questions for Elementary Age Children
- Why do you think it is so difficult to be happy for other people when they are successful or receive blessings from God?
- The Bible says, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Explain how that verse can help us to be more humble.
Questions for Middle School and Above
- Think of one good example of people in the Bible who were humble and loving (besides Jesus) and one bad example of people who were not.
- Agree or Disagree: People who are jealous aren’t upset with the other person, they are actually upset with God. Explain your answer.
Hymn: CW 462:1,3 – Oh, that the Lord Would Guide My Ways
Oh, that the Lord would guide my ways
To keep his statutes still!
Oh, that my God would grant me grace
To know and do his will!
Assist my soul, too apt to stray,
A stricter watch to keep;
And should I e’er forget your way,
Restore your wand’ring sheep.