The God of Grace – Num 11

The LORD (Yahweh) is often seen in the Hebrew Scriptures humbling Himself and coming down to earth to commune with His creature, man!

God comes down to provide support

‘And Moses said unto the LORD … “I am not able to bear all this people alone.”

And the LORD said unto Moses, “Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel … And I will come down and talk with thee there: and I will take of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone.”‘ 

Numbers 11: 11-17

Moses has led the people of Israel out of Egypt into the wilderness, and has had to endure their constant moaning and groaning for some time. God, in grace, has made ample and sufficient provision for their needs with the manna bread, but the people are still not satisfied.

In Numbers chapter 11, the people again come to Moses with their complaints, and this time Moses has had enough. In verses 11-13, Moses comes before the LORD God and unburdens his heart – the load is too great, and he cannot carry it alone anymore.

Perhaps you are feeling the same way. There is a burden you carry, a responsibility you alone bear, and it’s becoming too much for you. I want you to be encouraged by this Bible story that you do not have to carry it alone any longer.

I think it’s so precious that in this moment of great stress for Moses, the LORD does not just speak to him from on high, from the heavenly throne, but says to Moses, “I will come down”. What a gracious God we have? He does not simply tell us to pull our socks up; to try harder; or just get on with it. You know as well as I do, that in those moments when we are over-burdened, the greatest help is when someone comes alongside to share the load.

The fulness of God’s grace, expressed in this way, is seen in Jesus Christ – the eternal Word of God that ‘was made flesh and dwelt among us’ [John 1:14]. Listen to the words of Jesus, inviting us to share our burdens with Him.

“Come unto me, all you who labour and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest.”

Matthew 11:28

To cast our cares upon the LORD must be our first step, and that’s what Moses did. He didn’t go around complaining to everyone he met about how hard his job was. Rather, he simply took the problem to God in prayer.

The LORD then gives Moses a very practical solution: take 70 men from the tribes of Israel, who can stand with you and help to bear the load. This is a lesson many of us need to learn. We cannot do it all ourselves, and we must seek out others to share the load with.

It is at this point that God says: “I will come down“.

You see, the role to which these 70 are appointed, is to be a divine appointment. They will be God’s representatives, and therefore, they are not brought in quietly to work behind the scenes, under the authority of Moses. No, the LORD is going to invest them personally, and through the giving of the prophetic Spirit, publicly before all the people.

In my conversations with Muslims, I am constantly told that God is totally separate from His creation and never comes down. Yet, here is another example of the LORD (Yahweh), our Creator, coming down to deal personally with His people. He is the God of Grace!

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