The Lessons of Eldad and Medad

Moses and Joshua in the Tabernacle, c. 1896-19...

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Eldad and Medad are two men that are mentioned very briefly in the scripture. During Moses‘ great exodus, the massive camp of recently freed slaves from Egypt became simply too much for he and Aaron alone to govern. The Israelites became angry with only being supplemented with manna from Heaven, and began to crave meat once again. Many scholars believe Moses’ request to God for additional help in governing a sign of weakness. But text reads that God, through Moses took knowledge from Moses and passed it on to the 72 elders. A cloud came down from the sky and surrounded the elders who stood in a semicircle outside of the mobile temple enveloping the elders so that none of the people could see them. In this cloud was the spirit of God which was bestowed upon them and once it passed they began to prophecy. The only two of the 72 mentioned by name were Eldad and Medad. The scripture tells us that they were absent from the group. Many at the time viewed this as terribly wrong on their parts but the truth is, it was a massive camp, they were sent for by messengers from Moses, and it is abundantly possible that they were simply out among the crowds working and did not receive the summons. You would think that God would then exclude them from this great blessing and promotion into leadership. Not so. While walking together through the people, God’s spirit enveloped them both and in the midst of all the crowds they began to prophecy as well. A miraculous event indeed I am sure it was, and the people in the camps with no knowledge of the activities at the temple that day were probably shocked and amazed at the sight of them. Why is all of this important you may ask? The answer is simple. The Bible would not have gave mention of this tiny event in history if it were not a teaching moment for future readers of the Word. They were included purposely to be used as examples to the future faith. Examples to show us that not only those in plain sight standing in the church are important to the faith, but those of us who are “out of sight, out of mind” are just as important to the masses as the ones standing on the stage or in the pulpit or front office of a church.

Does the name Joshua ring a bell? I am sure it does, and importantly so. Joshua would eventually take over as leader of the tribes of Israel during the great exodus to the promise-land. Joshua during this time was a young, hot-headed lackey of Moses (for lack of a better term). Joshua was the primary detractor of Eldad and Medad. He went personally to Moses to try and talk him into excluding them from being leaders due to the fact that they were not at the temple to receive the official blessing with the other 70 elders. Thus, Joshua was the first to learn the importance of them being included.

Show some love to the Eldads and Medads of your church. They generally make more wheels spin collectively than the people you see in plain sight.

God Bless

Chris

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