This blog denotes the last guest writer essay expression on humility. I thank the author for all profound messages on humility offered in this month of August 2021.
Next week I return with more of my own personal reflections.
Go Therefore and Make Disciples of All Nations…Teaching Them To Obey EVERYTHING That I Have Commanded…And Remember, I Am With You Always…
Preaching is a form of charismatic leadership, but it is in the example and role of the seventy elders, Numbers 11, that this model emerges, not necessarily with Moses (for the purposes of Christian preaching as teaching). After the seventy elders’ received a “portion” of Moses’ spirit – qualifying them to become more charismatic as leaders within leadership – but not of the quality of Moses.
The seventy elders do NOT receive revelation(s) in similitude of the “prophets” and also Moses. When the spirit of Moses enters them, they become endowed with the ability to prophesy, but only briefly and momentarily; qualifying their charismatic leadership to be similar to those of a scribe (write down, remember, qualify and act). In Numbers 11, this means that they are tasked, with the responsibility, to govern the community peacefully (noting well their departure from a previously unpleasant, tyrannically, governed lifestyle outside of the will of God; their Savior, as Divine).
The seventy elders govern by interpreting and applying the revelation received by Moses to Israel’s life in the camp (as community). By this, we received a model of Christian preaching as tradition. The elders demonstrate that even though they did NOT see, nor have they ever spoken to God, face-to-face, they were inspired through the will, word, and purposes of God by way of receiving it from Moses.
It is worth noting that at this time, the authenticity of preaching – classically speaking – came from a direct experience or interaction with The Divine. None of the seventy elders received new oracles from God. Therefore, preaching – for a Christian tradition – becomes an inspired interpretation and the truth claims of any sermon must be authenticated by Scripture (within its purely nuanced theme of care and consideration for not only the immediate community, but more so for the community’s response in care knowing that God – as The Divine Counsel – will prepare and punish people for their deeds and misdeeds).
Ministers of The Word are a continuation of the office – and responsibility, in care – of the seventy elders, which provides a rich resource and analogy, with insight, into the goal of preaching; charismatically leading God’s people to meet God face-to-face rather than charismatically promoting ones-self ideal of pompous-type fame to be remembered. The role of the seventy elders was to apply the Law of Moses (given directly by the finger of God) to Israel’s life (as the camp and community of people being led by God through prophetic and charismatic leadership); thereby they (the interpreted laws in conjunction with the penitent leaders within leadership) governed the people. The proclamation of The Word in worship is heard when it is applied to the life of the community.
Of source and consideration:
Numbers 11-12 conveys this message in the story of Eldad and Medad, portraying how the charisma of God can appear in members who were not supposed to have such power. This event stands as proof that, again, The Spirit of God cannot be controlled by human structures, and also how easily – and expediently – God can break boundaries of “hierarchy”. The role of Moses in the event prescribes how an ideal leader will promote and recognize such power in unexpected places. Rather than concluding it to be a challenge to his own authority, as Joshua did, he accentuates the vastness of God and the Will of God to work in and though penitent (and helpful) people. This “subversive” caricature is present again within the following event when Miriam and Aaron challenge Moses because of his Cushite wife. Their complaint demonstrated the way in which God destroys internal and external boundaries (this is also revisited in 2 Corinthian 10 from a Pauline lens). The marriage of Moses to the Cushite woman is no less subversive to the structure of the community than the unexpected prophesying of Eldad and Medad. When Numbers 11-12 are read together they give ample resources and consideration for leadership. Charismatic leadership forces communities to be self-critical, because the power of God can appear in unexpected and unforeseen form(s), place(s), and person(s).
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