Largeness of Heart
Numbers 11:26-29
But there remained two of the men in the camp, the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad…

The brevity of the narrative prevents us forming an adverse judgment of the conduct of Eldad and Medad, for we do net know their motive for remaining in the camp. It may have been ignorance of the call, or shrinking through timidity from a duty which, nevertheless, God would not allow them to escape. But the narrative is not too brief to enable us to see in Moses' words a fine illustration of largeness of heart. Note -

I. JOSHUA'S APPEAL. His love of order may have been offended. He feared lest the unity of the camp under the leadership of Moses should be disturbed. He was anxious for the honour of his master, and desired that political and ecclesiastical discipline should be not only really, but ostensibly, in his hands. The call of the seventy elders with prophetic powers was a new departure in the history of the theocracy, and now the prophesying of Eldad and Medad, apart, threatened still further apparently to derogate from the honours of Moses. Thus now narrow minds or small hearts may be fearful of that which is novel, and envious of those who take a course independent of established authorities and Church traditions, even though they "seem to have the Spirit of God." They may forbid, or at least "despise, prophesyings" which are not according to rule.

II. MOSES' REPLY. The only question with Moses is one not of place or method, but of reality. Are the prophesyings and the spirit "of God"? Largeness of heart cannot exempt us from this duty (1 Thessalonians 5:21; 1 John 4:1-3). Moses could not recognize the falsehoods uttered in the tabernacle of Korah, though he rejoiced in the prophesyings of Eldad. Spurious charity is traitorous to truth; true charity can only rejoice "in the truth" (1 Corinthians 13:6). The lesson taught us is illustrated by various incidents in the New Testament. A large-hearted Christian will not be offended -

1. If those who are clearly working in the name of Christ, and with the seal of his approval, do not follow with him (Mark 9:38-40).

2. If their success seems to imperil the prosperity of his party or denomination (John 3:26, &c.).

3. He will rejoice in the work, though unofficial and obscure men have originated it (Acts 11:19-24).

4. He will not "envy," but delight, in the proclamation of the gospel, even if the motives of the preachers are marred by "envy and strife" (Philippians 1:15-18). Large-heartedness will "covet earnestly the best gifts" for others, whatever the consequences may be to ourselves. - P.

Parallel Verses
KJV: 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.

WEB: But two men remained in the camp. The name of one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad: and the Spirit rested on them; and they were of those who were written, but had not gone out to the Tent; and they prophesied in the camp.

Foolish Advice Wisely Rejected
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