Seventy Elders

I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me.

–Numbers 11:14 [words of Moses]

Only Christ can bear His people.  

Moses continues:

And if thou deal thus with me, kill me, I pray thee, out of hand, if I have found favor in thy sight; and let me not see my wretchedness.

–Numbers 11:15

As in the traditional churches today, the single man model does more to reveal the flaws in man than it is does to reveal the glory of God.  

This is by design–for while Moses is a type of the true Deliverer, Christ–he is also an example of the consequence of anyone other than Christ trying to assume the burdens of the people.  

As Moses was repentant, he was honest about his failings and transparent about his shortcomings:  moreover, he takes his concerns to God.  

However, the modern church system has embraced the single man model, allowing deception to enter the assembly and a culture of politics to prosper, as men become respecters of persons more than respecters of God in direct contradiction to the revealed word of God (Romans 12:16; 1 Timothy 5:21; James 3:17).     

God gives Moses an answer:

And the LORD said unto Moses, Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with thee.  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 11:16-17

As the New Testament clearly reveals, God’s perfect will is for all the elders to work together to shepherd the assembly, as servants to the people and examples in the faith.

Author’s Note

We often hear this verse:

Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.

–Proverbs 11:14

As the witness of the Holy Spirit is given to all, the multitude of counselors is simply the body of Christ.  

3 thoughts on “Seventy Elders

  1. Amen Mark. A plurality of elders is exactly what the Lord calls for. That we aren’t looking to man for wisdom and knowledge, but God Himself. No wonder so many pastors are tired and worn out. For too many rely on one man for their knowledge and wisdom not seeing that God can answer for Himself.

  2. Now if we could only gather 70 elders who are accountable to our Lord and one another, seeking His Will, His Glory, His Pre-eminence and their decrease…

  3. That’s a great example from the OT Mark. How much more so now that the fulfillment of the law has come and every saint is a priest onto God!

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