“And Moses said to Hobab the son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses’ father-in-law, ‘We are setting out for the place of which the Lord said, “I will give it to you.” Come with us, and we will do good to you, for the Lord has promised good to Israel.’ But he said to him, ‘I will not go. I will depart to my own land and to my kindred.’ And he said, ‘Please do not leave us, for you know where we should camp in the wilderness, and you will serve as eyes for us. And if you do go with us, whatever good the Lord will do to us, the same will we do to you.’ So they set out from the mount of the Lord three days’ journey. And the ark of the covenant of the Lord went before them.., to seek out a resting place for them. And the cloud of the Lord was over them by day, whenever they set out from the camp.” Numbers 10:29-34
Moses the leader is also Moses the encourager, and he urged his brother-in-law to come be a part of all the good God had for His people. But Hobab, with a tendency common to many, declined the offer at faith’s adventure, choosing instead to return to what he knew and where he was at ease. Why follow if I am satisfied here? Why go for better if I’ve settled in good? He would never know what he missed had Moses not prevailed with spot-on persuasion: you will be blessed, and be a blessing.
When we say no to God’s clear call to set out from wherever we are entrenched, be it a residence, our work, ungodly habits in a hard relationship, an auto-pilot place of ministry or opinion or prejudice, we are refusing the blessing He has prepared for us in the journey and the destination. We are exalting self, assessing that our way is better than His, or at the least, His way isn’t worth the fuss. When it’s all about me, I am hindered by narrow vision and unable to see that He might actually have more for me than what I choose for myself. I calcify in complacency with what has always been, is convenient, routine, requires minimal effort or change, and don’t (or won’t) consider that God wants to take me further in spiritual understanding and experience and maturity. I also close myself off to His invitation to give, to help others along the way, to initiate a ripple-effect of good and healing, and in doing so miss out on the added inexplicable blessing of being used by God for kingdom purposes far higher and broader than mine. How thankful we should be for Moseses who won’t take no for an answer, and for the hope of God’s promised land!
“No eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9
Father, You have riches and bounty in store for Your own that we cannot conceive. Give us the will to set out with You in expectant faith, and boldness to bring others along to know Your goodness too.