“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 three days’ journey, 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. And whenever the ark set out, Moses said, ‘Arise, O Lord, and let your enemies be scattered, and let those who hate you flee before you.’ And when it rested, he said, ‘Return, O Lord, to the ten thousand thousands of Israel.’” Numbers 10:29-36
It might be assumed that Hobab had accompanied his brother-in-law Moses since he met back up with Reuel (Jethro) his father-in-law at the base of Mount Sinai. However long he had been with the great leader, at a particular moment he faced a dilemma common to man, and hesitates in accompanying Moses further. The place of good was promised yet unseen, and home and family were known, so Hobab wanted to stay. Moses urges him further: ‘you can help us, your knowledge is valuable to us, and good will be yours if you come.’ (Exodus 18)
Every morning, every free hour, every open door to the unknown, is a similar place of decision. The choice to come God’s way is to forsake what is comfortable and familiar, to cast in our lot with the One who ordains our particular gifts and how He wants to use them to bless His world. To follow is to keep in step with the guiding cloud, however opaque, to trust the heart behind the invisible, beckoning hand.
Sometimes God ordains others who, like Moses, present us with new opportunities, and encourage us on in faith. Sometimes, we are the ones called to lead those who are reluctant, to plod on boldly with grit, prayer, and dependence, pointing them to the Lord. It is vital for our fruitfulness that we be willing to slough off our natural bent to comfort and perceived safety, and take up with our Master, wherever He leads.
The place of blessing is the place beside Him along the road, of serving Him and His people in the wilderness, of being eyes for the blind and comfort for the broken, of trusting His promises. His goodness, His rest, His provision, come throughout the journey. Will we refuse or accept to embark with Him?
“The Lord hath promised good to me,
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures.” ~John Newton (1725-1807)
Lord, to Your every invitation, “Here am I.” (Isaiah 6:8)