Setting Out For Good

“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

When Hobab initially turned down his brother-in-law’s invitation to join God’s adventure into promised good, Moses urged him forward by enlisting his experience and help. Not only would he be their eyes in the wilderness, but he would be supernaturally blessed for his service. Moses’s persuasion worked, and Hobab would now have front row observation of this remarkable, humble friend of God and all the Almighty would do on their behalf. (Numbers 12:3; Deuteronomy 34:7,10-12)

Taking that first step into the unknown can bring a blast of conflicting feelings: excitement with dread, adventure with consternation. Hesitancy can result in lost opportunity to see God at work and to experience His goodness that spreads broadly from our own faith and courage to the building up of His kingdom and His splendor revealed.

What keeps us from venturing out into God’s sure promises? Do we know them well enough to stake our claim in their land? Have we grown so complacent in ease, familiar, comfort, and pat scripture soundbites that we are unwilling to take new turns or slopes with Him? Do we fail to search out His known plans for future good because our fear of the uncontrollable and unknown distorts our vision and cripples our faith? Reluctance on our part is a statement that we trust our ways and goals more than His, that we think we know better, and this folly surely impedes spiritual progress. (Proverbs 3:5-8)

When we ask the Lord to show us why we would reject and where we would depart His invitations, He is faithful to reveal our weak devotion and to overturn our hesitancy with faith. Every ounce of willingness matched with forward motion is used by Him to increase our faith and to utilize our gifts for the sake of His kingdom. Would we set out in trust of His word?

Good Father, grant me both desire and courage to follow where You lead. May I by faith climb Your heights and seize Your pledged and beautiful good, and so know You better and make You known in ways I’d otherwise miss. (Psalm 48:1-3,11-14)

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