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Spotting a Hobab

Words of Faith Final

Spotting a Hobab

Words of Faith 6-3-2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2020

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Numbers 10

    [29] Now Moses said to Hobab son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses' father-in-law, "We are setting out for the place about which the Lord said, 'I will give it to you.' Come with us and we will treat you well, for the Lord has promised good things to Israel."

    [30] He answered, "No, I will not go; I am going back to my own land and my own people."

    [31] But Moses said, "Please do not leave us. You know where we should camp in the desert, and you can be our eyes. [32] If you come with us, we will share with you whatever good things the Lord gives us."


       The next leg of the journey would be a long one.  No one, but God, knew that they would be in the desert 40 years.  But that is getting ahead of the story.  The Lord led the Israelites to set out from Mount Sinai, but before they left, Moses spoke to his brother-in-law, Hobab. 

        Hobab was the son of Moses’ father-in-law, Reuel (also called Jethro).  Hobab grew up in Midian.  He was a rural fellow who was familiar with desert life.  So, Moses implored Hobab to come along on this adventure.  Initially, Hobab refused to go, but when Moses pressed him, apparently, he gave in.  “You can be our eyes...” said Moses. 

        Was this lack of faith on the part of Moses?  Was Moses recruiting a desert guide rather than depending upon the Lord to locate water and pasture along the way?  Or was there more going on here?  Some have suggested that the invitation of Moses was actually an act of evangelism!  Moses appealed to the desert skills of Hobab.  But the truth was that God did not need Hobab-- Hobab needed God. 

        Hobab apparently had joined in the Exodus at some point to help his sister’s family.  But now it was a difficult decision for him to leave the land of this family.  It made more sense for him to go back to his old way of life.  This would have included a life with his family gods and idols.  Moses made an important invitation to Hobab, offering him the journey of a lifetime with the one true and living God. 

       We have to realize that coming with Moses was much more than a change of address!  It was a radical reorientation of life itself. To come with Moses was to have a new family and gain a new land. To come with Moses was to accept and believe in a new a different God.  Apparently, Hobab took Moses up on the invitation because his family is mentioned as sharing in the land even though Hobab himself would not live to walk into the land.     

          What can we gain from this at this particular time?

           Many of us are restarting our journeys. After months of quarantine and sheltering-in-place, we are starting life, church, and community over again. Hopefully, we are not in a desert place, but we are on a new leg of the journey.

          And here, we see the power of an invitation.  We see the power of cooperation. The persistent invitation of Moses changed the life of Hobab and his descendants forever!  This is not to deny God's sovereign oversight of the entire situation.  But God clearly uses personal invitation to change lives and families!

           Is it possible that there is a Hobab in your life?  What, or who is a Hobab?  A Hobab is someone God wants you to invite.  A Hobab is a person who has shown some interest but is reluctant to come along with God.  A Hobab is a person God is working on.

          Inviting a Hobab is not always easy.  A Hobab is a person who may have lifestyle issues or cultural barriers that appear to prevent them from coming on the journey with God.  They may even worship other gods!  But a Hobab is a person who needs God.

          A Hobab is also a person that offers gifts to share and help, if only they are invited to come along.  A Hobab is a person whose life and family will be forever changed if only an invitation is extended.  A Hobab is someone that needs God.

            Moses carefully observed and invited Hobab.  He appealed to the interests and skills of Hobab.  We can do the same. 

            Is there a Hobab in your life?  Someone that God wants you to bring along on the journey?  Churches are reopening soon. Perhaps this is the week to invite someone to connect. It might be through virtual church or a Zoom group. But soon, there will be small groups, worship in person, and studies beginning.  Maybe the first step will be a meal invitation.


           Lord God, open my eyes to what You are doing.  Show me a Hobab in my life.  Show me the people that You are working on and show me where to invite them so that they may join the journey.  Walk with me today.  In Jesus’ name. Amen.          


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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2004, 2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)       

2820 Business Center Blvd.

Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200

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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.