Summary: Seeking counsel from outside the spiritual family
A. SEEKING COUNSEL FROM OUTSIDE THE SPIRITUAL FAMILY: NUMBERS 10:29-36
“Now 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 treat you well; for the LORD has promised good things to Israel.’ So Moses said, ‘Please do not leave, inasmuch as you know how we are to camp in the wilderness, and you can be our eyes’” (Num. 10:29, 31).
1. Hobab was enjoyable. Name meant “Beloved” or technically the left side, i.e., where the heart is located.
2. Hobab was family, the son of Moses’ father-in-law. May have been with Moses since Jethro (over one year) left Moses (Ex. 18:1-27).
3. Hobab was a desert sheikh, he knew well the journey Moses was about to take. “On the 20th day of the second month . . . the children of Israel set out from the wilderness of Sinai” (10:11-12).
Why Secular Guidance Is Good
• Anything is better than blind living.
• Don’t cut off world in which we live.
• It’s a mistake to be a hermit.
• God leads us by informed others.
• Outsiders know outside dangers.
4. Hobab understood Moses and Israel. “You know us” (10:31, ELT).
5. Moses bribed Hobab to help lead them. “Come with us and we will treat you well” (10:29). Can we ever pay money for spiritual blessings?
6. Moses promised spiritual blessings to Hobab. “We are setting out for the place . . . the Lord said, ‘I will give it to you’” (10:29).
B. WHY DID HOBAB REFUSE?
1. Hobab faced freedom of the desert world versus the controlled life of Israel. “This was the order of the tribe” (10:28, NLT).
2. Hard to leave family and friends to follow God. “Depart to my own land and relatives” (10:30).
3. Hobab knew God’s punishment on unbelief and complaining.
4. Life is choice. Just as we must choose to follow God, Hobab chose against God, “I will not go” (10:30).
No one accidentally ends up in hell.
Both heaven and hell are a choice.
C. GOD’S CLOUD IS BETTER THAN HOBAB’S EYES
“They marched for three days after leaving the mountain of the LORD, with the Ark of the LORD’s Covenant moving ahead of them to show them where to stop and rest. As they moved on each day, the cloud of the LORD hovered over them. And whenever the Ark set out, Moses would shout, ‘Arise, O LORD, and let your enemies be scattered! Let them flee before you!’ And when the Ark was set down, he would say, ‘Return, O LORD, to the countless thousands of Israel’” (Num. 10:33-36, NLT).
1. Hobab’s guidance was not needed because they had better guidance. “As they moved each day, the cloud of the Lord hovered over them” (10:34, NLT).
2. Why is there an interval between your steps and God? “The Ark of the Covenant of the Lord went before them” (10:33).
a. We can see all we need to see when close to the Ark.
b. God will encounter our dangers before we do.
c. Life is untried and unknown.
3. What was the responsibility of God in the cloud? “Went before them to search out for them a resting place” (10:33).
4. Moses and the people needed daily protection. “Moses said, ‘Arise, O LORD, and let your enemies be scattered” (10:35).
5. Those who would harm us are God’s enemies. “Let your enemies be scattered” (10:35).
D. 10 PRINCIPLES ABOUT WORLDLY GUIDANCE
1. We need both God’s guidance and the world’s guidance.
a. God leads us sometimes through worldly wisdom.
b. God’s guidance and the world’s direction sometimes are the same.
c. God’s guidance always trumps the world’s advice when they disagree.
2. Jesus knows our problems because He faced temptation and was victorious. “We have a High Priest . . . (who) is in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us . . . come boldly” (Heb. 4:15-16).
3. Jesus went through death and the grave to take away its sting. “The sting of death is sin . . . but thanks be to God” (1 Cor. 15:56-57).
4. Jesus will confuse satan and demons. “Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it” (Col. 2:15).
5. Jesus will face our enemies before we do. “Arise, O LORD, let Your enemies be scattered” (Num. 10:35).
6. Our enemies are God’s enemies. “Let those who hate you flee” (10:35).
7. His good work in us. “He who has begun a good work in you will perform it” (Phil. 1:7).
8. We do not know unexpected dangers or problems ahead.