Numbers 10:31-32 But Moses said, “Please do not leave us. You know where we should camp in the desert, and you can be our eyes. If you come with us, we will share with you whatever good things the LORD gives us.”
Moses was 80 years old. He had spent the first 40 years of his life in the house of Pharaoh in Egypt where God was preparing him for the challenge of the mighty ‘EXODUS’ of God’s people from slavery. He had spent the second 40 years as a fugitive in the wilderness where God was preparing him for what now lay ahead of him and the 2 million descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He was now looking down the barrel of another 40 years of leading and caring for this rebellious-hearted rabble in a merciless ‘wilderness’!
Moses was a humble leader (cf 12:3 – “more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth”), and just as he had accepted assistance from his brother, Aaron, for the exodus at the very beginning of the undertaking (Exodus 4:10-16), he was now asking for assistance from his brother-in-law, Hobab (10:29), for the next stage of God’s deliverance program. He promised this somewhat reluctant participant a share in God’s promised blessing. Hobab agreed, perhaps not realising the long, drawn out hardship that it would involve.
By his death on the cross, Jesus has achieved our ’exodus’ from slavery to sin; and he guarantees us all the rich blessings of God’s goodness as we ‘wrestle on towards heaven’ in our journey to the Promised Land. And he condescends to engage us in the monumental task of bringing all his chosen people home to heaven. An integral part of the ‘blessing’ is the struggle and hardship of serving him and remaining faithful to his calling. Like Moses and Hobab, we do not know how long and hard (or perhaps even short!) this journey might be, but Jesus calls us to serve him with devoted obedience, and to trust him with all the details and all the necessary resources.
And, as the Apostle Paul reminds us, “God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things – and the things that are not – to nullify the things that are, so that no-one may boast before him” (1 Corinthians 1:27-29), and “God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us (2 Corinthians 4:6-7).
Those of us who tend to be ‘control freaks’, who think it necessary to play our part in the task God has given us as a ‘one-man-band’, need to learn a lesson from humble leaders like Moses and Paul – and the Lord Jesus Christ himself who entrusted his mission to a small group of poorly educated tradies!
– Bruce Christian