I Will Depart to My Own Land
While Moses was leading the people of Israel to the Promised Land, he said to Hobab, his brother-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’” (Num 10:29). What an offer! Hobab was not a descendant of Abraham; he was a Midianite. However, the promises of God could be his—he simply needed (like Abraham before him) to leave his homeland for a nomadic life and serve as the guide for Israel since he knew the wilderness (Num 10:31). Serving as the eyes for Israel (Num 10:31) would allow Hobab to share in the promises God made to Abraham.
Hobab will have none of it; he replied to Moses, “I will not go. I will depart to my own land and to my kindred” (Num 10:30). None of the faith of Abraham, and none of the willingness of Moses. Simply a rejection of God’s promises.
Yes, for Hobab receiving God’s promises required hard work—he would wander in the wilderness with Israel, consume a diet of manna and quail, and determine the best camping spots for Israel. That would not have been an easy life—Imagine spending years with only a tent as a shelter, imagine eating the same thing day in and day out, and imagine needing to find the best place for an entire nation to camp.
But Hobab’s work would have been worth it. Hobab was outside God’s covenant with Abraham, but he would have received God’s great and awesome promises for Israel. How could Hobab have turned his back on God’s promises?
How can you turn your back on God’s promises? God has promised you the forgiveness of sins, the answer to your prayers, comfort in affliction, and a heavenly home. But those promises don’t come cheap. Jesus demands that you leave everything and follow him: “Any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple” (Lk 14:33). Hard work, indeed; however, standing beside God’s throne with a glittering crown of life on your brow will be worth every sacrifice you ever made!