the clash

Today's devotion from Numbers 9-10.

In chapter 9, we see how faithful the Israelites are to be obedient. They are carefully observing the Passover. We read about their eager response to the direction of God. His presence, represented by the appearance of a cloud, was evident visibly, and His wishes were just as clearly seen.

However, when we turn just one page we're introduced to Hobab, Moses' brother-in-law. What is interesting about this is that once he is invited to go with Israel, Hobab replies, "I don’t want to go. Instead, I will go to my own land and my relatives." (Numbers 10:30, CSB) How does Moses respond to this rejection? He pleads with him to stay.

How are we to read this? Is God leading the way, or is Hobab? I don't think this needs to be an issue at all. Instead, remember that God is using people to participate in His plan. God has a way of inviting us into His story. God created all things, then invited Adam to be creation's steward. God developed a plan of redemption, then invited Abraham to participate. God heard the cries of His people, then invited Moses to lead them.

What this reveals the beautiful clash and balanced confusion of a sovereign God who invites His creation to participate in His plans. God is leading, but He is allowing the Israelites, and Moses and Hobab in this situation, to set the pace and direction a bit. A choice is offered. Even the Israelites have the choice of picking up and moving as directed by the cloud, or simply stamping their feet and staying put.

Moses tries to persuade Hobab by explaining his value and the ultimate destination and outcome of following God, but, Hobab has a choice to make that no one can make for him.

Today, you have a choice too. God has offered you a place in His kingdom and a role in His plan, but will you accept it? Will you watch for Him give direction in your life? Will you follow Him into the unknown, or return to your own country and kin? Will you share the gospel with that coworker? Invite the neighbor to worship? Seize that opportunity to make a positive impact? What will you do? Will you stay or will you go?