Calling in an Expert
And 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 do good to you, for the LORD has promised good to Israel.” But he said to him, “I will not go. I will depart to my own land and to my kindred.” And he said, “Please do not leave us, for you know where we should camp in the wilderness, and you will serve as eyes for us. And if you do go with us, whatever good the LORD will do to us, the same will we do to you.” Numbers 10:29-32 ESV
Israel had been in the Sinai for two years since the Exodus and now the cloud lifted from the Tabernacle and they were to begin their pilgrimage. The Lord had told them that this journey would last for 40 years – until the generation that did not believe and obey His promises had died.
It’s interesting that though the Lord was guiding Israel with a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night, Moses still sought the help and advice of a local expert who knew the environment. The cloud would give them the general direction to move, but the large number of people had to choose a place to camp. It was in this selection of a camping spot that Moses sought the help of a local expert – Hobab – for he knew ‘where we should camp in the wilderness.’
Kingdom leaders are certainly led by God through the Holy Spirit in their decisions, just as Moses and Israel were led by the Lord in their desert journey. But a wise leader knows that there are situations when the counsel and help of an expert can be of great assistance.
Moses recruited Hobab to join with them in the journey. He promised him reward for his service – the same reward that all would share together. It seems that Hobab was a brother-in-law to Moses who he had come to know and trust during his forty years of working for Jethro (also known as Reuel – see Exodus 2:18). Though Moses had forty years of desert experience, he recognized that Hobab knew much more about desert living than he and thus the request for help.
Wise Kingdom leaders know when to ask for outside expertise for supporting their leadership. This takes humility and teachability to acknowledge we do not have all the answers. Ask for help when you need it!