What an invitation…!
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.” (Numbers 10:29)
Three things in the above verse challenge me.
Firstly Moses’ reflects an absolute conviction in the goodness of God. There is no doubt or hesitation in his mind concerning the pure and gracious character of God. He knew that God had promised good things for His people. Too much Christian living is driven by ‘possibility’ rather than conviction! We need to find again our certainties in the unchanging Word, and the unchanging Person of the unchanging Word. If there is one characteristic differentiating the Lord’s people from those outside of Christ it ought to be “I know whom I have believed and am persuaded…” rather than the wishy-washy, ‘hoped-for,’ ‘hold-thumbs’ feelings expressed by non-believers. The Christian is a person of certainty even in the midst of uncertain times.
Secondly there is a generosity of spirit, which is so refreshing. The Lord has promised good things to us and Moses implied comment is ‘so come and join us and share in them’. This inclusive attitude happens when we realize we do not deserve the great kindnesses of God. Appreciating we are not entitled to the many blessings we receive, means we should be willing to see with whom we can share our experiences of His goodness. God’s goodness to us is always premised on the understanding that what we freely receive, we will freely share.
Finally Moses saw the future as one of going forward. “We are setting out for the place of which the Lord spoke.” Paul echoed the same words in Philippians 3 13 & 14 when he wrote of “reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God In Christ Jesus” One of the distinctive characteristics of the gospel is that it is more focused on our future than dwelling on our past. Without in anyway derogating the efforts of the past and those upon whose shoulders much Christian work currently stands, the good news about the Lord Jesus Christ is that He is concerned to move us forward to those things that are eternal and enduring.
In similar vein, believers need to focus more on a future that is defined in terms of the eternally important than those conveniences that make today comfortable. There is no future in yesterday and there is no meaningful future in pursuing the temporal. However there is a glorious promise of hope, renewal, forgiveness and life in the cross and resurrection of Jesus both for yesterday, today and forever. Go and enjoy it!
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