Sun, Oct 19, 2008


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Ministry of Pastor Joe Guglielmo teachings through the Bible, verse by verse for a better understanding of Gods Word.
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NUMBERS 10:29-36

            Please turn in your Bibles this morning to Numbers chapter 10 as we look at the story of Hobab, the brother-in-law of Moses. I think I can safely say that most of you don’t know this man but by the time we finish up this morning, you will not only know him but you will see the beautiful picture the Holy Spirit is painting for us regarding this man and what Moses did for him.

            Before we get to our text this morning, let me share this story with you to help set the stage for what we will be looking at. We are told:

Fritz Kreisler (1875-1962), the world-famous violinist, earned a fortune with his concerts and compositions, but he generously gave most of it away. So, when he discovered an exquisite violin on one of his trips, he wasn’t able to buy it. Later, having raised enough money to meet the asking price, he returned to the seller, hoping to purchase that beautiful instrument. But to his great dismay it had been sold to a collector. Kreisler made his way to the new owner’s home and offered to buy the violin. The collector said it had become his prized possession and he would not sell it. Keenly disappointed, Kreisler was about to leave when he had an idea. “Could I play the instrument once more before it is consigned to silence?” he asked. Permission was granted, and the great virtuoso filled the room with such heart-moving music that the collector’s emotions were deeply stirred. “I have no right to keep that to myself,” he exclaimed. “It’s yours, Mr. Kreisler. Take it into the world, and let people hear it.”

- Our Daily Bread, February 4, 1994

            This morning we are going to be looking at evangelism or sharing our faith with the lost, those who don’t know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Hobab, as we will see, is a Midianite and Moses; a child of God is going to speak to him about going with them into thePromise Land. With that said, let’s begin reading in Numbers chapter 10, starting in verse 29 and see what the Lord has for us this morning as we study His Word.

NUMBERS 10:29-36

            As I read through these verses I see five main points emerge. First of all, in Numbers 10:29 we see THE INVITATION. Next, in Numbers 10:30 we see THE REJECTION. Then in Numbers 10:31-32 we see THE PERSISTENCE. And in Numbers 10:33 we see THE ACCEPTANCE. And lastly, in Numbers 10:34-36we see THE BLESSING.  Thus, with the remainder of our time this morning we are going to be going through these five points and see what we can glean from them to help us in our walk and service for God!


            Here we are introduced to Hobab, a Midianite and the brother-in-law of Moses and the son of Jethro or Reuel, the father-in-law of Moses.  Now we might not think much of this except for the fact that we are told that he is a Midianite, as I have said. Midian was a son of Abraham through Keturah, (Genesis 25:2). And they were an enemy of Israel, they tried to oppress the children of God, they tried to get them to sin!

            Thus, as Hobab approached Moses, he could have ignored this man of sin, this Gentile but instead Moses invites him to come with them, to taste and see the goodness of God. In a sense he is saying to Hobab, “God loves you and His desire is to bless you. He has given you a gift that can be used for Hs glory and to help the children of Israel on their journey. Thus, won’t you join us and see all that God has for you?” I like that, the heart of Moses is for this man to come to the Lord!

            Folks, I think many times Christians become hard, they can become cold and insensitive to the lost.  They say or think things like this. “They made their bed, now let them sleep in it!” “Turn or burn you sinner!”  “I wish God would just destroy all these evil people!”  There is no love, there is no compassion, there is no care for the lost with that kind of attitude!

            In fact, many times Christians behave like the people in this story. We are told:

On a February day in 1925, Floyd Collins climbed into Sand Cave in search of fortune. Suddenly, his lantern failed. Crawling through the darkness, Collin’s foot hit a seven-ton boulder. It fell on his leg, trapping him in the coffin-like narrowness of a dark, subterranean straitjacket. For days Collins was trapped 125 feet below ground in an ice-cold space 8 inches high and 12 feet long.

In the meantime, his plight became a national sensation. As the rescue attempt wore on, some 50,000 tourists bought hot dogs, balloons, and soft drinks from vendors at the cave in Kentucky. But in the end, Floyd Collins died alone in the icy darkness, crying out deliriously, “Get me out. Why don’t you take me out? Kiss me goodbye, I’m going.”

- Today in the Word, September 20, 1990

            How does this happen? I think we can become self-centered, self-absorbed, it is all about me!  Now, it is easy to come against people like this but what about you. What are you concerned about? What disturbs you the most?












 The Bible Friend

            For Moses, he was more concerned about this man named Hobab and thus, he invites him to come with them. How about you?  Are you concerned for those around you? Do you invite them to come and hear of Jesus? You see, many times we get our priorities out of line or we don’t see ourselves as evangelists. Yes, you might not have the gift of an evangelist, I don’t have the gift of an evangelist, but we are still to be a witness of Jesus to others. And folks, I bet you have no problem talking about your favorite sport team or job or cooking or TV show or whatever. Why can’t you share your faith, why is that not important to you?

            I think C. S. Lewis put it perfectly when he wrote, “If Heaven and Hell are true, nothing else matters. If Heaven and Hell aren’t true, then nothing matters at all.”  How true that is!  Now, what do you believe? I bet you believe that there is a literal Heaven and a literal Hell and all those who reject Jesus will spend an eternity in Hell, separated from God where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth! Thus, nothing else should really matter in the big picture; our focus needs to be on the lost and ministering to them!

            That is what Jesus commands us to do, to go out and make disciples and to teach them the things of God. In Matthew 28:19-20 Jesus commands us to, ‘Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ Amen.

Jeffrey Schutz sums this up for us regarding what we are to do. He wrote:

Even though we may have a hard time-sharing our faith and, yes, some people have a gift for sharing, the Bible clearly indicates that evangelism is for everyone; in fact, it is considered to be a fruit of the Spirit! Most of us associate the fruit of the Spirit with Galatians 5:22-23, where Paul describes fruit as godly character. But Paul indicates that fruit also involves leading unbelievers to Christ (Romans 1:13, 1 Corinthians 16:15, Colossians 1:6).

Considering that Jesus called us to produce lasting fruit (John 15:16), that we glorify God by being fruitful (John 15:8; Colossians 1:10), and that God despises unfruitfulness (Matthew 21:10,43), Christians cannot relegate the activity of evangelism to a group of “specialists.” Everyone is challenged to be prepared in and out of season to preach the Word (2 Timothy 4:2) as well as to give an answer to everyone who asks us for the hope we have (1 Peter 3:15).

The responsibility for evangelism, then, is for all believers who are instructed to bear fruit and are challenged to be prepared. It is not an issue of personality type, nor should it be an issue of personal comfort. It is an issue of obedience.

- Jeffrey J. Schutz, “A World in Need:

The Multiple Dimensions of Christian Relevance in Society,” Focal Point, summer 1997, p. 9

            Thus, go out and share your faith, give THE INVITATION to others to come to Jesus!


            Hobab hears the invitation to go with Moses and he jumps for joy, he can’t wait to go, he is hugging and kissing Moses for the invitation that he gave him, well not exactly.  Hobab rejects the invitation.  He turns Moses down. He would rather hang out with his own friends, do his own things, be in this world, than go with Moses?

            Does that sound familiar?  It should because that is how many respond when we share the Gospel with them! You see, it is not “What if they reject the invitation that you gave them” but it is a huge possibility that they will reject it!  When you look at the parable of the soils in Matthew chapter 13, only one of the four soils produced any fruit, only 25% were fruitful.  And the picture is that of a person who gives their life to Jesus, it is only a 25% success rate!

You see, 25% will not allow God’s Word to penetrate their heart and it just bounces off of them.  Another 25% will be excited but as soon as difficult times come, they will stumble. They will not remain. Another 25% will receive God’s Word but when the pull of the world gets a hold of them, when the cares of this world draw them, they will walk away, they will go back to the world and its lusts!

Instead of thinking that this is a waste of our time, this sharing our faith since 75% of the people we talk to will probably not receive the invitation, look at the 25% that will receive the invitation and receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior, entering into the Kingdom of God! In fact, the Bible tells us that when one sinner comes to Christ, the angels in heaven rejoice! Thus, so should we!  For those we share our faith with and they reject it, pray for them, love them, keep shinning Christ into their lives and see what God can do!

The young salesman was disappointed about losing a big sale, and as he talked with his sales manager he lamented, “I guess it just proves you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.”

The manager replied, “Son, take my advice: your job is not to make him drink. Your job is to make him thirsty.”

So it is with evangelism. Our lives should be so filled with Christ that they create a thirst for the Gospel.

- November-December 1985, Preaching

            Not only are we to share our faith, shine for Christ but we also need to be salt and make people thirsty for Christ, make them see the flavor, the spice that Jesus adds to our lives, and allow the sting of the salt to awaken them to Christ!  Why do we give up so easy? Not only is God on our side, not only is God for us, but His desire is to see people saved before He pours out His wrath upon a Christ rejecting world!

            Peter reminds us of the love of God and the righteous judgment of God in II Peter 3:9-10, as he tells us, The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.

During a Monday night football game between the Chicago Bears and the New York Giants, one of the announcers observed that Walter Payton, the Bear’s running back, had accumulated over nine miles in career rushing yardage.  The other announcer remarked, “Yeah, and that’s with somebody knocking him down every 4.6 yards!”  Walter Payton, the most successful running back ever, knows that everyone – even the very best – gets knocked down. The key to success is to get up and run again just as hard.

- Jeff Quandt, Irving Wallace, Book of Lists, 1980

            If someone can do that for a sport, for a perishable crown, why can’t we as Christians do that for the Lord, forging ahead for the imperishable crown that we can one day lay at His feet?  Yes, some will reject the invitation, that is just the way it is. But don’t give up, forge ahead and shine brightly for Jesus, you never know what God is doing in an individual and you don’t know how close they are in turning their lives over to Jesus!  Yes, there might beTHE REJECTION but don’t give up!


            I like this about Moses, that he doesn’t give up!  He could have told Hobab, “You dirty, rotten, filthy sinner, you disgust me!  Get out of my face!  You are going to burn in Hell if you don’t come with us!”  But, of course, Moses did not do that. In fact, he did the exact opposite.  He tells Hobab that he would be a blessing if he came with them and if he came with them God would also bless him.  In other words, he wanted Hobab to see that God loves him and wants to bless him. He wants to use him!

            According to a recent survey, most people in America believe in Heaven and Hell. The report from the Barna Research Group tells us that 76% of Americans believe in Heaven, that it exists!  And 71% of Americans believe in Hell, that it exists.  Now here is the kicker. Only one-half of 1% expects to go to Hell when they die!  That is an amazing statistic, they believe in Hell but they don’t believe they will go there, but why?  Most would say because they are a good person and we will deal with that.

            Thus, in sharing the good news they need to understand they are not good.  Now, if I came up to you and you were not a Christian, and I told you that you were a sinner and unless you receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior that you were going to burn in Hell for eternity, how do you think that would make you feel?  You would be angry with me, you might try to justify your position or you may just hit me!  Why? Because you would not see yourself that way, most people don’t. Most people see themselves as good people and thus, they need to understand they are not. And here is the kicker; we are not going to tell them!

            No, we are not to tell them, but we need to let them tell us they are sinners. Impossible you might be thinking, but not really!  And it is better that they call themselves sinners because then they are not mad at us, they said it, we didn’t!  How is this done? First of all you can ask them, “If you were to die today, would you go to Heaven or Hell?” A very simple question and by the response you get, it will lead you to the next question.  You see, most people would say that they would go to Heaven and not Hell.  Then you can ask them why they think they were going to Heaven?  And for the most part, they will tell you, “Because I am a good person! I am not perfect, but I am good and God will understand that.”  So far so good.

            And again, most people feel this way, that they are good as this story illustrates for us:

In January 1985, a large suitcase, unmarked and unclaimed, was discovered at the customs office at Los Angeles International Airport. When U.S. Customs agents opened the suitcase, they found the curled-up body of an unidentified young woman.

She had been dead for a few days, according to the county coroner. As the investigation continued, it was learned that the woman was the wife of a young Iranian living in the U.S. Unable to obtain a visa to enter the U.S. and join her husband, she took matters into her own hands and attempted to smuggle herself into America via an airplane's cargo bay. While her plan seemed to her simple though risky, officials were hard pressed to understand how such an attempt could ever succeed. Even if she survived the journey in the cargo bay, she would remain an illegal alien, having entered through improper channels.

Some people believe they'll enter the kingdom of God on their own since they've been reasonably good citizens or church attendee's. But entry plans of our own design prove not only foolish but fatal.

         - Craig Brian Larson, Illustrations For Preaching & Teaching, p. 205

            Thus, our desire is to bring them into the Kingdom of God but they first have to see that they are a sinner and that their sin has separated them from God.  Thus, you would then ask them if they have every lied before, about anything.  If they say no, then they are lying! Next, ask them if they have ever stole anything before, anything at all?  Of course they will say yes or they are lying to you.  They ask them if they have ever looked upon another man or woman with lust in their heart for that person. If they are honest they will say yes and that makes them either an adulterer or fornicator because Jesus tells us it is a matter of the heart! And lastly, ask them if they have ever wanted something that was not theirs, which is covetousness.  Again, if they are honest, they will say yes.

            So, by their own admission, what they have told you so far is that they are a lying, stealing, adulterer, coveter and that is only four of the Ten Commandments that God has given to us! Thus, by their own admission they are a sinner, they fall far short of the perfection that God requires for Heaven and that is what the Bible says about man.  Paul, in Romans 3:10 wrote, As it is written: ‘There is none righteous, no, not one.’  And in Romans 3:23 we are told, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  We all miss that mark of perfection; there are none who do good!  Let them read that for themselves.

            “So, if you were to die today, knowing that you are a sinner by your own admission, would you go to Heaven or Hell?”  Most would say, “Well, I guess Hell!” And their countenance may even change as they realize they are uncomfortable now.  The good news is what Paul tells us in Romans 5:6, For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For the wages of sin is death, but the [free] gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 6:23.

            You see, now you give them the good news of Jesus Christ because they have seen their sinful condition and now you give them the solution, Jesus!  You want to bless them, you want them to know that God loves them, has gifted them and wants them to use those gifts for His glory!  That is what Moses did!

            You see, Paul tells us, There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. You see, apart from Christ, we are already condemned but in Christ, all our sins are cast as far as the east is from the west to be remembered no more and thus, there is no more condemnation!  That is not just good news, it is great news!

  But how is this relationship started, how are we saved? Paul tells us in Romans 10:8-11, But what does it say? ‘The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart’ (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, ‘Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.’

Yes, there will be those that reject the gift of God, but don’t give up on people but be persistent, preserver and see what the Lord can do. May we have THE PERSISTENCE of Moses! What did the Lord do in Hobab’s life? Let’s read on and see.


            Hobab went with Moses!  How do I know that for sure?  Because it says, “So they departed from the mountain of the Lord on a journey of three days.  In other words, Moses, Hobab and the children of Israel were on the move to the Promise Land.  That may not totally convince you, but if not, look at Judges 4:11, which says, Now Heber the Kenite, of the children of Hobab the father-in-law of Moses, had separated himself from the Kenites and pitched his tent near the terebinth tree at Zaanaim, which is beside Kedesh. Now I believe that The New King James Version gets this wrong when they translate Hobab as being the father-in-law of Moses. I believe the NIV gets it correct as they translate it like this, Now Heber the Kenite had left the other Kenites, the descendants of Hobab, Moses' brother-in-law, and pitched his tent by the great tree in Zaanannim near Kedesh.

            You see, Moses’ father-in-law was Jethro who is also called Reuel and Hobab was his brother-in-law and thus, we see him mentioned in the book of Judges. That tells me he must have traveled with the children of Israel and his family is in the Promise Land!

            I don’t know how many of you have heard of Jim Cramer before but he is the host of Mad Money, a financial analyst you might say and very entertaining.  He lays it all on the line and just tells it like it is. And with the economy in trouble, people are listening to what he is saying.  Back on Monday October 6th he was on the Today Show and he was basically telling people that if they needed their money soon, to take it out of the Stock Market because it is only going to get worse.  If you are in it for the long haul, at this point, just leave it alone.

            The next day, after the Stock Market took a big hit again, another several hundred point drop, people were upset with what Jim Cramer said, thinking it was his fault for this drop! And the media was also blasting him for his careless words.  One said that it was like going into a movie theater and yelling, “FIRE!” when there is no fire! He responded back and I think correctly, and I am paraphrasing, but he basically said, “It would be irresponsible for me not to yell, ‘Fire’ if there was a fire in the movie theater and there is a fire!” He said, and this is a quote, “I don’t care if it’s unpopular, I tell the truth.”

            Folks, if the fire of God’s judgment is coming upon us, and it may not be popular to yell “Fire!” but if it is the truth, even if it is unpopular, we still need to speak it forth! Tragically, many don’t because they don’t want to offend anyone but think about what you are doing. By not telling them the truth, you are sending them to Hell for eternity where they will be tormented forever so they will not be offended in this life by what you say!  Get over it! Speak forth the truth in love. Moses did and Hobab came with the children of Israel, he accepted the invitation that was extended to him even though he had previously rejected it! The exciting thing here is THE ACCEPTANCE; there will be those who receive the invitation!


            Once a person comes to Jesus asking Him to be their Lord and Savior, God indwells them, His presence fills their lives and He will protect them from the enemies that come against them.  The blessings that Hobab received as he traveled with the children of Israel, entering into the Promise Land, it was a walk of faith and the same is true today for those who come to Jesus. You see, the Promise Land is not Heaven as some of the old spiritual songs say. Why do I say that? Because there are giants in the land, wars and-so-on and Heaven is not filled with giants, with enemies, there are not wars that we will be fighting in Heaven!  The Promise Land is a walk of faith, a Spirit filled walk as we do battle with the enemies of God on our journey home!

            The name Hobab means, “favored, beloved.” I like that for as a child of God, I know that God loves me, I am His favorite child and so are you. We are all equal in His eyes and His love is rich enough, deep enough for all of us to receive. We are all special to the Lord; in fact, He loves us so much that He died for us so that we might live with Him!  That is love!

            Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30 these comforting words to a nation that was burdened by the law, by rules and regulations that never gave them rest. He said, Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.

You see, in the world there is much unrest, just turn on the news.  It is not just our nation, but throughout the world there are economic problems. We see rumors of wars. We see immorality and-so-on.  But in Christ, He is our rest and as He leads us, He not only prepares the place we are going to but He prepares us for that place. Thus, His yoke is easy if we would only follow Him, turn as He tells us to turn, go where He wants us to go!  His burden is light because He will never give us too much but He will give us so much that we will have to lay it upon Him and walk by faith and that is exactly what He wants us to do. He does not want us to trust in our own strength or our own abilities, but in Him!  Thus, THE BLESSING!

Yes, there are a lot of Hobab’s out there in this world, in this country we live in, let’s not forget them!  Yes, this nation of ours is in a moral tailspin, it seems out of control and it almost seems hopeless. People wonder if anything can be done!  Listen carefully and see what God can do. We are told:

New England was in a state of moral and spiritual decline. Church attendance had dropped off and the morals of the young had sunk to new lows. Worldly values infiltrated the church.

Under the preaching of Edwards and Whitefield, the Great Awakening came to America. An historian wrote that one could have left a bag of gold on the streets and it would not have been stolen! Sailors coming from Britain were known to have fallen on their knees in repentance before their ship docked; such was the power of God.

Now, I’m not saying to you that God will send a similar revival to America. He does not owe us such mercy . . .

But maybe if we get our priorities straight, He might yet be gracious to this great nation. If we are desperate enough, and are willing to pay a great personal price, God might yet rescue many from the judgment to come.

You and I must be ready to make a radical commitment! It involves nothing less than living for the glory of God, even if our nest is disturbed! We must learn to distinguish between the American dream and the Christian mandate! Together, you and I must be fervently committed to sharing the gospel whenever God opens the door; on airplanes, with our neighbors, relatives, and anyone else God brings into our lives.

Our task is simple yet profound. It is to explain the cross to a generation steeped in designer religion; an age in which people have been duped to believe that they can “find their own way to God.”

You may have read what Bonhoefer said, “It is not before us, but before the cross that the world trembles.” I agree. Whether God sends a revival or not, we must be faithful in presenting “the old rugged cross.”

The world can out-spend us, out-entertain us, and out-politicize us, but let it never be said that they can out-love us!

- Erwin Lutzer, The Moody Church Radio Ministries newsletter, Chicago, Illinois, March, 1997

            The only way our society will change is not by the passing of this law or that law. Not by who gets elected President of the United States.  The only way our society will change is by the power of God working in and through the lives of His people. Thus, go out and giveTHE INVITATION of Christ to others!  Yes, there may be THE REJECTION, but don’t give up!  We need to have THE PERSISTENCE of Moses, Paul, and the other men and women who were willing to share their faith and compel people to come into the kingdom of God!  Because, folks, there will be THE ACCEPTANCE of Jesus Christ by some and what a glorious day that is when someone comes to Jesus!  May we bring to the people THE BLESSING of God through Jesus Christ!  Let us be like Arnold, the Terminator, who said, “Come with me if you want to live!”

As I close this morning, let me leave you with these words. We are told:

The renowned 19th-century English preacher C. H. Spurgeon told this story about King Cyrus, the man who conquered Babylon and freed the Jews from captivity: A visitor who was admiring Cyrus’ gardens said it gave him much pleasure. “Ah,” said Cyrus, “but you have not so much pleasure in this garden as I have, for I have planted every tree in it myself.”

Spurgeon then commented, “One reason some saints will have a greater fullness of heaven than others will be that they did more for heaven than others. By God’s grace they were enabled to bring more souls there.”

Those words should cause all of us who know the Lord to do some serious thinking. How many people will be in heaven because of us? Our desire should be that when we reach our eternal home, some will say to us, “I’m so thankful for you. It was your testimony, your life, your invitation to accept Christ that accounts for my being here today.” The apostle Paul anticipated the joy in heaven of seeing people who were there as a result of his ministry (1 Th. 2:19-20).

Yes, heaven’s joys will be the fullest for those who have helped lead others to Christ. So do all you can to bring to Jesus those who are lost in sin. That’s how you can lay uppleasures in heaven!

             - RWD, Our Daily Bread, Sept.-Nov. 1997, page for September 10

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