The Help Of Hobab

Title: The Help Of Hobab

Bible Book: Numbers 10

Author: Alan Stewart

Subject: Fellowship; Partnership; Leadership; Guidance



While at Moody Bible Institute in the mid-eighties, my roommate was a mission aviator. His knowledge of airplanes and flight patterns amazed me. I would always nod my head and act intelligent during those conversations, but the truth was, I had never even ridden on a plane. However, my first trip back home would mean I had to cross that barrier of limitation in my life. Chicago was the difficult place to have that first experience. The airport was huge, and I knew nothing about luggage check-in or boarding passes. Although I was to proud to admit I was a novice, the look on my face must have been obvious that I needed help. A young man who was a student at Wheaton College (the enemy to Moody Students) saw my look of despair and offered to help walk me through this first encounter in an airport. Had this young man not taken time to help direct my steps, my country of existence would be known only to the Lord!

In Numbers chapter 10, there is a man who steps onto the stage of scripture only to quickly disappear. His name is Hobab. Books were never written about Hobab. Songs were never sung in Hobab's honor. Yet, the timing of his appearance proved not only to be credible, but also crucial.

While Moses had wisdom of the desert, Hobab was skilled with insight of the wilderness. His expertise would make passing through the wilderness a successful journey, and lead them successfully to the promised land. Have you ever felt that life was often like looking across a great chasm? Across the horizon, you can see the houses, trees, and rivers. You are able to smell the milk, honey, and grapes of a promised land. But, HOW do you get over there? It will take the Divine appointment and placement of a Hobab. Having a Hobab in your life is both valuable and necessary to complete the plan of God. Think with me as to what a Hobab has to offer.

I. A Hobab To Encourage Our Progress

Hobab encourages our progress. In Numbers 10:31, Moses said to Hobab, "..leave us not...thou knowest how we are to encamp in the wilderness..."

There are times in life when we simply don't know what to do or where to turn. It is always encouraging to speak with someone who has been there! Someone who knows the terrain with every water hole mapped out, and knowledge of the enemy hideouts. A Hobab is someone who keeps our life in focus amidst distractions, and on-track amidst detours.

I am finding as I grow older in life, a simple derailing from the course can take years from which to recover. Perhaps years I do not have.

  1. Mordecai kept Esther on track when the temptation arose to be "politically correct."
  2. Jethro prevented Moses from having a nervous breakdown due to micro-managing the details of God's will.
  3. Rahab helped Joshua find courage when fear was gripping the masses.

The landscape of Christianity if littered with derailed lives who never valued the influence and insight of a Hobab.

II. A Hobab To Enlighten Our Pathway

Verse 31 continues, "...thou mayest be to us instead of eyes."

There are those in life who know how to live. But, it's knowing how to live rightly that gains respect. Many people are pointing in our life, but few are pointing in the right direction.

When Joseph was sitting in a lonely, dark prison, he needed help fulfilling the Lord's dream in his life. Enter a butler, a baker, and a Pharaoh. A butler is someone who opens doors. A baker is someone who knows how to mix the right ingredients. A Pharaoh is someone who finances dreams. Each possess names that were never recorded, but each played a significant role in shaping and molding the hopes of a nation. Although the baker deceived him, it was the accuracy of prophecy regarding his life that the butler never forgot.

A Hobab opens unseen doors, has accurate formulas, and is committed to stand behind you! Proven pathways are only certain to those who have proved them. However, it is their witness that puts trust in our steps to try.

III. A Hobab To Extend Our Potential

In verse 32, Moses comes to a clear conclusion: we will only find the goodness of the Lord … if thou go with us."

Hobab was the only one in the crowd who knew how to sustain life during prolonged days in the wilderness. Perhaps that is why the name Hobab simply means "cherished one."

Sometimes, however, a Hobab may come into our lives by means other than human form. Elijah found the ravens to be a Hobab. Balaam found a donkey to be a Hobab. Peter found a fish to be a Hobab.

Not everyone recognizes Hobab in their life. But, no one has gotten to where they are today without one! Like the manna that was miraculously sent daily to Israel, a Hobab secures our hope in another day.

Do you know where you are going in life? Just how do you plan to get there? In every life, there is a marked entrance of a Hobab. His presence will be brief, but his influence is lasting. To overlook him could make a world of difference in your life.

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