Numbers 10:1-36

Daybreak for Students

Numbers 10:1-36

OVERVIEW
DAYBREAK
Numbers 10
And Moses said unto Hobab, the son of Raguel the Midianite, Moses’ father in law, We are journeying unto the place of which the Lord said, I will give it you: come thou with us, and we will do thee good: for the Lord hath spoken good concerning Israel. — Numbers 10:29

“Come with us, and we’ll do you good,” is a universal Gospel invitation, though the way it is extended may be varied.

One student says to another, “Come with me to our youth group tonight. You’ll like it.”

An employee tells a troubled coworker, “Come to church with me. God can solve your problems.”

A parent says to a child, “You need to keep coming to church with our family. You can see that it pays big benefits to serve the Lord.”

The minister tells the person who comes for counseling, “Come to church regularly and seek God with us at our altars of prayer. You’ll be blessed.”

The invitation is not a new message, for we see it in today’s focus verse when Moses invited Hobab to continue traveling with the Children of Israel, rather than returning to the land of Midian. Moses knew that Hobab, because of his wilderness knowledge and experience, could be a help to them. Moses also knew that God had made great promises to the Children of Israel, and that they would be a blessed people. Hobab would benefit from those blessings if he would travel with them. The God of the Children of Israel would do Hobab good.

As Christians, we know that we have the best promises available. We know that God has the answer to any question, the solution to any problem, and divine control over every situation. We know that we have been blessed by following Jesus, and others will also be blessed if they will come with us. We long to help them see the value of traveling with God. The one requirement for extending this invitation is that we must be traveling with God ourselves in order to invite someone to join us.

Who might you meet today who needs to be invited to come with you to serve God? Walk with God so that you can say, “Come with us, and we’ll do you good.”

BACKGROUND

The Children of Israel had camped at Mount Sinai for nearly a year. Now God was preparing to start them marching toward the Promised Land. He instructed Moses to make two silver trumpets which would be used to signal the tribes. These trumpets, each made of a solid piece of silver, were different than the rams’ horn trumpets used later at Jericho. They were sounded only at designated occasions.

  • The trumpets summoned the people. If one trumpet blew, only the leaders assembled. If both trumpets blew, everyone came to the Tabernacle. 

  • The trumpets sounded the call to march when it was time to move. The Children of Israel could see God directing by the movement of the pillar of fire or the cloud. They could also hear God’s direction when the priests sounded the trumpets.

  • The trumpets sounded an alarm in the case of an attack and also sounded to call the armies to prepare for battle. Verse 9 indicates that their blast was a prayer for and a reminder of God’s protection.

  • The priests blew the trumpets for appointed religious feasts.

The Children of Israel had arrived at Sinai as a disorganized and undisciplined group. In the eleven months they had camped there, their tribes had been organized so everyone knew their appointed place, the Law was given, the Tabernacle was constructed, the priests and Levites were consecrated, and the soldiers had been counted. Then they were ready to move!

No doubt the Children of Israel had become somewhat comfortable at Sinai. They had established daily patterns and were not experiencing the rigors of a march. They remembered the great victory God had given them over Egypt, and God reminded them of His blessings by sending manna each day. However, their inheritance was the Promised Land, not Mount Sinai.

Most commentators agree that Hobab was Moses’ brother-in-law. Because Moses knew that Hobab would be blessed by joining them, Moses added a little pressure to his invitation by telling Hobab that he could be helpful to them. God was directing the Children of Israel and choosing their startings and stoppings. However, it is very possible that Hobab’s wilderness expertise could prove helpful in matters such as locating water and shade.

It is unclear, and commentators are divided, on whether or not Hobab chose to go with the Children of Israel. His descendants are mentioned in Judges 1:16 and 4:11. If he chose to go with Moses, we can be assured that it was a good choice.

The last two verses of this chapter give Moses’ prayers at the beginning and at the end of the march. It is probable that Moses repeated these prayers, which were something like an invocation and a benediction, for every march. God’s help was essential to these people, and Moses wanted them to remember that.

AMPLIFIED OUTLINE

(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)

I.   The preparation for the journey from Sinai
     D.   The measures for the maintenance of worship in the camp
           5.   The use of the silver trumpets (10:1-10)
II.   The journey from Sinai to the plains of Moab
     A.   The journey to Kadesh-Barnea
           1.   The journey commenced (10:11-36)

A CLOSER LOOK

  1. How far did the Children of Israel travel on this first part of the trek? 

  2. Why do you think Hobab said he would go back to his own land? Why might people today choose to “go back” rather than accept the invitation to follow God?

  3. What in our lives might the enemy use to tempt us to “go back”? What can we do to resist that temptation?

CONCLUSION

If we follow God’s directions, we will be blessed, and other people will also be blessed when they accept our invitation to join us in serving God.