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29 Now Moses said to Hobab son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses’ father-in-law, “We are setting out for the place about which the Lord said, ‘I will give it to you.’ Come with us and we will treat you well, for the Lord has promised good things to Israel.”30 He answered, “No, I will not go; I am going back to my own land and my own people.”31 But Moses said, “Please do not leave us. You know where we should camp in the wilderness, and you can be our eyes. 32 If you come with us, we will share with you whatever good things the Lord gives us.”

Numbers 10: 29-32

That day, dawn established its arrival with a resplendent revelation of brightness that scattered the night. Somewhere in the wilderness of Sinai, three men stood in front of a cave on a hill. Each was lost in his own thoughts, and they created impressive silhouettes on the cave walls.

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Prophet Moses broke the silence when he turned to his brother-in-law, “Hobab, come with us on our journey to God’s Promised Land. You know you could be our official guide. What do you say, brother?” Without hesitation, Hobab replied, “I think it would be better for me to go back with my people, the Kenites”. Aaron grabbed Hobab’s elbow pulling him forward, “Look, brother, see the lush beauty of the land. You said that it is indeed flowing with milk and honey as God said. Why don’t all of you come with us”? Moses strode towards them, “Hobab, the prospects are good. I promise you that whatever good things God gives Israel, we will share with your people. Come now, show us the perfect routes and camping sites”.

Israel’s leaders knew God always kept His promises. They were sure the future was bright and felt that they should share their good fortune. Matthew 9:13; and 22:9 attest to the fact that God expects us to invite others to join us in the great Salvation He has for us. Revelation 3:20 reiterates that Jesus wants to come and bless all who let Him into their hearts as Lord of their lives. You may ask why it is so important to invite others. Well, consider D L Moody’s experience.

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During the early days of the great evangelist Dwight L. Moody’s ministry, he launched a series of meetings in Chicago with the promise of the largest crowds that anyone had ever seen up to that time. His theme was THE LIFE OF CHRIST. On the first night, Sunday, October 8, 1871, his topic was The Trial before Pilate. As he came to the end of his message, he sent his fascinated listeners to Matthew 27:22, “What shall I do then with Jesus, who is called Christ?” He then told them, ‘Friends, I want you to take this text home with you and turn it over in your minds during the week…. Till the end of the week![1] He did not know that as he was ending the sermon that night, fire tenders were already clanging noisily on their way to fight the Chicago fires.

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He said this even though Ira David Sankey (the great hymn compiler, pianist and singer) was in the background, singing, “Today the Savior calls; …. And death is nigh-“[1]. Asking them to think about it may have been a delightful way to end. Only that, around that same time, the Chicago Fire Service was already on its way to combat the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. It lasted 3 days. Over 1000 people lost their lives, probably including Moody’s listeners. The series couldn’t continue. And the great evangelist called that statement his greatest mistake.[2]

Forward Jesus’s invite to your friends and family! Or have you padlocked your lips? Don’t be selfish. Forward that invite! Don’t try to repeat the same mistake. Yours may be the only gospel someone may understand. Your duty demands it says, the beloved hymn by Fanny J Crosby

  • Rescue the perishing, duty demands it(emphasis mine);
  • Strength for thy labor the Lord will provide;
  • Back to the narrow way patiently win them;
  • Tell the poor wand’rer a Savior has died.[3]

[1] 2020 and the Chicago Fire of 1871 – D. L. Moody Center

[2] D. L. Moody’s Lost Opportunity – Christian Heritage Fellowship, Inc.

[3] Rescue the Perishing > Lyrics | Frances J. Crosby (timelesstruths.org)