Yesterday we looked briefly at the idea of God providing an "alternative" opportunity for the Passover. I hope to get more input on te thought-provoking question posted in the comments.
Today we see God moving his people from here to there. His purpose isn't too clear for them, they don't seem to be on a direct path, but to be moving here and there in the wilderness. God is clearly gathering his people and preparing them for the entry into the promised land. Yet it will be according to his timing and plan.
I'm more interested today in looking at the relationship between Moses' father-in-law and the people of Israel. See how Moses urges him to continue with them. He will be good for the people because he knows more about the area than they do. But more importantly, the people of Israel will be good for Hobab. After all, God is directing his people with the cloud of his presence. They aren't going to be lost. And these people are quite able to find whatever provisions are present wherever they encamp. Yet fellowship with the people of God is good for this foreigner, Hobab. He seems open, at least on some level, to what God has revealed through Moses. Yet he is not someone who is fiercely loyal to the people of Israel. Is he cast out? Not at all. He is welcomed.
How many times do we in the body of Christ engage in litmus tests to see if someone is worthy to have fellowship with us, to partake of the blessings of God? Do we invite only the people who are serious believers to participate in Bible study, to be prayed for, to hear God's Word? What barriers do we put up against people who might otherwise hear the Word of God, be brought to repentance, and believe like we do? Let's rather see if we can be more like Moses. "Here, Hobab. God's presence is good for you. Won't you stay and receive what God has for you?"