Sunday, April 18, 2010

Great Invitations of the Bible : Part 2 Companionship

GREAT INVITATIONS OF THE BIBLE
Part 2 - Invitation to Companionship
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org


INTRODUCTION

     The Bible is a book of invitations. All through the pages of this great Book, God is continually inviting people to join Him in where He is going and in what He is doing.

     Last week we talked about the great invitation to commitment.

      In our passage this week, Moses is talking to a man named Hobab.  There is some dispute over just who this man is.  Some think he is Moses’ brother in law. Others think Hobab is another name for Moses’ father in law Jethro.

     I lean toward the latter interpretation because of Judges 4:11.  In that verse, Hobab is called “the father in law of Moses.”   We know from Exodus 18 that Jethro had visited Moses and the children of Israel.  He had been a blessing and he had received a blessing.  He had also given Moses a great piece of wisdom concerning how he was leading the people of Israel.

      In this passage, Israel is leaving their encampment at the foot of Mount Sinai. While they were there, they received the Law, built the Tabernacle and learned how to worship the Lord God.  Now, they are breaking camp and heading toward Canaan. Before they leave, Moses takes the time to invite Jethro, or Hobab, to go with them to their destination.

      I would like to study this invitation today.  In these verses, there are several aspects of this invitation we need to investigate.  There is a word here for the church.  There is a word here for those who are outside the church.  There is a word here for every person in this room. 

So, let us take some time today to look into this passage and consider The Invitation to Companionship.

OPEN IN PRAYER FOR UNDERSTANDING

SCRIPTURE READING

Numbers 10:29-32
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 desert, and you can be our eyes. 32 If you come with us, we will share with you whatever good things the LORD gives us."



I.                   COME SHARE IN OUR PILGRIMAGE

a.      A Special People - Moses uses the words “us” and “we”. He is inviting his father in law to join a special people. The children of Israel were special because they were;

                                                             i.      A Chosen People, Deuteronomy 7:6

                                                          ii.      They were A Redeemed People, Exodus 15:13

                                                       iii.      The blood of the Lamb Exodus 12:1-13

Note: The saints of God are a special people as well.  If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you are special!  You are special because, you have been chosen by Him.  Ephesians 1:4; John 15:16.  You are special because you have been redeemed, or cleansed by Him, 1 Peter 1:18-19; Colossians 1:14.  If you are saved, you are special, 1 Peter 2:9


b.     A Special Place - Moses invites his father in law to join them on their journey to that land God has promised to them, Exodus 3:8

                                                             i.      It was to a land of blessing and of victory.  Some twenty times, Canaan land is called “a land of milk and honey.”  It was to be a good place.  Best of all, it was to be their place.  Moses says, Come with us!

Note: We are also headed to a special place.  It is not a land of milk and honey.  But, it is a land of peace, joy and sinless perfection.  It is a land of blessing where none of the problems and afflictions of earth can follow, Revelation 21:4; 27.  It is a place called Heaven and it is promised to us, John 14:1-3


c.      A Special Privilege - Hobab is not a part of that people.  He is not a part of the covenant of Israel and he is not a part of the promises God has made to Israel.  But, Moses has the privilege of inviting Hobab to join up with Israel and share in their blessings.  Moses has the privilege of say, “Come with us and what belongs to us will becomes yours too! So he says, “Come with us!

Note: By the way, that is our privilege as well.  We have the honor of inviting all those around us to “Come with us! This thing called salvation is something that is to be shared with others.  We can give away what we have without lessening the value of what we have.

      If I have a hundred dollars and give five people twenty dollars each, then I have shared what I have, but I have nothing left.  But, if I share my faith and invite someone who does not know Jesus to “come with us”, I have given away what I have, but I have lost nothing!  In fact, I have increased the value of what I have because I have just laid up treasure in Heaven, Matthew 6:19-21.   Salvation is the only thing I know of that gets more valuable as you give it away!

      While I am on the subject, let me say that inviting people to “come with us” is more than a privilege.  It is also an obligation.  As we move through this life, we are commanded to share what we have with those who do not have it, Matthew 28:19-20;  Mark 16:15.  We are commanded to invite people to “Come with us”.



II.               COME SHARE IN OUR PARTNERSHIP

a.      Join our Family - Come thou with us” – Since Hobab is not a part of Israel, he is outside of a covenant relationship with God.  In other words, he is a lost man.  He is cut off from all the blessings and the promises of the Lord.  He has no hope of salvation apart from accepting Moses’ invitation and becoming a part of the nation of Israel.  So, Moses invites him to join the family. 

Note:  We need to hear this today:  There is no salvation outside the Lord Jesus Christ!  Please do not misunderstand me.  I am not saying that you can be saved by joining this or any church.  I am not saying that you can be saved by observing any of the rituals of this or any church.  You cannot be saved through baptism or church membership.

      What I am saying is that salvation can only be found in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  When you believe on Jesus, you become a member of His body, or the church, 1 Corinthians 12:13.  And, there is no hope of Heaven, or of salvation without a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

      When the Bible says, “Ye must be born again”, it means what it says!  There must be a moment in time when you look to Jesus by faith and trust Him as your Savior by faith.

Illustrations - Acts 16:31; Romans 10:9-10, 13; Ephesians 2:8-9.  When you do that, you immediately become a part of the family.

      As a family member, you are entitled to all the rights and privileges thereof. You become a child of God, 1 John 3:1-3.  You are adopted into His family, Romans 8:15.  You secure a place in Heaven, John 14:1-3.  You are saved “to the uttermost”, Hebrews 7:25.  Membership has its privileges! “Come thou with us!”


b.      Join our Fellowship - We will do thee good” – Moses is telling Hobab, “If you will come with us, we will treat you right! God is blessing us and we will share those blessings with you. We won’t hurt you, but we will do our best to be a blessing to you!

In reality, Moses is saying two things to Hobab;

                                                             i.      You need us – If Hobab wants to be saved and enjoy the blessings of the Lord, then he is going to have to go with Israel.

                                                          ii.      We need you v. 31 – This desert was Hobab’s home territory. He knew where the best camp sites were located. He knew where the best trails could be found. He knew where all the watering holes were. Moses said, “We will be a blessing to you and you will be a blessing to us. Come thou with us!

Note: When we invite people to come with us, we are doing more than offering them a “get out of Hell free card.” We are promising more than just blessings after this life is over. When someone joins the church, they should hear the same things that Hobab heard. They should hear us say and see us live out, 1.) You need us and 2.) We need you.


c.      Why do People need us?  The church should be able to offer people some things they cannot find anywhere else in this world. Here is what they should find in the church.

                                                             i.      Someone who genuinely cares for themRomans 12:15; Romans 15:1-2; 1 Corinthians 13:5; Philippians 2:4

                                                          ii.      Someone who will help them carry their burdensGalatians 6:2 – This refers to both the physical and spiritual aspects of this truth.  If we have the means to meet a need in someone’s life, then we are to do it, in good faith, 1 John 3:16-18; James 2:15-16.  By the same token, we are to pray for one another and get under the load with them, Ephesians 6:18; Philippians 4:6.

                                                       iii.      Someone who will love them unconditionally Matthew 22:39; Romans 13:9-10; Galatians 5:14; James 2:8

                                                         iv.      There is far more that people should find in church. They should find fellowship, acceptance, and family. We should be able to say to every person who unites with this church: “We will do thee good!

Illustration - Far too many churches are in the business of hurting people.  They hurt them by their words and by their deeds.  We must get in the business of helping people!  When we do, they will come and they will stay, because they will find here what they can find nowhere else in this world.  Today, right now, can we honestly say, “Come thou with us, and we will do thee good”?  It should become our goal to be able to say that and mean it when we do!


d.     Why do we need them? - When God saves a sinner, He gives that saved on His Spirit.  Along with the Spirit of God come the gifts of the Spirit.  God uniquely gifts each person He saves for a specific task within His body, 1 Corinthians 12:7-27.  When God saves someone and sends them to our fellowship, it is not an accident!  He sends them here so that they can fulfill a special place in our ministry that no one else can fill.  We need what they bring with them if we are going to be all God would have us to be.  Therefore, we must learn to create an environment where people can exercise their spiritual gifts in the ministry here.  We should never stand in people’s way, but we should encourage them to grow in the Lord and become all they can be.  We need to give people the freedom to be who God saved them to be.



III.            COME SHARE IN OUR PROMISES

As Moses speaks with Hobab, he tells him, “the Lord hath spoken good concerning Israel”. He is inviting Hobab to share in all the great blessings that God has promised to give to Israel.

      When we look at an individual and say “Come with us”, we are inviting them to partake of the great promises that God has given to us. Here are the promises we have, that we can share with others.

a.      Come share the Promise of a Home – Just as the wilderness was not the final destination for Israel, this world is not the final home of the church.  We are merely passing through down here, 1 Peter 2:11.  We are headed to a much better land, Philippians 1:23.  We are given a little glimpse of that homeland in the book of Revelation.  Let me just refresh your memories just a little.

                                                             i.      It is a Land of WorshipRevelation 4-5; Revelation 7:9-17 – It is a land where the redeemed ones will praise their Redeemer!

                                                          ii.      It is a Land of WondersRevelation 21-22 – Words cannot begin to describe that city! Walls of Jasper, gates of pearl, foundations of twelve precious stones; streets made of transparent gold; the presence of Jesus Christ and God the Father; and the presence of the saints of God; will make Heaven a land of wonderful beauty and glory.

                                                       iii.      It is a Land of Wellness Revelation 21:4 – There will be no tears, no pain, no suffering, no sickness and no death in that land. The problems and burdens of life which trouble us here will have no effect there. They will be banned at the gate – Revelation 21:27!


b.     Come share the Promise of a Hope – The phrase in verse 29, “will give it you” is filled with promise.  Moses is inviting Hobab to rest on the promises of the Lord.  Moses is saying, “There is hope for tomorrow! The Lord Himself has promised us that there are better things down the road!   That is the hope of the believer!  This world is a place of heartaches, trials and troubles, Job 14:1.  There is sickness, death, separation and hardship.  Praise God, there is coming a better day!  Let me tell you what’s in your future, if you are saved.

                                                             i.      There will be a Day of Rest – I have already touched on it, but there is coming a day of rest for the child of God.  You will lay down the burdens of this life and you will enter a place of peace, rest and safety, where you will never be troubled again! (Illustrated in Hebrews 4:9!)  Some of you have fought the battles and paid the price to live for the Lord.  You have carried the burden of the church, your family and your community!  There is coming a day of rest!  There is coming a day when you can lay down those burdens and fly off to glory!

                                                          ii.      There will be a Day of Reunion – Many have seen those they love leave this world in death.  It was a hard day when God called that loved one to glory.  The months and years that have passed haven’t dulled the pain and the emptiness you feel in your heart.  I want to remind you that there is coming a great reunion day, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.  There is coming a day when you will meet again, in the presence of God, and you will be with those who have outstripped you in this life. Even better than that is the fact that we will see and be with our Jesus!  We will look on the One Who died for our sins on the cross; the One Who saved us by His grace; the One Who washed our sins away in His precious blood! We will see Him one day!

                                                       iii.      There will be a Day of Reward – Others of you have served in faithful silence while others got all the glory.  People bragged about the work others did while you served in silence.  I want to remind you that God didn’t miss a thing you did.  He saw it all and He took good notes.  He knows every prayer you prayed.  He knows every meal you missed. He knows every dollar you gave.  He saw every cup of cold water given in His name, Matthew 10:29-32.  He sees it all! One day, He will balance the scales and those who have tooted their own horn; those who have received all the pats on the back; those who have be given the accolades of men, will watch their works burn to ashes, while you hear Jesus say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord


c.      Come share the Promise of a Help – Moses tells Hobab that God hath “spoken good concerning Israel”.  He is saying, “The Lord did not redeem us to abandon us in this wilderness. He will go with us; He will bless us and He will help us all the way to the Promised Land.

As we journey toward glory, we also have certain promises that we can count on.  We have a divine Helper in this life

                                                             i.      He Has Promised To Sustain Us – Just as He fed Israel in that wilderness with the Manna and the quail, He will take care of His children, Philippians 4:9; Matthew 6:25-34.

                                                          ii.      He Has Promised To Sanctify Us – He set Israel apart and made them a holy, separate people.  When He saved you and me, He did the very same thing for us!  He made us into a “new creature”, 2 Corinthians 5:17.  He expects us to walk “in newness of life”, Romans 6:4.  We do not have to live like the world any longer!  We can be different because He has enabled us to be different, Ephesians 2:1-10!


                                                       iii.      He Has Promised To Satisfy Us – Israel never was satisfied with what they received from the hand of God.  No matter how mush they were given, they always wanted more.  Those who learn to trust the Lord by faith will also learn that He can provide perfect satisfaction, Psalm 103:5; Psalm 107:9; Romans 8:28; 2 Corinthians 12:9.

                                                         iv.      He Has Promised To Secure Us – God did what He promised and He brought Israel safely through into the Promised Land. God did not save you to lose you along the way.  Just like Israel, “And he brought us out from thence, that he might bring us in, to give us the land which he sware unto our fathers”, Deuteronomy 6:23.  He saved us for a purpose and part of that purpose is to deliver us safely home to Heaven!  He saved us for keeps, John 6:37-40; John 10:28; 1 Peter 5:7; John 3:16.



CONCLUSION

When Hobab heard the invitation, his first response was to say “No”, verse 30.

But, we find that he changed his mind and went, Judges 1:16; 4:11.  
One of his descendants, a woman by the name of Jael, killed a Canaanite general by the name of Sisera, Judges 4:18-22.  So, Hobab accepted the invitation.  He was blessed along with Israel just as Moses promised him he would be.

      So, here is your invitation today, “Come with us!” Come with us to Heaven if you are not saved.  Come to Jesus and be saved.  Come with us as we serve the Lord.  He will bless you and He will bless us by your presence.  Come with us as we move into the future the Lord has for this church.  He has a plan for us and we can either go willingly and be blessed, or we can say “No” and miss out on all the blessings.

Has God spoken to you today?

Has He spoken to you about your soul?  Come to Jesus!

Has He spoken to you about your conduct and attitude at church?  Come to Jesus!

Has He spoken to you about some problem you are facing, or some need you have and you want to bring it to Him?  Come to Jesus!

Has He spoken to you about the need to go to others and say “Come with us”? Come to Jesus!

Whatever the need, don’t say “No” to God.  Say “Yes” to Him and come get the help you need from Him!