During the wilderness journey of the Israelites a significant transaction took place between Moses and an in-law named Hobab.
"Moses said unto Hobab...We are journeying unto the place of which the Lord said, I will give it you: come thou with us, and we will do you good." Hobab remonstrated that he did not want to go, but Moses insisted: "Leave us not, I pray thee; forasmuch as thou knowest how we are to encamp in the wilderness, and thou mayest be to us instead of eyes" (Numbers 10:29-32).
Imagine! Moses hired a guide to lead Israel through the wilderness! Hiring Hobab was a serious mistake and here is why:
God had already told Moses that He Himself would lead Israel into the promised land. "Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared" (Exodus 23:20).
God had also provided the wondrous cloud and fire to lead them (Numbers 9:15-23). So through the divinely appointed angel, and by means of the Ark of God, and the cloudy pillar, God Himself was guiding Israel through the wilderness. What need had they of Hobab’s eyes?
The Church of Christ also has her appointed Guide to lead her in her earthly journey. "The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you" (John 14:26).
Our safety and fruitfulness require only that we accept the leadership of God. He gives the Holy Spirit to them that obey Him (Acts 5:32). Blessing lies in the way of our submission and obedience.
What need do we have of Hobab’s eyes? None at all. Yet the Church has a whole army of Hobabs to which it looks eagerly for guidance and leadership. That Hobab has no place in the divine plan never seems to trouble us Christians at all. That Hobab is an intruder, and his eyes are not sharp enough to search out our path, is passed over by almost every one. God seems so far away. Hobab is so near at hand and easy to lean on, and Hobab gets the job of leading us.
Now, who is Hobab? How can we identify him? Hobab is anything gratuitously introduced into the holy work of God which does not have biblical authority for its existence. At first Hobab’s methods and means may seem an improvement over the Biblical pattern, and because it is new it catches on fast and spreads among the churches. Any one as popular as Hobab cannot be wrong, no matter how far he may be from the Word of God--thus reasons the deceived "carnal mind."
Hobab is not an individual. He is whatever causes us to lean less heavily upon God and look less trustfully to the guiding Spirit. Each one of us must look out for him in our own life and in our church. And when we discover him we must get rid of him at once.