One day Moses said to his brother-in-law, Hobab son of Reuel the Midianite, “We are on our way to the place the Lord promised us, for he said, ‘I will give it to you.’ Come with us and we will treat you well, for the Lord has promised wonderful blessings for Israel!”
But Hobab replied, “No, I will not go. I must return to my own land and family.”
“Please don’t leave us,” Moses pleaded. “You know the places in the wilderness where we should camp. Come, be our guide.” (Numbers 10:29-31)
Relate: “The only book I will ever need to read is the Bible.” I am sure it wasn’t the first time I had heard such a statement, but thinking back now, I can’t remember an earlier occurrence. I was visiting a friend who lived in a small rural town. One of the volunteer leaders was speaking in the youth group that night and as soon as he said it, my mind latched hold. I knew this speaker fairly well through my friend and I did respect him and admire his passion and heart. But that statement didn’t sit well with me.
I was one of those high school students others tended to hate. I hated studying of any sort and I did not really need it. Classes that required a lot of homework I would tend to B and classes that were more test/quiz/paper based would be an easy A. My mindset was that studying was a waste of time. Even still, when I heard this youth leader make that comment, I couldn’t buy it. I think that was the moment I began down the road towards a pushback against the anti-intellectualism so prevalent in many Christian circles. More than any other, I personally believe willful ignorance is the most God dishonoring sin a Christian can commit.
React: Moses was speaking regularly with God in a way we cannot even imagine today. God pretty much verbally dictated to him huge segments of the opening books of the Bible and also told him how to lay down the foundations for the political, cultural, and spiritual formation of the Hebrew people. Nobody else this side of Jesus can be said to have come close to having that amount of instruction in both detail and volume straight from the mouth of God. Beyond that, there was a pillar of cloud during daylight hours and another of fire after dusk to lead the people wherever they were to go. There is no possible way Moses or the people could ever feign ignorance of the will of God.
Even still, Moses actively sought the help and the advice of a local guide to help them in their trek through the region. If ever there was someone who could say, I don’t need any other help, Moses was it. But he was wiser than that. He was godlier than that. What level of arrogance and stupidity are we displaying when we do not seek out wisdom and sound advice from every source available? I think Spurgeon said it best when he advised, “Visit many books but live in the Bible.”
I am so thankful for all the many ways You reveal Yourself. I am thankful for the way I can learn more about You as Creator not just from scripture but also through getting into and studying nature. I am thankful I can know You better as the Great Physician not just from watching You heal but also by learning biology. I am thankful I can know You as the most brilliant of architects by studying physics and understanding the laws You set in place. Keep me far away from the lazy sin of willful ignorance. Let me get help in learning both You and what You would have from me from every source imaginable.