But Moses said, "Please do not leave us. You know where we should camp in the wilderness, and you can be our eyes. If you come with us, we will share with you whatever good things the Lord gives us." Numbers 10:31&32 NIV
Moses said these words to his brother-in-law, Hobab. As he was preparing to lead his people through a very difficult part of their journey, Moses appealed to Hobab to go with them. But Hobab's initial response was that he had planned to return to his own land and his own people. Hobab was not an Israelite - he was a Midianite. He felt more comfortable with people who were like him.
That is quite normal. Most of us gravitate to people like us. It is easier to communicate, socialize and collaborate with people from similar backgrounds and beliefs. It's human nature.
But sometimes our opportunity resides among people that we do not know and people who are different from us. There are times when we do better with foreigners than we do locals - with strangers than friends. At first Hobab didn't see the opportunity because he did not realize his own value.
It often takes a stranger to help us see our real value. It can be true that people who are different than us can identify talent that we never knew we had. Moses was from a different ethnic background than Hobab and understood how important it was for his people to have access to Hobab's ability to navigate the wilderness. Moses said that Hobab could be "their eyes." That ability was so valuable that Moses guaranteed Hobab a portion of everything God would give him and his people.
We should not miss opportunity because we have limited ourselves to people and situations that are familar. Hobab changed his mind, changed his affiliation and shared in the blessing that God had promised Moses.
"God, open my eyes and help me see the opportunity that comes with new people who may be different. Amen."