Exodus 18 – Take My Advice


Have you been in a situation where you felt you knew everything? That you may not need anyone’s help? Well, Moses might have been a similar situation. God uses other people to help us and we have to be willing to listen. Let’s see what Jethro’s advice was to Moses. ________________________________
Jethro’s Visit to Moses 18 Moses’ father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian, heard about everything God had done for Moses and his people, the Israelites. He heard especially about how the Lord had rescued them from Egypt.
2 Earlier, Moses had sent his wife, Zipporah, and his two sons back to Jethro, who had taken them in. 3 (Moses’ first son was named Gershom,[a] for Moses had said when the boy was born, “I have been a foreigner in a foreign land.” 4 His second son was named Eliezer,[b] for Moses had said, “The God of my ancestors was my helper; he rescued me from the sword of Pharaoh.”) 5 Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, now came to visit Moses in the wilderness. He brought Moses’ wife and two sons with him, and they arrived while Moses and the people were camped near the mountain of God. 6 Jethro had sent a message to Moses, saying, “I, Jethro, your father-in-law, am coming to see you with your wife and your two sons.”
7 So Moses went out to meet his father-in-law. He bowed low and kissed him. They asked about each other’s welfare and then went into Moses’ tent. 8 Moses told his father-in-law everything the Lord had done to Pharaoh and Egypt on behalf of Israel. He also told about all the hardships they had experienced along the way and how the Lord had rescued his people from all their troubles. 9 Jethro was delighted when he heard about all the good things the Lord had done for Israel as he rescued them from the hand of the Egyptians.
10 “Praise the Lord,” Jethro said, “for he has rescued you from the Egyptians and from Pharaoh. Yes, he has rescued Israel from the powerful hand of Egypt! 11 I know now that the Lord is greater than all other gods, because he rescued his people from the oppression of the proud Egyptians.”
12 Then Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, brought a burnt offering and sacrifices to God. Aaron and all the elders of Israel came out and joined him in a sacrificial meal in God’s presence.
Jethro’s Wise Advice 13 The next day, Moses took his seat to hear the people’s disputes against each other. They waited before him from morning till evening.
14 When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he asked, “What are you really accomplishing here? Why are you trying to do all this alone while everyone stands around you from morning till evening?”
15 Moses replied, “Because the people come to me to get a ruling from God. 16 When a dispute arises, they come to me, and I am the one who settles the case between the quarreling parties. I inform the people of God’s decrees and give them his instructions.”
17 “This is not good!” Moses’ father-in-law exclaimed. 18 “You’re going to wear yourself out—and the people, too. This job is too heavy a burden for you to handle all by yourself. 19 Now listen to me, and let me give you a word of advice, and may God be with you. You should continue to be the people’s representative before God, bringing their disputes to him. 20 Teach them God’s decrees, and give them his instructions. Show them how to conduct their lives. 21 But select from all the people some capable, honest men who fear God and hate bribes. Appoint them as leaders over groups of one thousand, one hundred, fifty, and ten. 22 They should always be available to solve the people’s common disputes, but have them bring the major cases to you. Let the leaders decide the smaller matters themselves. They will help you carry the load, making the task easier for you. 23 If you follow this advice, and if God commands you to do so, then you will be able to endure the pressures, and all these people will go home in peace.”
24 Moses listened to his father-in-law’s advice and followed his suggestions. 25 He chose capable men from all over Israel and appointed them as leaders over the people. He put them in charge of groups of one thousand, one hundred, fifty, and ten. 26 These men were always available to solve the people’s common disputes. They brought the major cases to Moses, but they took care of the smaller matters themselves.
27 Soon after this, Moses said good-bye to his father-in-law, who returned to his own land. ___________________
Just imagine being in charge of the entire people of Israel. I’m stressed just thinking about it. God helped Moses throughout this time but just imagine everyone coming to you when they had something to say: “Moses she said this and he said that,” “Moses! This batch of manna tastes weird”, and “Moses, where’s the complaint department?”
Jethro had some advice for Moses. He had suggested that Moses have delegates throughout the people to help lead. In verse 26 it says how the leaders took care of the smaller problems and brought bigger conflicts to Moses. I’m sure this new organization was stress relieving to Moses.
I remember in high school I tried to lead a Christian club all by myself. I tried taking on these different types of ministry projects but I soon became overwhelmed. I had forgot the Morning Prayer group, the campus recycling fundraiser, and my grades where dropping. A few friends had noticed and told me to slow down and let others help. After this things started to run smoothly.
There are times in our lives where we think we can handle it all but in all reality we need to slow down and take a break. Is life stressful? Yes. Are we in this alone? No. God has blessed us with friends and family to help us along the way. Face it – we don’t know it all and we can’t do it all. It reminds me of Ecclesiastes 4:10, “If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.” I believe that God has put your friends/family into your life’s path for a reason – to help you and for you to help them.
May we become the people God would have us be.
Angel Rivero
Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
Advertisements

Tell us what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s