Friday, October 20, 2006

Exodus 18

Exodus 18: Moses’ father-in-law gives him some advice

Synopsis

In this chapter Moses’ father-in-law, Jethro, comes to visit him. He brings with him Moses’ wife and sons, and they meet Moses in the desert, where the Israelites are camping. (I’m not 100% sure, but based on what I’m reading in verses 1–6, I think that Moses had sent his wife and sons to live with Jethro, when he returned to Egypt. And now that he has left Egypt, they are reuniting.)

After Moses and Jethro have greeted each other, Moses tells Jethro about all that the LORD has done for the Israelites, and when Jethro hears it, he is “delighted” (verse 9).

He said, “Praise be to the LORD, who rescued you from the hand of the Egyptians and of Pharaoh, and who rescued the people from the hand of the Egyptians. Now I know that the LORD is greater than all other gods, for he did this to those who had treated Israel arrogantly.” Then Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, brought a burnt offering and other sacrifices to God, and Aaron came with all the elders of Israel to eat bread with Moses’ father-in-law in the presence of God. (verses 10–12)

The next day, Jethro accompanies Moses “to work” (not a quote), and watches Moses serving as judge for the people. Any of the people who have problems come to Moses, and he seeks God’s will about it. When Jethro sees this, he suggests that Moses appoint others who can help in the task of judging; they can handle the easier disputes, and bring the more difficult ones to Moses. This way, Moses doesn’t have to wear himself out solving every single problem that every single person in Israel has.

So this is what Moses does. After that, Jethro heads back to his own country. (I assume that Moses’ wife and children stay with Moses.)

Thoughts

I don’t have much to say about this, except that Jethro had some good advice for Moses. Advice that many of us could/should take; people often have trouble delegating. The direct application of this passage would be for church ministry leaders: just because you’re the “leader”, doesn’t mean you have to do all of the work. You should be letting other leaders, and members of your ministry, help in the work. You may have special gifts, that enable you to carry out your ministry, but you can also use those gifts wisely to find people to help you with it.

Just something to think about.
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