S: Exodus 18:13-27
The next day, Moses took his seat to hear the people’s disputes against each other. They waited before him from morning till evening.
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?”
Moses replied, “Because the people come to me to get a ruling from God. 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.”
“This is not good!” Moses’ father-in-law exclaimed. “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. 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. Teach them God’s decrees, and give them his instructions. Show them how to conduct their lives. 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. 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. 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.”
Moses listened to his father-in-law’s advice and followed his suggestions. 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.
Soon after this, Moses said good-bye to his father-in-law, who returned to his own land.
O: Moses was the true anointed prophet of God, confirmed by great signs and wonders. He had just succeeded in being God’s instrument in overcoming Pharaoh and freeing the Children of Israel.
Yet here, he needed the advice of Jethro to delegate his responsibilities to adjudicate disputes between people. Jethro was a new believer, as he had just been convinced by the miracle of the Exodus that YHWH is the one true God, as evidenced by what he said in Verse 11. Yet, even in his human wisdom, he had something worthwhile and correct for Moses to learn from.
A: One can be a true servant of God, truly anointed by God for His purposes, yet even a new Christian can be used of God to advise one.
We need to be always humble to consider input from others.
P: Father, help me to keep an open mind when other people give me advice. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Image credit: http://www.scienceofcorrespondences.com/jethro-s-advice-to-moses.htm
Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)