Monday 23 April 2012

Bible Book:

"So Moses listened to his father-in-law and did all that he had said" (v. 24)

Exodus 18:1-27 Monday 23 April 2012

"So Moses listened to his father-in-law and did all that he hadsaid" (v. 24)


"The mountain of God" (verse 5), the place of meeting betweenMoses and Jethro, is Mount Sinai, also known as Horeb. It has ahighly significant place in faith history. It was at Sinai thatMoses had the encounter with God that changed his life, when hereceived his call to lead the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt(Exodus 3:1-12). At the time he was caring forhis father-in-law Jethro's sheep, but now as he meets Jethro, Mosesis the shepherd of a nation.

When the two men meet, Jethro is glad to hear how God hasdelivered the Israelites from slavery, and makes a sacrificialoffering to their God. It looks as if Jethro now shares the faithof his son-in-law, as Aaron and the elders of the nation would nothave eaten bread with a priest of other gods.

As shepherd of the people, Moses is in danger of wearing himselfout through overwork, as he sits in judgement on their disputes(verse 13). By his actions, he is also depriving the people of arapid solution to their problems. The wise older man gives himsound advice which will relieve him of some of the burden ofresponsibility (verses 17-23). He is to continue to act as theultimate authority, mediating between the people and God, but he isto appoint other men of faith to deal with more mundane matters.Rather than fall into a trap common to charismatic leaders, andbeing the only source of authority, delegating responsibility willprovide the people with the justice they need, and enable others toexercise their gifts of leadership and discernment.

Moses, the great leader, has the humility to accept advice, andthe remainder of the chapter (verses 24-26) tells how he put theadvice of Jethro into action.

To Ponder

How do you accept advice from others? Do youthink that doing so is a sign of weakness or strength?

Sometimes in churches, a very small number ofpeople take responsibility for most of the work. Is this true foryour congregation? How might you explain this passage to them?

What can you do to enable others to maximisetheir potential and use their gifts to the full?

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