Exodus 18:1 "When Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses' father in law, heard of all that God had done for Moses, and for Israel his people, and that the LORD had brought Israel out of Egypt; 2 Then Jethro, Moses' father in law, took Zipporah, Moses' wife, after he had sent her back, 3 And her two sons; of which the name of the one was Gershom; for he said, I have been an alien in a strange land: 4 And the name of the other was Eliezer; for the God of my father, said he, was mine help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh:"
Remember in Chapter 4 when Zipporah circumcised her boys to save the life of Moses? She evidently did not proceed on into Egypt with Moses at that time but returned home to her father, Jethro. Jethro heard of Israel's great escape and brought Moses' family back to him. Moses told his father-in-law of the great wonders God had worked in bringing them out of Egypt. Evidently, even though Jethro was the priest of Midian, he had not believed Moses' God could deliver the Israelites from Egypt when Moses announced his command to go to Egypt. In verse 11 he said, "Now I know that the Lord is greater than all gods:" He then offered a sacrifice to God. Notice that a big commotion is made over Moses' father-in-law here but nothing is said about his reunion with his wife and sons. Makes you wonder if he was glad to see them!
Exodus 18:13 "And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses sat to judge the people: and the people stood by Moses from the morning unto the evening. 14 And when Moses' father in law saw all that he did to the people, he said, What is this thing that thou doest to the people? why sittest thou thyself alone, and all the people stand by thee from morning unto even? 15 And Moses said unto his father in law, Because the people come unto me to inquire of God: 16 When they have a matter, they come unto me; and I judge between one and another, and I do make them know the statutes of God, and his laws. 17 And Moses' father in law said unto him, The thing that thou doest is not good. 18 Thou wilt surely wear away, both thou, and this people that is with thee: for this thing is too heavy for thee; thou art not able to perform it thyself alone. 19 Hearken now unto my voice, I will give thee counsel, and God shall be with thee: Be thou for the people to God-ward, that thou mayest bring the causes unto God: 20 And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt show them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do. 21 Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens: 22 And let them judge the people at all seasons: and it shall be, that every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge: so shall it be easier for thyself, and they shall bear the burden with thee. 23 If thou shalt do this thing, and God command thee so, then thou shalt be able to endure, and all this people shall also go to their place in peace. 24 So Moses hearkened to the voice of his father in law, and did all that he had said."
As Moses sat to judge dusputes among the people the next day, his father-in-law bacame concerned
about his welfare. He asked Moses why he was wearing himself out like that. Moses' replied
because the people came to him to inquire of God. So Jethro took it upon himself to give Moses
some advise. He told him to find men of truth that feared God to judge the smaller matters and
he would only have to judge the big disputes. This advise appealed to Moses and he took it
without inquiring of God first. God did not institute this body of Judges. Out of this
court came the 70, the Sanhedrin that later plotted to take the life of the Son of God!
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Do you ever feel like you are trekking through the desert alone? Due to Jethro's advise, Moses began to feel he was carrying to large a load. He began to feel alone in his role of Judge in the desert. Even though Jethro meant well and had his son-in-law's interest at heart, his counsel was not of God. Neither of them prayed and asked God if this was the right thing to do. Be very careful my friend for Satan will come to you when you are feeling overwhelmed and his advise may even come through a close friend or loved one. So be sure to pray about all the major decisions in your life!
I PETER 5:8 "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:"
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