“‘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.'”
– Exodus 18:17-18 NLT
Father-in-laws can give some really good advice. Think about this . . . they raised and reared the woman that’s the prized jewel of our life. Jethro gave his son-in-law Moses some great advice.
Moses, a great leader of the nation of Israel, was getting overwhelmed with with the burdens of oversight. Jethro discerned the dibiltating and potentially disasterous effect looming over Moses, his family and the people of Israel. He took initiative and imparted some wise insight to the nations struggling leader.
Moses was up early and down late. People were asking and Moses was answering. Every dispute . . . small or large was left to Moses. Jethro “saw all that Moses was doing for the people, and 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?’” (Ex 18:14 NLT). The burden was too heavy to carry alone and Jethro knew how Moses could be blessed . . . and be a blessing to others.
Learn To Submit. Paul reminds the Christ-followers in Ephesus what following includes, “And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (Eph 5:21 NLT). Jethro had some great suggestions . . . but, Moses had to choose to submit. True submission is not intimidation . . . but an invitation to yield. Jethro said, “If you do this, God will direct you, you will be able to endure, and all this people also will go to their place in peace.” (Ex18:23 ESV) True submission delegates power to deliver peace.
Learn To Surrender. Sometimes someone else has better a better idea. Instead of fighting . . . we need to follow. Ramsey writes, “In love, we should give advice, even when that advice is tough. We should not be too quick to give advice without understanding a situation fully though.” Proverbs tells us, “Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.” (Prov19:20 ESV). Moses surrender his routine to Jethro’s recommendation.
Learn To Share. Jethro encouraged Moses to identify men of integrity who could share the load of leadership. He insightfully shares, “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.” (Ex18:22 NLT). We were not created to be isolated or to act alone.
When we’re wearing ourselves out . . . it’s a good time to submit, to surrender and maybe share with those who care . . . and the One who cares most. Peter reminds us, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.” (1 Pet 5:7 NLT)