April 13, 2023
THIS IS NOT GOOD!
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.”
Exodus 18:17-23 NLT
Moses’ father-in-law, Jethro, comes to visit Moses and bring back his wife and sons (Moses had sent them to the safety of Jethro’s home during the conflict in Egypt). Jethro observes something that bothers him, and he offers Moses some advice. The practice was that anyone who had a problem with another person would come to Moses to get it solved. The people would line up early in the morning and wait all day while Moses heard every dispute. Jethro told Moses this was not good. He said it was too much pressure on one guy and too slow for the people. So, Jethro offers the first plan of delegated authority in the Bible. He encourages Moses to teach the people God’s decrees and show them how to conduct their lives. Then select capable, honest men who can lead over a thousand, a hundred, fifty, and ten. Evidently some have leadership skills for a thousand and some have leadership skills for ten. The idea was that minor disputes could be settled on the lowest level possible. Moses would then only be concerned with the big issues. This suggestion has become one of the great models for leadership in any organization. The person at the top teaches the principles of the organization and shows people how to implement those principles. When there is a problem, it is handled at the lowest level possible. We should be learning the principles of God for ourselves. We should desire to know what steps we need to take because God has given us the written Word and the living Spirit within us. There are times we will need the wisdom of others to make a good decision. But a lot of our decisions should be made because we have applied God’s Word to our situation. We don’t need a daily word from someone else to live our lives.
Holy Spirit please help me to be a student of Your Word. Help me know how to apply Your Word to my daily life. Help me to know when to seek wisdom from others on how to apply Your truth.
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