Wednesday, March 10th

The next day Moses sat as judge for the people, while the people stood around him from morning until evening. When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he was doing for the people, he said, “What is this that you are doing for the people? Why do you sit alone, while all the people stand around you from morning until evening?” Moses said to his father-in-law, “Because the people come to me to inquire of God. When they have a dispute, they come to me and I decide between one person and another, and I make known to them the statutes and instructions of God.”  Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “What you are doing is not good. You will surely wear yourself out, both you and these people with you. For the task is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone. Now listen to me. I will give you counsel, and God be with you! You should represent the people before God, and you should bring their cases before God; teach them the statutes and instructions and make known to them the way they are to go and the things they are to do.  You should also look for able men among all the people, men who fear God, are trustworthy, and hate dishonest gain; set such men over them as officers over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. Let them sit as judges for the people at all times; let them bring every important case to you, but decide every minor case themselves. So it will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you. If you do this, and God so commands you, then you will be able to endure, and all these people will go to their home in peace.”  Exodus 18:13-23


WARNING:  I’m going to start this devotion today but performing something called “eisegesis.”  Eisegesis is a naughty no-no for Bible interpreters, it means reading something into a text that isn’t there.  Frankly, I probably do it too much but I thought it would be fun this morning to at least admit it.  Because I see a personal connection to this story that really speaks to me.


I think Jethro was a special man in Moses’ life. 


Remember Moses’ childhood?  Set adrift by his mother in a papyrus basket to protect his life?  Rescued by the Egyptian princess who then chose Moses’ mother to be his nurse.  When I read that story, the missing person is Moses’ father.  Nothing more is said of him.  He’s never mentioned again.


That part matters to me as I too grew up without a father.  I didn’t meet my father until I was 15 and, even though we reconciled eventually and I harbor no resentments toward him or his memory today, I remember well the “father-sized hole” he left in my soul that no one else could replace.  I wonder if Moses felt that same hole.


Once I met my first wife and we got married, my father-in-law became an emotionally important man in my life…and he probably doesn’t realize it.  It meant the world to me that he and his wife would travel to Houston to (check up on) visit us.  I felt a great pride in showing him the life we were building.  I cared about his opinions and I valued his wisdom.  I wonder if Moses felt the same way when Jethro came to visit.


I wonder as well if that “fatherlessness” that was part of Moses’ life contributed to his self doubt, his worries about his inadequacies as a leader.  And I wonder if it left him with a constant need to prove his worth even if it meant bearing a disproportionate amount of the work of leadership among the Hebrew people.  I just wonder about things like that.


So I join Moses in appreciating Jethro’s sage advice about a wise leader exercising that leadership by sharing it.  That is a good model for leadership in any walk of life.


It is also another lesson from the wilderness – when you feel overwhelmed, share your burdens with others and the load will naturally lessen.


Let us pray:  Gracious Lord, we thank you today for the people who share our lives, those who cross our paths along the way, and those who stand by us ready to share the burdens which weigh us down.  Thank you for the wisdom of the “Jethro’s” in our lives who help us see that to which we are blind.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.



2 Responses to “Wednesday, March 10th”

  1. LC Says:

    Wonderful comments today Pastor Nelson. I read these posts every day and would appreciate even more of the eisegesis. I am trying to understand the Bible and your comments are terrific insights. Thank you.

  2. Ron Says:

    Roya jan,I got the bassinet, but he grew out of it beorfe 3th month, both weight-wise and activity-wise. My son was very active and he tried to hold on to the rim to sit down! Moses basket probably has less life than the bassinet. I also got a pack and play (a square shape, not rectangle) and even now I use it when I travel as a bed, but I don’t think it’s necessarily very comfortable for baby to sleep in it for nights in a row. Maybe a not so expensive bassinet is a good solution for the first months.

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