Moses is continuing on in his reminding Israel of where they have come from. He revisits the appointing of leaders within the tribes.
This event happened as a result of Moses’ father in law visiting him in the camp. Moses was busy from dawn to dusk hearing the issues of the people. He alone was rendering judgement on ANY grievance that arose. He had NO time for anything else. Jethro knew there had to be a better way and he gave Moses the structure he ultimately used.
Jethro was not an Israelite but he was a man of God and God used him to help Moses. I don’t know if anyone else had approached Moses about dividing the workload. It is probable that others had complained about Moses having too much power but none of them had brought him a solution. Some might have had some good ideas but they were not in the same position that Jethro was.
Jethro was an authority figure over Moses. He had been caring for Moses’ family in his absence. He was the man who had welcomed Moses into his family when he was on the run. Moses had experienced Jethro’s wisdom first hand. Moses knew he could trust him and that he was a man of God.
Seeing all that was going on in the camp, Jethro instructed Moses in the art of delegation. I firmly believe Jethro was acting on God’s prompting. Moses needed to step back so he could step away when God called. There is NO WAY Moses could have gone up the mountain if things had stayed the way they were. He had NO time for himself and even less time for quiet time with God.
This format presented by God through Jethro would be the order of things for Israel until the time of the kings. Brothers judged between brothers righteously. Their most difficult issues were brought up the chain of command. There were appointed “wise and experienced men” as heads over the tribes. “Commanders of hundreds, commanders of fifties, commanders of tens and officers” (verse 15b). Order and structure for the people.
I love how God uses people in our lives to bring us wisdom we would otherwise be oblivious to or reject. God knew the exact person that could talk to Moses this way. He gave Jethro the blueprint to give to Moses. I don’t know if this was a format Jethro had personally used before or if God gave it to him just for Israel but it was a GREAT plan. The people even accepted it right away. And this was a group who fought tooth and nail about everything. I wonder if Moses realized the true author of this plan.
Father God, thank You for sending people into my life that have been able to tell me things I wouldn’t otherwise have listened to. One of those lessons was how when I got angry I became irrational and illogical in my desire to have my OWN way. I wasn’t ready to hear that until my mom pointed it out AFTER I had calmed down enough to hear it. I learned a lesson that day that has stayed with me and helped me immensely. Thank You God and thank you mom!
Thank You also Father for putting those in authority over me. I don’t always like the people occupying those offices but I respect their position. I know that You are able to direct any leader to the path You want them to go. Please direct our leaders today from the cop on the street to the President in the White House. Lead them in YOUR ways Lord. Take us where You will.