Telling of God’s wondrous works is good to the use of edifying.
What we have the joy of, let God have the praise of,
thereby confirming others to faith and encouraging them to real worship.
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:
5 And Jethro, Moses’ father in law, came with his sons and his wife unto Moses into the wilderness, where he encamped at the mount of God:
6 And he said unto Moses, I thy father in law Jethro am come unto thee, and thy wife, and her two sons with her.
7 ¶ And Moses went out to meet his father in law, and did obeisance, and kissed him; and they asked each other of their welfare; and they came into the tent.
8 And Moses told his father in law all that the LORD had done unto Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel’s sake, and all the travail that had come upon them by the way, and how the LORD delivered them.
9 And Jethro rejoiced for all the goodness which the LORD had done to Israel, whom he had delivered out of the hand of the Egyptians.
10 And Jethro said, Blessed be the LORD, who hath delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of Pharaoh, who hath delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians.
11 Now I know that the LORD is greater than all gods: for in the thing wherein they dealt proudly he was above them.
12 And Jethro, Moses’ father in law, took a burnt offering and sacrifices for God: and Aaron came, and all the elders of Israel, to eat bread with Moses’ father in law before God.
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 enquire 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 shew 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.
25 And Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people, rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.
26 And they judged the people at all seasons: the hard causes they brought unto Moses, but every small matter they judged themselves.
27 ¶ And Moses let his father in law depart; and he went his way into his own land.
Exodus 1 – J. Vernon McGee
Exodus 18:1-12 – Moses Tells Jethro of God’s Goodness
The names that Moses gave his two sons betray the drift of his thoughts during the forty years of his shepherd life. May we ever remember that we are strangers here, and our only help is in God. How humble Moses was in attributing to God all the glory of the Exodus! This is the sure cure of pride; and what are we but the axe that lies at the tree-foot, or the dry jaw-bone of an ass! Jethro belonged to another type of the religious life. He was not one of the chosen people, nor did he follow the methods of Jewish worship. But holy souls recognize their kinship the world over, and in loving embrace disregard the minor disagreements. “Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity” (Ephesians 6:24). —Through the Bible Day by Day
Exodus 18:13-27 – Moses Appoints Rulers to Judge Israel
Jethro’s frank acknowledgment of God’s supremacy and lovingkindness was extremely beautiful. Oh, for more wisdom to discern, and humble reverence to acknowledge the divine goodness wherever we encounter it. His advice also was most sagacious. It is far better to set a thousand people to work than attempt to do the work of a thousand. The greatest and most useful men are those who know how to devolve on others work for which these are quite competent, while they concentrate themselves on matters of the highest moment, which the others cannot undertake. Thus character is created. It is the highest service of all to bring men’s requests and causes to God, and then to show them the way in which they should walk and the work they should do. In the best sense this is what Jesus does for us all. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Exodus 18:23 – And God command thee so.
It was good and sound advice that Jethro gave his son-in-law. It could hardly have been better. It is always better to set one hundred men to work than attempt to do the work of one hundred men. There is no greater art in the world than to develop the latent capacities of those around us by yoking them to useful service. But good though the advice obviously was, Jethro carefully guarded Moses against adopting it, unless the Lord had been consulted, and had commanded it.
Let us test human advice.—There are plenty of voices that advise us, and each has some nostrum for our health, some direction for our path. Some are true guides, whom God has sent to us, as Jethro to Moses. Often an onlooker can see mistakes we are making, and can suggest something better. But we are wise to get alone into the holy presence of God, and ask what He commands, what is his will.
Let us test human teachings—So full is the world of voices, so bewildering the din of religious schools and sects! The Apostle was justified in advising us to prove all things, and to try the spirits, whether they were of God. There are four tests for truth: what glorifies Christ; what humbles the flesh; what is in accord with the Word of God; and what has stood the trial of Christian experience in the past.
There is no teacher like God, and we may always detect his voice. It is small and still; it casts down imagination, and brings our thoughts into the captivity of Jesus; it is definite and distinct. When there is an indistinct murmur of many sounds along the wire, you may be sure that you are not in communication with your Fathers person. When He speaks, there is no mistaking his voice or his will. —Our Daily Homily