May 2, 2018: Day 18 – Exodus 18

One of the hallmarks of the Presbyterian system, which really works by the way, is the presence of committees.  The purpose of committees is to take decision making away from an individual and place it in the hands of the people themselves.  Every single program and event that takes place in this church has, or at least should have, a home in a committee.  That provides ownership, it provides responsibility, it provides oversight.  Moses had a problem.  He was doing all the work himself, and specifically, he was deciding the fate of every single thing that took place within the Israelite community.  If someone stole a neighbor’s newspaper, let’s go to Moses and see what we are supposed to do about it.  If someone murdered a neighbor, let’s go to Moses and see what we are supposed to do about it.  Remember, this is before the law.  There were no guidelines, there were no ten commandments, there was only Moses who led them out of Egypt in the name of the Lord.

Apparently Moses had a relationship with his father-in-law that was one of a mentor-student.  He must have been fairly wealthy.  He provides the elders of Israel with a feast as he brings burnt offerings to the Lord.  Don’t overlook that.  He is a foreigner who worshiped foreign gods, so in a sense he is saying: “Moses, you were right, the God of Israel is the one and only true God.”  This is a huge step for someone like Jethro.  He is someone who is very grateful that Moses was able to bring his daughter and his grandchildren out of Egypt.  In that context he is able to speak to Moses and provide him with invaluable insight.  He approaches it not as a suggestion, but he says: “What you are doing is not good.”  There is no mincing of words here, Moses, you are doing things wrong.  You need to change.

He actually had a point and Moses puts things into action as a result.  

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