As a teenager, when I was studying for exams, I used to leave all my books out when I finished for the night, as I would be starting from the same point the next morning. Why waste time tidying up, just to get it all out again? Made sense to me. Highly annoying though for my parents who had to look at the mess after I’d gone to bed! Think I would have made a good Time Management Consultant!
Just what Moses needed, and what God provided in his visiting father-in-law (Exodus 18:13-27). Jethro took one look at Moses, judging all the disputes arising between the Israelite people, and saw change was needed. He suggested using other honest people to judge the simpler cases, and leave the difficult ones to Moses. This was before God had given them the Ten Commandments, so how would they know right from wrong? Moses had a special relationship with God, and could listen to his direction, but what about these others? I believe God has written his laws on the tablets of our hearts. These other chosen guys, were ones who had practised tuning it to that, and so had discernment. As a result they could be trusted to make just decisions.
Jethro was just a visitor, but he transformed their lives. The changes were good for Moses, but they were also good for the people who no longer had to hang around waiting their turn. It was efficient, time-saving, energy-saving common sense.
I wonder if Moses found it hard to accept the criticism; did he struggle with pride? God knew his needs even before he did, and provided wise counsel in his father-in-law. But I wonder if Jethro struggled to speak out his thoughts to this exalted leader. And those called to serve as under-judges, did they feel apprehensive? Was confidence an issue for these whose only qualification was a right heart?
Matthew 6:8 “Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” Those overburdened should never be ashamed to accept offers of help. And those with a word of wisdom should not be afraid to speak out. And those who are called to help should not feel they are unqualified, for God has a way of equipping us. God’s kingdom should be run efficiently, which often means we get challenged. Change is rarely easy, but God knows what we need long before we do. And he will provide. We have to be ready and willing to accept it.