13The next day Moses took his seat to serve as judge for the people, and they stood round him from morning till evening. 14When his father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he said, ‘What is this you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge, while all these people stand round you from morning till evening?’ 15Moses answered him, ‘Because the people come to me to seek God’s will. 16Whenever they have a dispute, it is brought to me, and I decide between the parties and inform them of God’s decrees and instructions.’ 17Moses’ father-in-law replied, ‘What you are doing is not good. 18You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone. 19Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you. You must be the people’s representative before God and bring their disputes to him. 20Teach them his decrees and instructions, and show them the way they are to live and how they are to behave. 21But select capable men from all the people – men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain – and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. 22Let them serve as judges for the people at all times, but let them bring every difficult case to you; the simple cases they can decide themselves. That will make your load lighter, because they will share it with you. 23If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied.’ 24Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said. 25He chose capable men from all Israel and made them leaders of the people, officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. 26They served as judges for the people at all times. The difficult cases they brought to Moses, but the simple ones they decided themselves. 27Then Moses sent his father-in-law on his way, and Jethro returned to his own country. (Exodus 18:13 – 27)
We have now considered eight Disciplines: Bible Study, Spiritual Warfare, Prayer, Fasting, Worship, Fellowship, Service and Stewardship. As we enter the last week before Passion Week and continue to consider the theme God’s Glory, we have three more Disciplines to cover: Counsel, Creation and Sabbath. We will start with Counsel.
Based on our discussions of the Discipline of Counsel over the last few years, it is clear that many of us approach seeking advice with a fair amount of hesitation. It is not always clear to us that soliciting advice will result in God’s glory. The hesitation is understandable but it is important that we do not avoid this Discipline altogether. To encourage us to use this Discipline more, over the next two days we will consider two necessary underpinnings of God glorifying Counsel: 1) Humility and 2) Discernment.
The story captured in our passage today, describes an interaction between Moses and his father-in-law, Jethro. As you read this, recall that Moses had already developed a special relationship with God that allowed him extraordinary access and direct exposure to God’s miraculous works in rescuing the Children of Israel from Egypt. In contrast, Jethro had only recently acknowledged God’s greatness. Yet, God in His wisdom honored Jethro’s counsel to Moses. Fortunately, Moses was humble enough to take the advice Jethro offered.
Please prayerfully reflect on the Bible passage above and answer the question below.
What are your ideas for fostering the kind of humility that facilitates receiving wise advice?