Who might you consider to be one of the world’s greatest leaders? Why?
We see great leaders throughout church history as well. The Bible contains many stories of leaders who God used to do incredible things. We tend to glamorize leaders sometimes, but we must remember that these men and women are, like us, flawed in areas. None of us are perfect, thus none of us are perfect in leadership. Moses was one of those. Moses displayed great leadership through his service to the Lord and leading the people of Israel. However, he wasn’t perfect and needed assistance as well.
I. Wise leaders rejoice with others (Ex. 18:7-12)
7 Moses went out to meet his father-in-law and bowed down and kissed him. And they asked each other of their welfare and went into the tent. 8 Then Moses told his father-in-law all that the Lord had done to Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel’s sake, all the hardship that had come upon them in the way, and how the Lord had delivered them. 9 And Jethro rejoiced for all the good that the Lord had done to Israel, in that he had delivered them out of the hand of the Egyptians. 10 Jethro said, “Blessed be the Lord, who has delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians and out of the hand of Pharaoh and has delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians. 11 Now I know that the Lord is greater than all gods, because in this affair they dealt arrogantly with the people.” 12 And Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, brought a burnt offering and sacrifices to God; and Aaron came with all the elders of Israel to eat bread with Moses’ father-in-law before God.
In the first 6 verses of chapter 18, we see that Moses sent his wife and two sons to live with his father-in-law at some point during the events of the exodus. This is a reunion for Moses and his family.
Jethro gives an encouraging and celebratory response to Moses’ report concerning all that God had done unlike the Israelites, who tended to grumble. They were the ones who had witnessed what God had done. But for all they had seen, they still didn’t marvel at God’s power in the way that Jethro did from just hearing of God’s mighty works, The Israelites were too busy complaining.
As believers, we should always join in with others to celebrate what God is doing in their lives. We shouldn’t respond with spiritual jealousy, or complain. However, it is often in our sin nature that we complain.
Notice that Moses mentions hardships which they encountered, but he does not focus the story on the Israelites or himself. To Moses, the story that deserved to be told centered on God and His faithfulness rather than the Israelites and their faithlessness.
What does complaining and jealousy say about our hearts?
How does God revive honor when we rejoice at all that He is doing with others?
II. Wise leaders challenge others (Ex. 18:13-18)
13 The next day Moses sat to judge the people, and the people stood around Moses from morning till evening. 14 When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he was doing for the people, he said, “What is this that you are doing for the people? Why do you sit alone, and all the people stand around you from morning till evening?” 15 And Moses said to his father-in-law, “Because the people come to me to inquire of God; 16 when they have a dispute, they come to me and I decide between one person and another, and I make them know the statutes of God and his laws.” 17 Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “What you are doing is not good. 18 You and the people with you will certainly wear yourselves out, for the thing is too heavy for you. You are not able to do it alone.
Up until this point, Moses was serving as the sole judge for disputes among the people. This proved to be exhausting for Moses and everyone else. Jethro saw a solution in delegating the work.
By distributing the workload, God’s people would be much better off.
It ways did Jethro’s suggestion challenge Moses?
After taking Jethro’s advice, how would Moses’ delegation challenge others?
There is a blessing in everyone working together. It allows for a stronger church.
1 Cor. 12:4-7; 12-26.
III. Wise leaders share burdens with others (Ex. 18:24-27)
24 So Moses listened to the voice of his father-in-law and did all that he had said. 25 Moses chose able men out of all Israel and made them heads over the people, chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. 26 And they judged the people at all times. Any hard case they brought to Moses, but any small matter they decided themselves. 27 Then Moses let his father-in-law depart, and he went away to his own country.
Verse 24 shows Moses to be a man of wisdom and humility.
Verse 21 tells us the qualifications of those helping Moses, “look for able men from all the people, men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe.” Why are these characteristics important?
Verse 20 tells us that Moses was to teach these men, and they would, in turn, take what they learned and pour it into their service.
Who else used a similar pattern?
How is Moses’ relationship with these leaders mirrored in the church?
The picture of the church as the body of Christ shows us the interconnectedness of individual Christians, with each member dependent upon one another for growth and sanctification.
Why is it important to pour into the lives of others?
As believers, how do we bear one another’s burdens?