“But select from all the people some capable, honest men who fear God and hate bribes. Appoint them as leaders over groups of one thousand, one hundred, fifty, and ten.”—Exodus 18:21 NLT
Many sons hate the idea of working in the family business. Many
pastors’ daughters quit church after high school. These kids grew up
watching Dad build “the family business” or “the ministry.” Meanwhile,
Dad was depleted. Their families were robbed of time together.
The day before Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, said the words quoted in
the verse above, he had just returned with Moses’ wife and sons. Moses
had sent them away, and while the Bible doesn’t spell out the reasons
for their separation, there was tremendous conflict that preceded the
Moses told Jethro all that the Lord had done to bring deliverance and
provision as Israel fled Egypt. Jethro was so amazed by all God had
done, he was moved to make a public declaration of faith and praise by
offering God a sacrifice. “I know now that the Lord is greater than all
other gods,” Jethro declared.
While Jethro was amazed with all that God had done, he was a lot less
impressed with how Moses was running things; Moses was a one-man show.
“I inform the people of God’s decrees and give them His instruction,”
Moses says (Exodus 18:16 NLT). Jethro responds by basically saying,
“Well, this is not good. You’re not really getting much accomplished
doing this all by yourself. Your frustrating the people by making them
wait all day and exhausting yourself. Find some guys to help you. Train
them in the things God has shown you and then watch how much you ALL can get done” (Exodus 18:17-23).
Jethro, as the grandfather of Moses’s children, was invested and
keenly interested in the future of both Moses and Israel as a nation.
Their destinies were intertwined. Moses, as the leader of Israel, also
needed to be Moses the dad and leader of his family.
Pastor and author Gordon MacDonald says, “The legacy you leave is
dependent on the men you train, the men you do life together with, and
the relationships you invest into and nurture for balance.”
This principle works in so many areas of how we do church, work,
leadership, family, and community building. We’re called to steward this
balance. On our own, it can feel like juggling with fine china. But, in
the power and wisdom of the Holy Spirit, it looks, feels, and sounds
like a symphony.