“The next day Moses took his seat to serve as judge for the people, and they stood around him from morning till evening. When 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 around you from morning till evening?’ Moses answered him, ‘Because the people come to me to seek God’s will. Whenever they have a dispute, it is brought to me, and I decide between the parties and inform them of God’s decrees and laws.’ Moses’ father-in-law replied, ‘What you are doing is not good. You and these who people come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone. Listen 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. Teach them the decrees and laws, and show them the way to live and the duties they are to perform. But 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. Have them serve as judges for the people at all times, but have 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. If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied.’ Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said.” (Exodus18:13–24)
Moses received good advice from Jethro, his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. Moses was attempting to do too much for the people and did not allow hem to do enough for themselves. Jethro advised him to choose capable and trustworthy men to share the judging responsibility. This change would remove the strain from Moses life and also please the people. The more difficult decisions would still be brought to Moses for his wise judgment.
Ministers today would do will to heed Jethro’s advice as Moses did. He decided to share his ministry with others. God later told Moses that Israel was to be a kingdom of priests (Exodus 19:6). Likewise, Christians are called “to be a holy priesthood.”
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, the laity of our church’s have such people that can take a load off of the priest, pastor, minister, etc., and provide a wealth of knowledge and wise decision-making. Jethro’s advice to Moses was to select people who are God-fearing, trustworthy people who hate dishonest gain and appoint t hem to help with the load of questions and wise decisions that need to be made. Abba, these people need instruction in Your decrees and laws, and must be able to model the life you want us all to model. It is in Jesus’ precious name that we pray for these people to be revealed, instruction and training being provided and they are allowed to help out with the load we all have in our church families and all this for Your glory alone. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Beloved, everything is difficult before it becomes easy!”
“The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him.” (Deuteronomy15:18)
OK, so I include brothers/sisters, for I believe the gender of the prophet is not relevant, but the quality of the prophet and their message is absolutely relevant. God promises through Moses that He would continue to make His will known through prophets. God has always been faithful to give his people spiritual leaders who help his people know, interpret, and follow His will. The ultimate prophet like Moses is Jesus Christ. The Lord continues to make God’s will known to Christian disciples through the full ministry of the Holy Spirit.
“For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.” (1st Corinthians3:9)
All Christian disciples are God’s fellow workers! None is left out, and all are necessary. The abilities and the expertise of the laity are needed in the ministry of the church today. Not all serve in the same way, but all are called to serve in some way. If Paul was an artist, he would have painted a picture of the church as a body with many members and with every member having a distinct and distinctive task. A witnessing and serving laity is essential to a functioning and growing church. The challenges are great, but too few workers usually produce burnt out ministers. Shared ministry was the answer for Moses’ busy days, for Jesus’ growing ministry, for the growing needs of the early church, and for the busy pastor in a changing culture today. Christ is still the Head of the church. Shared ministry helps reduce the load on all people in our church.
Second Thought of the Day:
“In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Grecian Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. Do the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, ‘It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.’ This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit; also Phillip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them. So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.” (Acts6:1-7)
The twelve apostles were unable to meet all of the needs of the growing number of disciples in the early church. The apostles needed help as Moses did at the time his father-in-law gave him advice.
The apostles asked the church to choose seven qualified men to help them serve. The laity today, like the seven, must lead the church in ministry to the community’s needy and in reaching those outside the church.