Don’t Try To Do Everything By Yourself

In The Word

Read: Exodus 18



Jethro, Moses’ Father-in-law

18 Now Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses’ father-in-law, heard about everything that God had done for Moses and for Israel His people, how the Lord had brought Israel out of Egypt. And Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, took in Moses’ wife Zipporah, after he had sent her away, and her two sons, one of whom was named Gershom, for Moses said, “I have been a stranger in a foreign land.” And the other was named Eliezer, for he said, “The God of my father was my help, and saved me from the sword of Pharaoh.”

Then Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, came with his sons and his wife to Moses in the wilderness where he was camped, at the mountain of God.And he sent word to Moses: “I, your father-in-law Jethro, am coming to you with your wife and her two sons with her.” Then Moses went out to meet his father-in-law, and he bowed down and kissed him; and they asked each other about their welfare, and went into the tent. Moses told his father-in-law everything that the Lord had done to Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel’s sake, all the hardship that had confronted them on the journey, and how the Lord had rescued them. And Jethro rejoiced over all the goodness which the Lord had done for Israel, in rescuing them from the hand of the Egyptians. 10 So Jethro said, “Blessed be the Lord who rescued you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of Pharaoh, and who rescued the people from under the hand of the Egyptians. 11 Now I know that the Lord is greater than all the gods; indeed, it was proven when they acted insolently against the people.”12 Then Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, took a burnt offering and sacrifices for God, and Aaron came with all the elders of Israel to eat a meal with Moses’ father-in-law before God.

Jethro Counsels Moses

13 And it came about the next day, that Moses sat to judge the people, and the people stood before Moses from the morning until the evening.14 Now when Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he was doing for the people, he said, “What is this thing that you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge and all the people stand before you from morning until evening?” 15 Moses said to his father-in-law, “Because the people come to me to inquire of God. 16 When they have a dispute, it comes to me, and I judge between someone and his neighbor and make known the statutes of God and His laws.” 17 Moses’ father-in-law then said to him, “The thing that you are doing is not good. 18 You will surely wear out, both yourself and these people who are with you, because the task is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone. 19 Now listen to me: I will give you counsel, and God be with you. You be the people’s representative before God, and you bring the disputes to God, 20 then admonish them about the statutes and the laws, and make known to them the way in which they are to walk and the work they are to do.21 Furthermore, you shall select out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain; and you shall place these over them as leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. 22 Let them judge the people at all times; and let it be that they will bring to you every major matter, but they will judge every minor matter themselves. So it will be easier for you, and they will carry the burden with you. 23 If you do this thing and God so commands you, then you will be able to endure, and all these people also will go to their places in peace.”

24 So Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything that he had said. 25 Moses chose able men out of all Israel and made them heads over the people, leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens.26 Then they judged the people at all times; they would bring the difficult matter to Moses, but they would judge every minor matter themselves.27 Then Moses said goodbye to his father-in-law, and Jethro went his way to his own land.

New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

Walking In The Word


Moses’ father-in-law, Jethro, brought Moses’ wife and two sons to him. Moses told them all that the Lord had done, and they all rejoiced and worshipped the Lord. The next day, Moses was back at work from morning to evening judging and communicating the Word of the Lord to all the people by himself. Jethro could see what Moses could not. Jethro could see that Moses would surely wear himself out trying to do all this by himself. He gave Moses the wise counsel of teaching others to help. Once other leaders were properly trained, they could judge and teach the people also. These leaders were to be men who feared God and men of truth who hated dishonesty. They would be placed over thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens.

The Lord uses this same system in His church today to enable the senior pastor to be effective in being the under-shepherd of God’s people. The Lord places pastors under the senior pastor, then Ministry Leader Overseers under those pastors, then Ministry Leaders under those Ministry Leader Overseers. This system of leadership helps to ensure that none of His sheep go astray and that they are all accounted for. Don’t try to do ministry alone. Be a part of a local body of true believers and disciples. Submit to the leadership and exercise the gift God has given you. You may be thinking you don’t need the body, but have you ever considered that the body needs you?

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