The next day Moses solved disagreements among the people, and the people stood around him from morning until night. When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he asked, “What is all this you are doing for the people? Why are you the only one to solve disagreements? All the people are standing around you from morning until night! â€¦ “
Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “You are not doing this right. You and the people who come to you will get too tired. This is too much work for you; you can’t do it by yourself. Now listen to me, and I will give you some advice. I want God to be with you. Â Â Exodus 18:13-14, 17-19 (NCV)
I have been reading a book recently, Bible Nobodies Who Became Somebodies by Lance Wubbels. I can’t say that I endorse the book because Mr. Wubbels makes many assumptions about facts not in evidence. But I have been blessed by his list of â€œnobodiesâ€ that has had me taking time to reread some passages of Scripture and consider what might have happened if these people had not fulfilled their part in God’s plan. God would have found someone else to complete the task but it has pointed out to me that there are no â€œinsignificantâ€ jobs in God’s Kingdom.
In this story I see Moses getting God’s wisdom, not directly as he has been used to but instead from his father-in-law. Jethro sees Moses â€œtrying to do it allâ€ and offers some wisdom. What do I do when someone tells me that there is a better way to do something or that what I am doing is not a good thing? Am I open to advice? And how do I know what is said is wisdom?
Listen. The older I get the more I realize how little I know. There is so much for me to learn from my LORD and people He sends into my life. If I listen, I can learn from just about anyone! Sometimes I learn what is not wise as I watch the actions and words with others. Sometimes it does take a bit of digging to find the gold nuggets of wisdom but that can make what I learn even more of a treasure. I love to learn from my grandchildren. I love to hear stories from my own mother-in-law who has over 90 years of experiences to share.
Test what is said. Jethro makes a point to say to Moses that above what he, Jethro, says, Moses should always check with God on whether He thinks the advice is wise. My favorite family story of this principle happened to my daughter when she was about 19. A young man came to her with some wisdom he had heard from God. â€œGod told me that He has decided that you and I will marry.â€ And Janet responded, â€œWell, He hasn’t told me that!â€ And what a good lesson to learn from Jethro and Janet. When someone gives me advice, take a moment and ask God what He thinks about it. And also remember that God’s answer can be more than â€œYesâ€ or â€œNo.â€ He could say â€œWaitâ€ or even â€œYes, but â€¦â€
Keep your inner circle. When it comes to whom I listen, Jesus has set a very good example. Jesus had hundreds of people who followed Him around. He had only twelve that He spent most of His time with. And there was only the three, Peter, James and John, that saw the transfiguration and some of the miracles and went the farthest in the Garden on that last night. And so in my own life that may be some good numbers for those that know and advise me.
“Now, my children, listen to me, because those who follow my ways are happy.
Listen to my teaching, and you will be wise; do not ignore it.
Happy are those who listen to me, watching at my door every day, waiting at my open doorway.
Those who find me find life, and the Lord will be pleased with them.
Those who do not find me hurt themselves.
Those who hate me love death.” Â Â Â Â Proverbs 8:32-36 (NCV)