If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied. Exodus 18:23
Joe worked more than twelve hours a day, often without taking breaks. Starting a charitable business demanded so much time and energy that he had little left to offer his wife and children when he got home. After the toll of chronic stress landed Joe in the hospital, a friend offered to organize a team to help him. Though he dreaded giving up control, Joe knew he couldn’t keep up his current pace. He agreed to trust his friend—and God—as he delegated responsibilities to the group of people they chose together. A year later, Joe admitted that the charity and his family could never have prospered if he’d refused the help God had sent him.
God didn’t design people to thrive without the support of a loving community. In Exodus 18, Moses led the Israelites through the wilderness. He tried serving God’s people as a teacher, a counselor, and a judge all on his own. When his father-in-law visited, he offered Moses advice: “You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out,” said Jethro. “The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone” (Exodus 18:18). He encouraged Moses to share the workload with faithful people. Moses accepted help and the whole community benefited.
When we trust that God works in and through all His people as we work together, we can find true rest.
How can you trust God by asking for help or offering help to someone in leadership this week? How has He provided you the support of trustworthy people?
Father God, thank You for never asking me to handle life without Your help or the support of others.
In the first half of Exodus 18, Moses’ father-in-law is called Jethro (vv. 1, 5, 9, 12). But in Exodus 2, when we first meet the man who will become Moses’ father-in law, he’s called Reuel (vv. 18, 20). Then, Numbers 10:29 refers to “Hobab son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses’ father-in-law.” Are Jethro and Reuel two different people? Scholars believe that Jethro may have been a title, or that Moses’ father-in-law went by two different names. Exodus 2:18, 20 and 3:1 use the names interchangeably. And in 2:16 and 3:1 the man is referred to as a “priest of Midian.” This is the man who advises Moses in Exodus 18.