February 3 - Father-in-law Knew Best

By David Thomas

Today's Scripture: Exodus 18

Central Thought: Delegation is an effective and necessary part of leadership.

    Moses must have looked stressed. Jethro, Moses' father-in-law and priest of Midian, came to visit his daughter and, no doubt, spoil the grandkids a little. While visiting, Jethro noticed that Moses was spending too much time at the office. Moses was working days and nights to answer the people's questions and settle their disputes. If something did not change, Jethro sensed, Moses would burn himself out, and the people he was working so hard to please would instead grow frustrated with him.

    Jethro pulled his son-in-law aside for a small discussion. 'Get some help,” Jethro suggested. 'You can't do everything yourself.” Moses recognized that father-in-law knew best and, as a result, set up a much more efficient judicial court system for Israel. We can learn two lessons from Moses in Exodus 18.

    First, Moses listened to the counsel of a wise, godly man. When Jethro arrived (verse 7), Moses' greeting of a bow and a kiss displayed his respect for and gratitude toward his father-in-law. Moses considered Jethro someone whose advice he would be wise to follow.

    Second, when it came time to delegate responsibilities, Moses selected capable men. Verse 21 describes them as men who feared God and were trustworthy and honest. Moses selected leaders who he believed would carry on the godly values he had instilled in his position of leadership.

    God endorses delegation. One of the most difficult things for us to admit is that we cannot do everything, no matter how lofty our intentions. God neither expects nor wants us to do everything. Moses tried, and the load became too much for him, and he became inefficient for the people.

    Like Moses, we should listen to the advice of other, even more experienced, godly leaders. They have earned their positions, often by listening to other, even more experienced, godly leaders. And when it comes time to delegate, we should seek those who will uphold biblical values and standards.

Devotional Prayer: Please help me to recognize when I am attempting to do too much for You, Lord. Let me trust that You will send leaders that You have ordained to be of service in Your Kingdom.

Today's Bible Reading: Exodus 17:8-19:15; Matthew 22:34-23:12; Psalm 27:7-14; Proverbs 6:27-35