Exodus 18

Today's Passage: Exodus 18

In many ways, Exodus 18 is a great lesson in leadership.

Moses had a wise, godly father-in-law named Jethro. Jethro and Moses were reunited and praised God for all He did to help the people of Israel escape the Egyptians. But now that this miraculous event was behind him, Moses was entering into a new season of leadership—Moses led well in crisis, but how would he lead in a time of greater peace?

The people of Israel were growing, but Moses was still “the guy.” If someone had a problem or a disagreement, Moses was the guy to deal with it. The problem? Moses was not God; as great of a servant that Moses was, he had his limits.

So Jethro wisely tells him to find other men (leaders) who could lead with him. But not just any man, men who were of high character:
  • Men who feared God.
  • Men who were trustworthy.
  • Men who wouldn’t sacrifice conviction for personal gain (“who hate a bribe”).


17 Moses' father-in-law said to him, “What you are doing is not good. 18 You and the people with you will certainly wear yourselves out, for the thing is too heavy for you. You are not able to do it alone. Exodus 18:17-18

The result of this wise step?

[Jethro speaking]: “It will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you. 23 If you do this, God will direct you, you will be able to endure, and all this people also will go to their place in peace.” Exodus 18:22-23

This leadership principle reminds us of what the New Testament teaches in 1 Timothy 3, of having pastors/elders who are of high character and skill to lead God’s people. But it also should remind you that the main job of elders/pastors is to “equip saints for the work of ministry.” (Ephesians 4:12) While elders/pastors are overseers and bear ultimate responsibility, it is a good reminder that ministry does not fall on one persons shoulders, or even on the shoulders of a group of leaders.

God has equipped the church with leaders and members who actively serve to build up the body for the glory of God. How are you playing your part?

Written By: Graham Withers

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