Summary: Why we must connect with each other in small groups, as we realize who we are in the Lord.
Super bowl day deserves a football story - Alumni and fans of UCLA made life miserable for football coach Pepper Rodgers during a season when his team the Bruins got off to a horrible start. Nobody would hang out with him. “My dog was my only true friend” Rodgers said. “I told my wife that every man needs at least two good friends. She bought me another dog.”
Perhaps this year 2003 got off to a bad start… where can we go to be heard. To have a friend? Rodgers got a dog.
13 The next day, Moses sat as usual to hear the people’s complaints against each other. They were lined up in front of him from morning till evening.
14 When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he said, “Why are you trying to do all this alone? The people have been standing here all day to get your help.”
15 Moses replied, “Well, the people come to me to seek God’s guidance. 16 When an argument arises, I am the one who settles the case. I inform the people of God’s decisions and teach them his laws and instructions.”
17 “This is not good!” his father-in-law exclaimed. 18 “You’re going to wear yourself out—and the people, too. This job is too heavy a burden for you to handle all by yourself. 19 Now let me give you a word of advice, and may God be with you. You should continue to be the people’s representative before God, bringing him their questions to be decided. 20 You should tell them God’s decisions, teach them God’s laws and instructions, and show them how to conduct their lives. 21 But find some capable, honest men who fear God and hate bribes. Appoint them as judges over groups of one thousand, one hundred, fifty, and ten. 22 These men can serve the people, resolving all the ordinary cases. Anything that is too important or too complicated can be brought to you. But they can take care of the smaller matters themselves. They will help you carry the load, making the task easier for you. 23 If you follow this advice, and if God directs you to do so, then you will be able to endure the pressures, and all these people will go home in peace.”
24 Moses listened to his father-in-law’s advice and followed his suggestions. 25 He chose capable men from all over Israel and made them judges over the people. They were put in charge of groups of one thousand, one hundred, fifty, and ten. 26 These men were constantly available to administer justice. They brought the hard cases to Moses, but they judged the smaller matters themselves.
27 Soon after this, Moses said good-bye to his father-in-law, who returned to his own land. Exodus 18: 13-27 (NLT)
The people go to Moses to be heard… they see him as a friend who can help solve their arguments. Appreciate the situation…
Moses – rookie leader – just led the people out of Egypt. What a rush, powerful stuff – like defeat of Amalakites through him – holding up his hands to God, like a kid on PS2 console, water from the rock, Manna quail – see a grocery store appear, free food, see and experience sea opened up like a elevator door in Metrotown walk through dry land. Perhaps he feels he can do it all!
Sees himself as leader, people see him as leader (v.15) – “the people come to me to seek God’s guidance.” They come to him with all their complaints, everything, including the kitchen sink! This is not once a week thing he did on Sundays, but a daily occurrence. It’s from am to pm! I suspect to Moses, this is just great! Business is booming. Line-ups are long. I guess that makes Moses feel important, wanted and popular. He is Oprah, Dr. Phil, Donahue, lawyer, judge, and jury all warp in one.
Can you just imagine the line-up waiting to get a chance to hear Moses? This is no picnic in Stanley Park. “The people have been standing here all day to get your help” (v.14). Desert heat, not a air-cond room, can u just imagine the line-up rage? Imagine standing next to a guy who probably haven’t had a decent shower for days? These are people who have walked for days! Can u sense the frustration level that would lead them to seek a private audience with Moses and they would actually stand in the heat to get their disputes settled. Over here in our time we get agitated with just waiting for the red light to change to green in traffic. Imagine their agitation!
Then imagine the stress level that Moses must have had. It must have been unbearable. I can hardly handle disputes my kids have about who gets to sit where on the dinner table. Day in and day out Moses had to hear complaints. Can u imagine the effect this must have had on Moses, who is already quite old in his 80’s?