Summary: How to solve a problem


1. Your role to protect the family. “After he (Moses) had sent her (his wife) back” (Ex. 18:2).

a. Physical protection.

b. Provide for necessities.

c. Provide for spiritual matters.

2. Respect the family. “Moses went out . . . did obeisance” (18:7). “Honor your father and mother” (Ex. 20:12).

3. Tell family what God has done for you (18:1, 8).

a. Deliverance.

b. Guidance by God.

c. Experiences with God.

4. Genuine concern for them. “They asked each other of their welfare” (18:7).

5. Bless your children, i.e., “add value to their lives” (Mark 10:16).

6. Get them to know (salvation) the Lord. “Jethro said . . . now I know the Lord” (18:10-11).

7. Get them to worship the Lord. “Jethro . . . took a burnt offering and sacrifice” (18:12).


“And so it was, on the next day, that Moses sat to judge the people; and the people stood before Moses from morning until evening. So when Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he did for the people, he said, ‘What is this thing that you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit, and all the people stand before you from morning until evening?’” (Ex. 18:13-14).

1. Moses was the leader. “The people came unto me” (18:15).

2. Moses was trusted. “When they have a matter, they come to me” (18:16).

3. Moses taught them God’s Word. “I do make them known . . . God’s . . . laws” (18:16).

4. Moses knew God. “God shall be with thee” (18:19).


1. Time was wasted. “The people stood by thee from morning until evening” (18:14).

2. No one can know everything. “Not able to perform it thyself alone” (18:18).

a. Can’t know all backgrounds.

b. Can’t know all about everyone.

c. Can’t know how to solve every problem.

d. Can’t know every answer.

3. Exhausted Moses. “Thou wilt surely wear away” (18:18).

4. Exhausted people. “Wear away . . . this people” (18:18).

5. Can’t do it properly. “Not able to perform it” (18:18).

6. This was a priesthood of one. “Why sittest thou thyself alone?” (18:14). “We are workmen together with God” (1 Cor. 3:9).


1. Teach all of them all of the truth. “Teach them God’s decrees, and give them his instructions” (18:20, LB).

2. Work on the problem all of the time. “Let them judge the people at all seasons” (18:22).

3. Be practical. “Show them how to conduct their lives” (18:20, LB).

4. Get their attitude right before you try to solve a specific problem. “Shew them the wherein they must walk” (18:20).

5. Get help. Choose by character not competence. “Choose able men . . . make them heads over the people” (18:25). Character will find talent, but not always the reverse.

6. Delegate by ability. “Judges over groups of 1000 . . . 100 . . . 50 . . . 10” (18:21, LB).

7. Prioritize problems. “Every small problem” (18:22). “The hard cases they brought to Moses” (18:26).

8. Build leadership in those who work with you.


1. Write it out. You can’t solve it, until you know the problem clearly.

A problem well defined,

Is a problem half solved.

2. Know why. Sometimes problems solve themselves when you know the exact cause.

3. Know the implications. Some lesser problems will solve themselves.

4. Gather facts. “You make good decisions with good information, and bad decisions with bad information. Without information, you make lucky decisions.”

5. Suggest a hypothesis, a suggested solution.

6. Test the solution.

a. Biblical test.

b. Truth test, “That which is consistent.”

c. Workable test, “That which corresponds to reality.”

d. Harmful test.

e. Priority test.

7. Apply the solution.

“Make a decision, make it work.” – Jerry Falwell Sr.

8. Learn a lesson.

If you have never really accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, would you do it right now? Do not delay or put it off. If you would like to receive Christ by faith, pray this simple prayer in your heart:

Dear Lord, I acknowledge that I am a sinner. I believe Jesus died for my sins on the cross, and rose again the third day. I repent of my sins. By faith I receive the Lord Jesus as my Savior. You promised to save me, and I believe You, because You are God and cannot lie. I believe right now that the Lord Jesus is my personal Savior, and that all my sins are forgiven through His precious blood. I thank You, dear Lord, for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, God heard you and saved you. I personally want to welcome you to the family of God and rejoice with you.

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