Summary: We do no one any service when we take them from their family or their spouse in order to serve the needs of the church instead of serving the needs of their family first.
Offering my time - Exodus 18:15-27
Did you know that in Arab countries they learn to tell time by measuring the length of their shadows. It proved to be a fairly accurate way to determine the hour of the day. The Bible tells us that our Heavenly Father has measured out our days in a more perfect way.
Psalm 139:16 New International Version NIV
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
God knows exactly how many days you and I have to enjoy life here on planet earth. God is also very interested in how we use our time.
The familiar passage of Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 reminds us of how precious and brief time is for each of us.
3 To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
Those words are from the wisest man that God used to lead Israel King Solomon. He knew the value of time. There are also others in the Bible that can teach us about the economy of time.
Moses was just such a person. Moses wrestled with managing time as so many of us do in our modern hurried society. We have tried to make ourselves more efficient with, Tweets, and Posts and Emails and Pokes but all this technology has not made our lives simpler, it is in fact more complicated and hurried than ever before.
It reminds me of “The Mad Hatter” from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland where he is charging around in circles shouting “I’m late, I’m late for a very important date” strung around his neck is an over-sized pocket watch which his eyes are constantly drawn to. The sad thing is that “The Mad Hatter” cannot remember what is so important about his important date. All he knows is that he is late. Source:
How much like him have we become?
A few weeks ago my wife and I joined a community band in Wallaceburg. She is learning to play the Alto Saxophone and I am re-learning to play the trumpet. So far our neighbours have not complained. Fortunately their air conditioners have been running and their windows have been closed.
Our Director Mr. David Babbitt spent a good deal of time explaining musical time to us so that we might learn some music theory. He told us that each bar of music is a measure of time and that within that bar you could conceivable fit an incredible combination of notes. Musical notes all have distinct value. In a similar way each day that we live is measured by its own unique value. Still the fact remains that you can only put so much musical time into each bar of music, those rules were fixed. Just as we can only put so many hours into our day.
Moses discovered this in Exodus 18:17-23.
Here Moses was becoming exasperated by the time he had to spend listening to person after person as he weighed out their problems and offered solutions.
17 Moses’ father-in-law replied, “What you are doing is not good.
18 You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone.
19 Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you. You must be the people’s representative before God and bring their disputes to him.
20 Teach them his decrees and instructions, and show them the way they are to live and how they are to behave.
21 But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.
22 Have them serve as judges for the people at all times, but have them bring every difficult case to you; the simple cases they can decide themselves. That will make your load lighter, because they will share it with you.
23 If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied.”
Each of us as a member of The Body of Christ have certain gifts and abilities. Each of us give of our gifts and abilities as God empowers and enables us for the betterment of the Church. Each of try to do so within the time frame that we have to offer. When we try to exceed those time frames we can end up like Moses exasperated and weary unable to perform at our best.