Sermons

Summary: If we are secure in our walk with God, we are free to consider potentially positive changes.

The Great Teacher Learns

(Exodus 18)

1. This coming week is teacher’s appreciation week.

2. The number of all teachers in the United States is 6.2 million, and that does not include home-schooling parents! About 71% are female.

3. One of the greatest legends in teaching was a 17th century Czech man named Jan Komensky. He is sometimes called Comenius. He promoted the idea of universal education for all, came up with the idea of illustrated textbooks and interlinear books with columns in two languages -- and a host of other teaching innovations. He was also a man of God and leader among the Bohemian Brethren, the group that sent out the first modern missionaries.

4. But until the appearance of Jesus Christ, many of us would consider Moses the greatest teacher who ever lived.

5. But, despite Moses great mind and ability, he was humble and teachable. As one sage said, "I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma." ~Eartha Kitt

6. Being teachable means being willing and eager to grow; be willing to grow means being willing to change.

Main Idea: If we are secure in our walk with God, we are free to consider potentially positive changes.

I. Moses REUNION With His Family (1-8)

A. Moses family had been left BEHIND

• we deduce this from 8:24-27

• The battle was now over; Rephidim is alongside Mt. Sinai; Jethro and family were not doubt aware that the battle was raging…now that the Amalekites have retreated, it is safe to bring out the family…

1. If you want an awesome thought, think about the changes Zipporah and Moses’ sons saw in Moses

2. He left a shepherd who had seen a burning bush; He arrives with 2 million people, the leader of a nation, and noted as God’s spokesman…

3. The simple pastoral life was gone forever…

4. Moses had two major upheavals: when he was younger, escaping Egypt, and now

5. But he needed both experiences: the principles of leadership he gained as Pharaoh’s adopted son, and the patience he learned taking care of stubborn sheep…

B. He updates JETHRO

1. Jethro represents a non-Jew who believes in the God of Israel and cast His lot with the Jewish people, though he is a Midianite…

2. Jethro was a man of great sense, and he added to Moses’ personal capital

3. Jethro had been party to much of Moses’ life and was a needed "outside" consultant

4. Business consultants, like Peter Drucker, have longed used Jethro’s advice to Moses as an example for corporate organization…

If we are secure in our walk with God, we are free to consider potentially positive changes.

Because Moses was secure in his relationship with God, he was free to be at ease with Jethro; Jethro was not a competitor for influence upon his wife or family; he was in God’s hands

II. Jethro’s CONFESSION: Yahweh is Greatest (9-12)

A. Jethro acknowledges YAHWEH’S greatness (9-11)

• Was Jethro monotheistic or henotheistic?

Psalm 86:8, 10

B. Jethro offers a SACRIFICE to Yahweh (12)

1. Fascinating that Aaron, who would soon become the high priest, attended Jethro’s sacrifice

2. People worshipped the true God before Moses

3. Remember, God has always had a remnant of people faithful to Him; the narrowest it ever became was Noah’s family…but usually more than we think

If we are secure in our walk with God, we are free to consider potentially positive changes.

• Even though Jethro was a priest of Yahweh at Midian, he realized he has a lot to learn; he also recognizes that God has a greater hand of blessing upon Moses than upon him … and he is okay with that!

• It can be hard, but we need to rid ourselves of a competitive attitude when it comes to the Kingdom of God…

• Instead, we need to compete with our own selves… our spiritual maturity level

• Does it irk you when you share Christ with someone and they have no interest, and then someone else shares Christ with that person and they get saved?

• Would it bother you if your children grew up to be more spiritual than you?

• Does it frustrate you if God blesses another church in some way more than He blesses ours? Do you want to see other good churches in our area prosper?

• Are you a consumer Christian, always looking for greener pastures and pitting one church against another?

III. Moses’ Problem and Jethro’s ADVICE (13-27)

A. The PROBLEM: Moses was doing it all (13-16)

1. Where did Moses get God’s decrees? Law not yet given?

2. Best answer: Exodus 15:25-26

3. The Targum of Jonathan on Exodus 15:25b-26, "25. And Mosheh prayed before the Lord, and the Word of the Lord showed him the tree of Ardiphne, and he cast it into the midst of the waters, and the waters were made sweet. There did the Word of the Lord show unto him statutes and orders of judgment, and there He tried him with trials in the tenth trial. 26. For I am the Lord who healeth thee by My Word. And they came to Elim; and in Elim were twelve fountains of water, a fountain for each tribe; and seventy palm?trees, corresponding with the seventy elders of Israel: and they encamped there by the waters."

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