Summary: Ever stood in line at the grocery store….the post office/WalMart? Ever get impatient? Me too. I count items people have and try to get in the shortest line. So imagine what it would be like if you had to wait in line for not minutes or hours but for d
“Together Everyone Accomplishes More”
Exodus 18: 13-23
Twenty years ago a man named Neil Rudenstein was the president of Harvard University. One of the jobs of a college president is to raise funds for the school. And he was very good at it. If you can imagine for 3 years he raised an average of 1 million dollars a day. It is said that he was passionate about every area of his job. Whether it was a big item or a small item he focused on it. He worked 12 hours a day. He involved himself in every single area of University’s life, large or small and he was very successful.
But one morning he overslept and he just couldn’t manage to make himself go to work. He went to the doctor and was diagnosed with sever fatigue and exhaustion. The board at the college insisted he take a leave of absence in order to recover. So he did. And he didn’t return for the next 7 days. In fact he didn’t return for the next 7 weeks. He spent the next 7 months recovering from fatigue.
Moses was being watched as he worked by his father in law whose name was Jethro and Jethro said to him “what you are doing is not good. 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. When Moses led the people out of Egypt the Bible says there were at least 600,000 men and also their wives and children which leads us to think there were about 2 million Israelites. And all day long every day for almost two months he has been the one who is judged and made decisions about every conflict and every dispute they had. From early morning until late in the evening Moses is working. Jethro sees his fatigue. And it is obvious that the people aren’t real happy with the situation either. It’s wearing them out as well.
Ever stood in line at the grocery store….the post office/WalMart? Ever get impatient? Me too. I count items people have and try to get in the shortest line. So imagine what it would be like if you had to wait in line for not minutes or hours but for days. Here in the desert there were close to 2 million people and there was only one line to stand in. Jethro sees this and gives Moses some advice. He says hey Moses you need some help.
God did not intend for us to work alone. There was a reason that He created Eve. He said it is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him. It is a principle that we find throughout God’s word. Together Everyone Accomplishes More.
When Jesus set out for His public ministry one of the first things He did was to select 12 men to work with Him. And when he sent out the 70 later to do their work he insisted that they go two by two. Never alone. Why did He do that? Simple. When you and I attempt to work for God by ourselves we will wear out. We will burn out. Solomon said “if one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up. Though one may be overpowered two can defend themselves.
In science we call it synergy which put in a simple way says this…two people can get more done by working together than by working alone on the same task. You may be able to carry 50 pounds. I can carry 50 pounds. How much can we carry together? You say 100. No. probably 150.
I once heard about a horse-pulling competition, where the 1st place horse pulled roughly 5,000 lbs, and the 2nd place horse pulled approximately 4,000 lbs. After the event was over, just out of curiosity, the organizers hooked the two horses together, to see how much weight they could pull as a unit. Now we would probably expect that they would pull 9,000 lbs, right? (After all, 5,000 + 4,000 = 9,000.) What actually happened, though, was that the 2 horses pulled nearly 12,000 lbs! That is synergy. Teamwork. And I believe it is the reason that Jesus created the church. He said on this rock I will build my church and the gates of Hell will not overcome it. Why? Because there is strength when God’s people work together. We are better together.
So when Jethro sees Moses trying to do his job all by himself he says …this isn’t good – you need help. It was true for Moses and it’s true for this church. Moses was a great leader but he had what I will call a blind spot. Two actually.