Jethro’s Wisdom

In Spiritual Practices on January 12, 2011 by scottsund

Every morning I try to rise before the rest of the household, slip downstairs quietly so as not to wake the baby, put a pot of coffee on [yes, a full pot 🙂  ] and open my bible.  I don’t always make it or there are times when my bible reading is just so-so, but most days this time with God is some of the best moments I get.  I read a book of the old testament, a book of the new, and some wisdom literature (currently Proverbs).  This is the model of the Bible in One Year.  I was never a very great daily bible reader until about 4 years ago when I took the format of the One Year Bible and actually followed through on it.  If I would fall behind a few days I would just spend a little extra time getting caught up.  And you know what happens when you consistently read the bible?  It starts to truly come to life.  Stuff starts opening up like crazy.  Honestly.

So today I’m reading Exodus and learning more about Moses and his leadership of the nation of Israel.  A couple of amazing things opened up.  The Lord says to Moses :”behold I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day.”  Literally, God will give you bread to eat every day.  And when people tired of bread, God provided meat too.  Its so amazing to think that we worship a God who truly has our best interests in mind, and loves us so much that He cares for our provision.  It reminded me a bit of the daily bible reading and prayer time with God, if you trust God daily and turn to Him, He will always provide.  He will always give you the fuel you need, whether for your bodies (nation of Israel) or your spirit and souls (for us today).  This is a truth we sometimes forget.

Secondly, I was deeply impacted by Exodus 18 and the story of Moses and his father in law Jethro.  When Moses’ father-in-law Jethro comes out to the wilderness where Moses and the Nation of Israel are staying, he watches Moses work all day and night in his leadership of Israel and then gives advice to Moses.  He says in 18:17-19, “The thing that you are doing is not good.  You will surely wear out, both yourself and these people who are with you, for the task is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone.”  WOW.  This was one of those early morning bible reading sessions when my jaw dropped for the words spoken by Jethro rang so true into my life as well.  Jethro says “this thing is not good”.  Not good?  Moses just led a mass exodus of his nation out of oppresion!  He has freed his people and is leading them on this God-inspired journey to their future land.  How can Jethro say it wasn’t good???  It isn’t good, he says, for you are doing it alone.  You will wear out Moses, the task is too heavy for you.

The weight of the words is staggering and the divine wisdom that comes from scripture is so enlightening.  God calls us to follow Him, and sometimes that is in doing very small mundane things, and sometimes it is in very extraordinary things.  But whatever God calls us to, He calls us to do it with others and share the burdens we carry so as not to burn out.  We aren’t called to be Superman or Superwoman, just God followers who can be discerning of when we need the help of others.

I love this for this very busy season of life for me personally right now.  If I get so busy with starting a church and managing all the things of life that I burn out or burn out those around me (volunteers, family members, employees, etc) than I have lost the “goodness” of the action.  No, God’s call is different.  We are called to follow but do so with grace and humility and awareness of our own fragility.  Jethro has it right, and often I confess, I have this wrong.  That is why I read the bible each morning in the pre-dawn quiet of my old house with a coffee cup on one hand and a pen to underline in the other.  God wants to share His daily bread with me.  Today I was able to receive.


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