Text: Exodus 18:13-27
13 And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses sat to judge the people: and the people stood by Moses from the morning unto the evening.
14 And when Moses’ father in law saw all that he did to the people, he said, What is this thing that thou doest to the people? why sittest thou thyself alone, and all the people stand by thee from morning unto even?
15 And Moses said unto his father in law, Because the people come unto me to enquire of God:
16 When they have a matter, they come unto me; and I judge between one and another, and I do make them know the statutes of God, and his laws.
17 And Moses’ father in law said unto him, The thing that thou doest is not good.
18 Thou wilt surely wear away, both thou, and this people that is with thee: for this thing is too heavy for thee; thou art not able to perform it thyself alone.
19 Hearken now unto my voice, I will give thee counsel, and God shall be with thee: Be thou for the people to God-ward, that thou mayest bring the causes unto God:
20 And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt shew them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do.
21 Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens:
22 And let them judge the people at all seasons: and it shall be, that every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge: so shall it be easier for thyself, and they shall bear the burden with thee.
23 If thou shalt do this thing, and God command thee so, then thou shalt be able to endure, and all this people shall also go to their place in peace.
24 So Moses hearkened to the voice of his father in law, and did all that he had said.
25 And Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people, rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.
26 And they judged the people at all seasons: the hard causes they brought unto Moses, but every small matter they judged themselves.
27 And Moses let his father in law depart; and he went his way into his own land.
Key Verse: “Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. And let them judge the people at all times. Then it will be that every great matter they shall bring to you, but every small matter they themselves shall judge. So it will be easier for you, for they will bear the burden with you.” Exodus 18:21,22
The most effective people in life are those who recognise that they cannot accomplish so much alone. They need the support and help of other people. They are humble enough to admit that they are not supermen, irrespective of how naturally and richly endowed they may be. Besides, knowing the limits we can go alone is often the hallmark of true leadership and the foundation for great achievements.
Moses was a great leader, on a great mission, which he pursued single-mindedly. For a while, everything worked well until his father-in-law, Jethro, came visiting. What he saw convinced him that Moses needed a change of strategy. Moses would hold court daily from morning till evening with the people queuing, the whole time, to bring their case before him. Jethro emphatically told him he was tiptoeing into disaster; he would wear out himself fast, as the duty was too heavy for him alone. The people too, would be worn out and disenchanted with the administrative structure that was naturally grinding slowly.
Jethro said what Moses needed was to build a four-tier structure headed by “able men, such as fear of God, men of truth, hating covetousness”. They would deal. With small matters, while Moses would handle only big issues. This would create time for him to attend to other necessary matters. Recognising this as a divinely inspired counsel, Moses promptly set up the new functional system.
We must never get to the point where we begin to think that we are the only ones that can do necessary things, either in the kingdom of God or in our daily activities. We must humbly learn to delegate some duties to others. This will relieve us of stress, make us more effective and create a chance for others to grow. It will also make us more profitable to those around us.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: As the old quip says, a tree does not make a forest.
THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Genesis 26-28
DCLM Daily Manna was written by Pastor William Folorunso Kumuyi; is the founder and General Superintendent of the Deeper Life Bible Church situated at KM 42 on the busy Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Nigeria.