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095 - Jethro’s Pull: Wisdom

More Than Ink / Pastor Jim Catlin & Dorothy Catlin
The Truth Network Radio
May 21, 2022 1:00 pm

095 - Jethro’s Pull: Wisdom

More Than Ink / Pastor Jim Catlin & Dorothy Catlin

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May 21, 2022 1:00 pm

Episode 095 - Jethro’s Pull: Wisdom (21 May 2022) by A Production of Main Street Church of Brigham City

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You pick up your Bible and wondered, is there more here than meets the is there something here for me. I mean it's just words printed on paper right it may look like just print on the page but it's more than Inc. join us for the next half hour, as we explore God's word together as we learn how to explore it on our as we ask God to meet us there in its pages welcome to more than human summonses. I've got some great advice.

You accepted our character does depend on what if it was your father would've listened because of our nation should today Moses gets his father today on more than Inc., welcome to our dining table.

Dorothy and Jim and we we are we are and were sitting here with our coffee and and with the word of God open and ready to have a conversation with you like we been doing every week explained some time now we do.

The Bible well and we've been in the in the story of Exodus seller last week we met in depth. Moses father-in-law Jethro Jethro and his wife and two sons this week we're going to hear more from Jethro. He turns out to be a very wise man, and in fact we first were introduced to who he was way back in chapter 2 of Exodus's name was Jethro. It was rule appeal rights Reuel so we also which I looked up that means friend of God. Right yeah so this so this guy's got some chops in many respects is deep integrity in all and love for God and he also last time we were with him. He gets an earful for Moses. I need more. I enclose him in on everything from when Moses left with his family went back to Egypt were still in slavery at the time and now that they've been freed from Egypt.

Any he sits down with Jethro tells him the whole story and Jethro is just blown away by means. It literally changes him when he hears the details of what he'd only heard in probably snatches is news that spread through the areas these things were happening just so much that he says, Blessed be the Lord has delivered you. The Lord is the I am God is glorified all third great conversation, great conversation, so it today. Jethro is still in the camp.

He still with Moses and the nation of Israel and the night before. They had had Jethro had brought a sacrifice.

I will send unto me all you Moses and his brother Aaron and elders of his elders. Yeah, big gathering together yeah great a great scene great warm scene. So Jethro has not hightailed back to me not still in the camp and some fascinating things happened today as a result of that sword jumping in to the next day, which happens in chapter 18 verse 13 want me to type okay so the next day Moses sat to judge the people and the people stood around Moses from morning till evening, when Moses father-in-law saw all that he was doing for the people he said this, that you're doing for the people. Why do you sit alone, and all the people stand around you from morning till evening, and Moses said to his father-in-law because the people come to me to inquire of God when they have a dispute, they come to me and I decide between one person and another, and I make them know the statutes of God and his laws.

Moses father-in-law said to him, what doing is not good. You and the people with you will certainly wear yourselves out for the thing is too heavy for you are not able to do it alone. There are just a minute you saw an outsider comes in and makes an interesting observation well and think about this. We know that they are only about three months out of Egypt. At this point is water under the bridge right Moses had quite some time just bringing these people together and getting them going the same direction right they've complained to him when got no brand that complained him. We got another one from where are we going why we come this way we want to go back to Egypt.

It's been rocky Rocky three months and in that burden, the burden of all that strife and grumbling on Moses's shoulders right later. I think you can imagine this is Moses is a that I give birth to these people have to put Jim's translation but it's like yeah this is this burden on him just the strife that's come from the people you think would be enough for him to carry the burden of the plagues and getting no Israel and Egypt but nothing the desert.

He's heavily burdened with thinking of the normal strife and conflict has become the guy that they've identified as a we want to hear what God has to say I. Moses you hear from got ourselves well you know in a couple weeks when we talk about what happens right after this will find out that when God speaks they don't want to hear.

They want to hear from Moses instead.

So anyway Moses says here now they come to mean they bring me there's their issues and make known to them the statutes of God and his laws well in that sequence of Exodus that God is not officially given his statutes and laws, 10 gallons are not yet button Moses has an understanding of God's thinking in God's purpose in God's direction yes and so the people recognize that and they come to him.

So in a real sense he is the sole source of understanding the laws of God and how things work and so here you have this nascent nation.

This new nation that's coming in and being they don't have any history well not much history in terms of how do you run a nation and and it's starting to is starting to wear on Moses and the question comes up in my mind what was what was Aaron doing is if you are you there God said to Moses at the very beginning. Okay you don't want to speak. Aaron will be your mouthpiece.

That was before Pharaoh. Not necessarily for the people. So here were seeing that the burden of leadership has funds clearly Moses and not carrying any like they really aren't yet a nation. Yet they are our Ragan crowd of loosely related and so then after great observation because from this point on your ask you to see God forming nation, which means laws and rules and I'm in a lot of ways how you should structure our nation to form a government.

And so that's what that's what they need to hear you're actually seeing it in the flesh or seeing the fact that we have a justice system and one man in Moses when you got when you got half a million families on the desert. That's like a work for very long time there's going to be strife between people all the time and so somehow you gotta rectify this and I love I love how I love how Jethro makes his observation. You know, why do you sit alone right, it's just you and all the people stand around you. By the way, that's the this is Semitic courtroom scene is the judge always sits and the litigants always stand so this is what you got you got. Basically, people lined up waiting for the judge Moses to settle the dispute because Moses is the one who is connected to God and he understands God's justice and we know that God sees what we do. So if we come to Moses than the real persons a folder will become clear. But you know it's just is just wearing on so Jethro guy from the outside looks in and says you.

This is good. I like is that it straight up and then 17. You know what you're doing is not good at him and is not same as the judging is poor quality support is saying that the manpower issue is not where you have to kill you man and Moses himself Is killing me right where you out and it's can wear them out have to wait in line so long exactly. I know and and is a phrase I'm 1/4. I think it's a justice deferred is justice denied.

So really when justice waits too long, right. People vote for you like to just see one. If they do eventually get to the judge so timeliness is just a really big deal when it comes to justice. And that's not happening here you not getting timeliness your standing in line thousands of other people so you know this system.

I just sort of evolved as they're going about the business of getting out of Egypt and going into the wilderness and here's comes Jethro was been serving as a priest for very long time. He's a generation older than Moses and he just observes and says this is not good way to do things to do this. I've always wonder from where he came from many instances of priest of Midian, whether his role.

There's also the judge that he he sees how this works just with voice of experience. You have to sort of you have to spread out the load a little but I my suspicion is that the that's what they're doing is just make sense and have established a long-standing established comedian Amelia is a leader understanding of the role of a priest even in a pagan religion is the priest speaks for God, you're coming to worship right so so Jethro presumably has some experience at speaking or interpreting what God intends people to understand yet so this is a this is a wonderfully practical thing that is making observation about a son-in-law.

This is a good king doing so, he says in verse 18. You are not able to do it alone now verse 19 obey my voice. I'll give you advice and God will be with you. You shall represent the people before God and bring their cases to God and you shall warn them about the statutes and the laws and make them know the way in which they must walk and what they must do. Moreover, look for able men from all the people. Men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bright and place such men over the people as chiefs of thousands of hundreds of 50s, and of tens and let them judge the people at all times. Every great matter they shall bring to you, but any small matter they shall decide themselves's will will be easier for you and they will bear the burden with you. This God will direct you. You will be able to endure, and all this people also will go to their place in peace. Last good price and there's some wonderful tidbits in this good advice that he gives. I like I like how in 19 he directs Moses look when you need to do is you need to represent the people before God that's praying for them actually write me to pray for these people bring to God bring their cases to God and you need to really focus on communicating the statutes and laws you need to teach you to teach the law and's and that's that's your job. There really is a one-man job. That's a one-man job exactly and can be handled by what we were talking before about Moses being the sole leader of this giant group of people suddenly in my mind I was thinking about Moses as a type of Christ and what came to mind was what Paul says in first Timothy 51525.

There's one God and one mediator also between God and man, then man Christ Jesus right so that actually is the pattern that said, there is a mediator between God and in men and it's one man is Moses fulfilling that type but we know that it is all pointing to the living word of God in Christ who is the one man who mediates between God and us but yet here is very practical is not just a time issue is some other stuff and Moses. The one that God called and said you write Moses, saying, I can't speak to people and your lips. Okay, I'll give you air any abuse being right. But even after parent added to the team.

God says you know I'll speak to you and you'll speak to Aaron so you see this kind of passing down of the information that's important in this case is not just Ernesto a lot of people so that's what he's remaining in that central got you what you'd be connected to me and I'll tell you the one mediator I think for the purpose of the type I think so too. I really think so too, so I like the fact you know we talk about pastors these days and what their role is and I see and hear the principal role. The pastor is to pray for the people bring them into bring them before God and teach them teach them what's going on this whole idea about teaching the statutes and laws. I was thinking about this a lot it's it's it is not just an academic issue is the fact that if you want to talk about forming a nation from scratch, which is what were doing here, people will self regulate. To some degree based on knowing what you should and shouldn't do and if the people love the law, then it's very seldom that you'll actually have to intercede and tell me need to do this or not do that you like. If if the law tells my need to drive 55 on the freeway and stuff like I could say well I feel I could.

I can safely drive 70 today. I could do that. Instead I say will you know I understand why they said 55 because this is that it's unsafe out here by driving 70 miles an hour so because I love the people and I and II actually love this locus is loving law is looking after the people who are at risk and I will incorporate that my life and all self-regulating myself so laws that are built into people's hearts are something that you don't have to bother Moses about. Okay, that's a really important distinction because we know after you have read Lord of the flies. People are not self-regulating for good people self regulate.

On the basis of self-interest or pursuit of power or control so you know, that sense of right and wrong.

Yes it initially or at its very root comes from God, but all sinned and fall short of the glory.

We need an external source to understand what is right and wrong and then it's God who implants that in our heart and we become lovers of God's law.

Yet even the giving of the law that Moses don't do more in depth of the chapters go on is knocking a person is not to keep them from sending out still but but in a sense what God is saying here's here's what you need to do if you live like this, and community life will be good, but because God didn't God knows we were made, so I'm gonna give you these laws and these are for your good. I mean, Jesus don't steal from one another. I want to live in the plain people don't steal from each other if that's a good thing since I was a ghost in a sense, even just to give Millwall means that the conflict load that Moses dealing with might actually be prevented through the parties knowing God launches well okay so would Jethro gives him some specific characteristics yet right for these people.

For those ones look for helpers right a lot of relegated were able men who fear God, okay, well, there it is to ask your God, my concerned about what God wants. And who are trustworthy and hate a bribe right so they can't include the part that can't be twisted, while those characteristics are recognized fundamentally recognized as important and set me thinking of some 15 which David wrote hundreds of years later, but he says who Lord me behind in your tent who may do well on your holy hill. He who walks with integrity and works righteousness and speaks truth in his heart and then that Psalm ends up by saying and he won't take a bribe against the innocent rights of those characteristics ring true.

Over centuries. We recognize that men of integrity can't be bribed can't be budged of what is true and good and right are essential to sound government and yet it's really is a great list to could be more detail, but I like it.

In general, able men.

So these are men who you know. They know how to intercede in these kind of things able men. Men who fear God or man. Big big deal. Prerequisite number one. Number one you men who were who are trustworthy you can and because because Moses is going to entrust to these men deal of judging and if they judge poorly.

This is going to get worse. So he's going to ask to them for them to make decisions that most is not to micromanage his way into allow them to do that and hating a bribe.

It's so practical. We talk about corruption in government today it's it's really all about brackets about changing decisions based on money flowing and stuff not just not accepting a bribe, hating the whole concept getting the table to be twisted on the basis of self gain. That's right. It's horrible because this is this is a position of serving people not line in your pocket and so if those if those two things get crossed, you get bad judgments and you get more turmoil in the country and Moses back and try to sort it out. So yeah it's it's a great listen and solicit it. Like you said it consists with generalities that are just beautiful. The echo always and universally recognized. So he has to find these guys theoretically, God in his presence with Moses will point out the right people, and as I think about this some ups and downs in terms of the judges in Israel. But I might point out speaking of judges in Israel that you read the book of Judges. Oh my gosh, which is about people who decided things in conflict judges. One of my favorite to Deborah and she's a woman. Well yes okay let you know convert to talk about Deborah but I was thinking on the repeated refrain in judges is an Everyman did what was right. It is so that takes us back to this first important thing.

Those who fear God, not to think okay I need to know how can I line this up for my own benefit for what's right what's right for me. This is my truth that your truth yeah boy we hear that mention Lord of the flies. It was written as of the experimental what happens when you take right when you take innocent young know English but when I likely are supposed to be pure in many respects, and it's it just becomes hellish in the end, so it's a great commentary mankind you let mankind design his own civilization with not a good understanding of the heart of humankind right and you're going to get hellish kind of civilization God saying only to prevent that is for me to tell you how civilization was to run and that indeed is what Israel is meant to be for the world is supposed to be a model nation to show you how life really works in community.

If God is at the center right and how people who are in right relationship with God conduct themselves as a nation yeah and it utilizes the SE icon experiment, but it is the history of Israel goes on and you can get through David into Solomon coming to the zenith of the great kings of Israel.

I mean the reputation what's going Israel goes worldwide, and even the Queen of Sheba comes up from Africa and says I find out what you're doing now. If you backup from there the first king of Israel was to Saul who picked him that people to people's work out and we can talk of the town turned out, but the second king of Israel, David man after God's own heart.

God chose so the bottom line is the degree to which we allow God to be the center of our community as a gathered people, you will have peace and you'll have organization that works but if you put men at the center and leave God out. It just spirals downward. Well, sure, because then your decisions get made on the basis of what's good for me. What's true for me. Not necessarily for you and it devolves to power struggle and an effort to control my way and gather followers so I can sway the rest of the people.

Exactly instead of looking outside myself to the God who rules the universe in righteousness, yes. So here we have the birth of this nation and God saying no you need to get my laws in my statutes, because this is going to change everything and you need to reinforce by how things go here that I am actually the king this country and not you. And when you get up to the king like we mentioned David David's David's principal advantage of the fact that he preserve the fact that God was the king. And that's right himself and in doing so.

Things went well and when David put himself on the throne and thought he was a king in the nation, things went down so again is like Moses holding up his staff during the battle in those long to recognize that God's the one who superintending on everything that's going on.

God will bring order to and don't you think you can replace God because you just not smart enough so it's interesting here that Moses it says in verse 24 now pressing on. So Moses listened to the voice of his father hello and did all that he had said you know that's an interesting statement on Moses humility. It is, it is is is outsider, and singsong. I think you need to change things goes okay. Based on his relationship with Jethro exactly okay so verse 24. Moses listened verse 25 Moses chose able men out of all Israel and made them heads of the people, chiefs of thousands of hundreds and 50s of tens and they judge the people at all times in any hard case they brought to Moses, but any small matter they decided themselves. Then Moses let his father-in-law depart and he went away to his own country. But what a great contribution.

He had a great contribution and this this whole idea about delegating to able men, I mean that that comes up another passage as you did you get Deuteronomy 1 Moses at the end of his life makes a commentary to the ball on this very thing when he said this is right before they enter into the problem is just a phone. Moses dies and he says that when after they leave Sinai. So after the giving of the law. He says in Deuteronomy 19 he's reviewing their own history for them. I spoke to you at that time saying I'm not able to bear the burden, and you alone the Lord your God is multiplied to you. And behold, you are this day as the stars of heaven for multitude may the Lord your God the father's increase you a thousandfold more than you are and bless you just as he promised you, but how can I bear the load and the burden of you and your strife. Choose wise and discerning and experienced men from your tribes, and I will appoint them as your head.

And then you answered me and said the thing which you said is good to do so I took the has your tribes, wise and experienced men and appointed them heads over you leaders of thousands and hundreds and 50s, and of tens and officers for your tribes, then I charged your judges at that time saying here the cases between your fellow countrymen and judge righteously between a man and his fellow countrymen, or the alien who is with you. You shall not show partiality and judgment you shall hear the small and the great like you shall not fear man judgment is God's.

In the case that's too hard for you shall bring to me and I will hear it and I commanded you at that time all the things you should do so very yes I love you and for them only what we get out. Deuteronomy is life change and we mentioned this before, but Deuteronomy is Moses first-hand commentary on this history were reading on the whole 40 years is Moses and let me tell you what happened there and there you go. Everything he's telling it to the new generation to the generations right in the wilderness right live through what were related to their parents did, but they did so he's explaining to them this is how we got the system so you get so you fill in the details on when you read Deuteronomy, with Moses commenting on the sexual history for benefit. It's really good.

There's another place to were Moses mentions this just before the big quail incident in numbers yeah but you know the basic thing there is.

I need some more people to carry the burden of all the grumbling right in it, but it clearly is a gigantic load on so so this is God.

This is God seeing to the humanity of Moses and saying we need to delegate so we can take us off the shoulders, but I don't want you to stop bringing the people before me and I don't want you to stop teaching my statutes and laws are so that's that's what they go in the promised land remembering is right is the first thing that Moses mentions in his in his commentary going into the prime right reminds of this is the way things are going right no partiality, and hear the small and the great alike. Small degree like everybody has access. So this is this is how the new society will run. And this is how we will decide all these disputes between people and one person can do this.

It also reminds me when not when Paul was writing to the pastoral letters and combed his training up Timothy and Titus of the liturgy writes to Timothy, or, really, to train them to be kind and and and he said in second Timothy two.

He says you know you need to the things I've taught you Timothy, you need to trust the faithful men who will be able to teach others also. And so this principle keeps going on and right polling realize I can't do the whole show Timothy you need to continue this Titus, you need to continue this and to this very day. That's why the word is so central to a lot of a lot of congregations is disseminating, disseminating who God is teaching them about what his ideal is for us living in community with one another what Paul calls the body of Christ and how God needs to stay central to how your gathered assemblies work and if you do that if you do that, then God promises the community to be unlike anything else you ever ever seen before in human history because the creator God is at the center of because of the continuity of discipleship actually is a theme in Deuteronomy. The discipleship fathers to sons sons to sons time. Yeah we will see Jethro over again, but his contribution was just stellar.

We really appreciate really took a load of wood ledger with this look at Jethro and next direction talk, no joy. Next is mainstream church is solely responsible to contact us with your questions or comments


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