How to be a Great Father-in-Law – Pt. 2

SERIES – Wilderness University

Exodus 18 NIV

1      Now Jethro, the priest of Midian and father-in-law of Moses, heard of everything God had done for Moses and for his people Israel, and how the Lord had brought Israel out of Egypt.

2      After Moses had sent away his wife Zipporah, his father-in-law Jethro received her

3      and her two sons. One son was named Gershom, for Moses said, “I have become an alien in a foreign land”;

4      and the other was named Eliezer, for he said, “My father’s God was my helper; he saved me from the sword of Pharaoh.”

5      Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, together with Moses’ sons and wife, came to him in the desert, where he was camped near the mountain of God.

6      Jethro had sent word to him, “I, your father-in-law Jethro, am coming to you with your wife and her two sons.”

7      So Moses went out to meet his father-in-law and bowed down and kissed him. They greeted each other and then went into the tent.

8      Moses told his father-in-law about everything the Lord had done to Pharaoh and the Egyptians for Israel’s sake and about all the hardships they had met along the way and how the Lord had saved them.

9      Jethro was delighted to hear about all the good things the Lord had done for Israel in rescuing them from the hand of the Egyptians.

10    He said, “Praise be to the Lord, who rescued you from the hand of the Egyptians and of Pharaoh, and who rescued the people from the hand of the Egyptians.

11    Now I know that the Lord is greater than all other gods, for he did this to those who had treated Israel arrogantly.”

12    Then Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, brought a burnt offering and other sacrifices to God, and Aaron came with all the elders of Israel to eat bread with Moses’ father-in-law in the presence of God.

13    The next day Moses took his seat to serve as judge for the people, and they stood around him from morning till evening.

14    When his father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he said, “What is this you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge, while all these people stand around you from morning till evening?”

15    Moses answered him, “Because the people come to me to seek God’s will.

16    Whenever they have a dispute, it is brought to me, and I decide between the parties and inform them of God’s decrees and laws.”

17    Moses’ father-in-law replied, “What you are doing is not good.

18    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.

19    Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you. You must be the people’s representative before God and bring their disputes to him.

20    Teach them the decrees and laws, and show them the way to live and the duties they are to perform.

21    But select capable men from all the people–men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain–and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.

22    Have them serve as judges for the people at all times, but have them bring every difficult case to you; the simple cases they can decide themselves. That will make your load lighter, because they will share it with you.

23    If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied.”

24    Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said.

25    He chose capable men from all Israel and made them leaders of the people, officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.

26    They served as judges for the people at all times. The difficult cases they brought to Moses, but the simple ones they decided themselves.

27    Then Moses sent his father-in-law on his way, and Jethro returned to his own country.

  1. Jethro the Father

Exodus 2:11-23 NIV11 One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. 12 Glancing this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. 13 The next day he went out and saw two Hebrews fighting. He asked the one in the wrong, “Why are you hitting your fellow Hebrew?” 14 The man said, “Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid and thought, “What I did must have become known.” 15 When Pharaoh heard of this, he tried to kill Moses, but Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian, where he sat down by a well. 16 Now a priest of Midian had seven daughters, and they came to draw water and fill the troughs to water their father’s flock. 17 Some shepherds came along and drove them away, but Moses got up and came to their rescue and watered their flock. 18 When the girls returned to Reuel their father, he asked them, “Why have you returned so early today?” 19 They answered, “An Egyptian rescued us from the shepherds. He even drew water for us and watered the flock.” 20 “And where is he?” he asked his daughters. “Why did you leave him? Invite him to have something to eat.” 21 Moses agreed to stay with the man, who gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses in marriage. 22 Zipporah gave birth to a son, and Moses named him Gershom, saying, “I have become an alien in a foreign land.” 23 During that long period, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God.

Exodus 3:1-10 MSG1 Moses was shepherding the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. He led the flock to the west end of the wilderness and came to the mountain of God, Horeb. 2 The angel of God appeared to him in flames of fire blazing out of the middle of a bush. He looked. The bush was blazing away but it didn’t burn up. 3 Moses said, “What’s going on here? I can’t believe this! Amazing! Why doesn’t the bush burn up?” 4 God saw that he had stopped to look. God called to him from out of the bush, “Moses! Moses!” He said, “Yes? I’m right here!” 5 God said, “Don’t come any closer. Remove your sandals from your feet. You’re standing on holy ground.” 6 Then he said, “I am the God of your father: The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob.” Moses hid his face, afraid to look at God. 7 God said, “I’ve taken a good, long look at the affliction of my people in Egypt. I’ve heard their cries for deliverance from their slave masters; I know all about their pain. 8 And now I have come down to help them, pry them loose from the grip of Egypt, get them out of that country and bring them to a good land with wide-open spaces, a land lush with milk and honey, the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite. 9 “The Israelite cry for help has come to me, and I’ve seen for myself how cruelly they’re being treated by the Egyptians. 10 It’s time for you to go back: I’m sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the People of Israel, out of Egypt.”

  1. Jethro the Fan

Exodus 4:18 NIV – Then Moses went back to Jethro his father-in-law and said to him, “Let me go back to my own people in Egypt to see if any of them are still alive.” Jethro said, “Go, and I wish you well.”

We can either advance or abandon our people.

Hebrew 11:24-26 NIV24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. 26 He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV – Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

Treat a person as they are, and they remain who they are.

Treat a person as he can and should become and he will become as they can and should become.

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