“This is not good!” Moses’ father-in-law exclaimed. “You’re going to wear yourself out—and the people, too. This job is too heavy a burden for you to handle all by yourself. (Exodus 18:17-18)
Relate: The River Walk is intended to be used as a devotional. I know a lot of those reading it only do so once or twice, now and then, here or there. That’s OK. I know some others who are reading it daily. However it is being read, thank you. I appreciate and am praying for each and every one of you reading this. But here’s the thing. In the read section, every day I have listed and linked the scriptures that track the One Year Bible program. If you get on here, click the link and read that every day while ignoring everything else I have written great. I’m fine with that. God’s Word is far more important than anything I have to write. However, if you are reading everything I write while ignoring that link, I am not fine with that. What I write is only meant to be a help, an illustration, or an explanation to the real thing. What scripture says is the real deal.
That said, when I was reading through this portion of Exodus, the thought, “help wanted” was what came to mind. Exodus chapter twenty is probably one of the most famous portions in scripture. The Decalogue, the Ten Commandments, that God gave Moses found there are the greatest concise list of laws in the history of mankind, and its effects and principles can still be seen in courts the world over (even if people fight to remove copies of those laws themselves). So today is really just a preparation for tomorrow. Chapter 17 gave the Israelites victory in their relations to their neighbors, chapter 18 justice in their relationships with each other, and 19 purity or consecration in their relationship with God.
In chapter 17, while seeking victory, Moses could not act alone. He went up on the mountain and as long as he kept his staff raised, the Israelites were winning. The thing is, that staff can get awfully heavy. He needed Aaron and Hur to provide a seat of rest for him and then to hold up his arms.
In chapter 18, while providing justice, again Moses needed help. In the last chapter, it was a couple of individuals who helped. This time it is a group of leaders who were appointed. Rather than trying to do everything himself, Moses followed Jethro’s wise advice and appointed men to be judges over various numbers of people according to ability. The desire and urge to do everything yourself only leads to burnout and bogs people down in the minutiae of the good (ch 18) so that they will never have the time for the great (ch 20)
In chapter 19, in consecrating the people, Moses could only point the way. He needed help from individuals, the group, and now from the community. When God spoke the Ten Commandments, it was to all the people and for all people. No matter how great any individual leader may seem, true world changing greatness in a community (or church) can only happen when everyone in that community is on board as an active participant.
React: Am I a part of a world changing church? Am I living in a truly great community? Where I am a leader, am I trying to do it all alone? Do I have the humility to know when I might need help from peers, a team, and the community at large? Where I am under another’s leadership, am I contributing my part? Am I truly lifting up their hands when they grow weary, working as part of a team and thus freeing up their time for the greater things, and living my life consecrated to God under their authority? Or am I constantly grasping for more “authority”, backbiting, complaining, gossiping, or in other ways undermining what God is trying to do through them? No man can work alone. Am I being and seeking help or am I getting in the way of what God is trying to do?
Help me to operate in the reality that I am a part of a team. I cannot do it all alone. Neither can those around me. Help me to be an Aaron and a Hur. Help me to seek out the help of the Aarons and Hurs that you have placed in my life. The world is waiting for the change You are ready to make through a team working together for You. Help me to be a part of that team.