Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Exodus 18 "Hard Cases"

Exodus 18:5 "And Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, came with his sons (Gershom and Eliezer) and his wife (Zipporah) unto Moses into the wilderness, where he encamped at the mount of God:"

As one who has had to be away from his family, I can tell you it was difficult for Moses to do his duty with his family far away. He has dealt with Pharaoh and the murmurring of Israel for some time now, so seeing his family must have been a joyous time for him. The next day after the reunion, Moses was sitting and judging the people. He was holding court.

Exodus 18:12 "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."

Moses had a big job with so many people. I expect with that many people there were always disputes over who owned which cow or there was a fight or someone lusted after another's wife. It would have been a variety of issues to settle. When they left Egypt there were six hundred thousand on foot that were men, beside children (Exodus 12:37). There is no mention that anyone else was helping Moses in this task and Jethro did wisely to counsel Moses on it.

v18 "Thou wilt surely wear away, both thou, and this people that is with thee: for this thing is too heavy for thee; thou are not able to perform it thyself alone."

Jethro went on to tell Moses that he should appoint able men of truth to judge thousands and hundreds and fifties and rulers of tens v21. It was much like a military unit is set up.

v26 "And they judged the people at all seasons: the hard cases they brought unto Moses, but every small matter they judged themselves."

And so a system was set up to rule and judge the concerns of the people.

Psalm 33:11 "The counsel of the Lord standeth forever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations."

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