The primary lesson of Exodus 18 concerns multiplying ministry. It has been said, “You cannot teach an old dog new tricks.” Perhaps, but you can teach an old preacher new methods. Moses is beyond 80, and is instructed by his father-in-law, of all people! This is a valuable truth for church leaders.
Hear THE WORD OF TESTIMONY (v.1-9). Moses leads the flock of God back where he had shepherded Jethro’s sheep. He returns to the mountain of God where the Lord had called him and will give him the Ten Commandments. Moses’ wife and sons are reunited with him. He tells his family of God’s deliverance and they rejoice in this word of testimony. Our family needs to hear stories of God’s faithfulness to us.
This leads to THE WORSHIP OF DEITY (v.10-12). While Moses was God’s instrument of deliverance, it was the hand of the Almighty that wrought it. Therefore, it was God who was to receive all the glory. God demonstrated that He was the One True God, unlike the false gods of Egypt devised by the imaginations of men. Worship is expressed, fellowship is enjoyed, and God is exalted.
Then we see THE WORK OF MINISTRY (v.13-27). Ministry demands work—there is toil and trouble. It is a burden we are not meant to bear alone. Jethro’s counsel to Moses ought to be heeded by us—insisting on a plurality of elders in every church. No matter the nature of our ministry, we are to be discovering faithful people whom we can develop and deploy so that ministry is multiplied.
Paul put it to Timothy, “and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.” (2 Timothy 2:2). Yes, ministry is hard work, but we need to learn to work smarter and not just harder. That is done as we work diligently to develop more ministers.
Yours for Multiplying Ministry,
Dennis Thurman, AMS