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Exodus 18:13-27, Jethro’s Advice

Narrative Lectionary Key Verse for Today

For the task is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone. 
— Exodus 18:18

NL Daily Devotion for Saturday, October 6, 2018

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by Rev. Stefanie Fauth, Clergy Stuff


For a long time, I think we praised people for going above and beyond. For having it all.

We invented devices to help ourselves become more effective - we bragged about how little sleep we could get away with, and the coffee industry boomed.

Do you know what else has skyrocketed?

Mental health problems.

More and more people are faced with anxiety and depression than ever before. More and more people are burning out at younger ages because we were not built to move so quickly and do so much.

The current trend seems to be self-care - and that’s a great thing.

Moses didn’t even hear from God he was doing too much - it was his father-in-law who gave him some really practical advice.

You can’t do it all yourself - it isn’t good for you.

So remember that - you don’t have to lift everything yourself - because it’s probably too heavy, and there are lots of people around to help you if only you ask!


Narrative Lectionary Daily Reading:

Exodus 18:13-27

The next day Moses sat as judge for the people, while the people stood around him from morning until evening. When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he was doing for the people, he said, “What is this that you are doing for the people? Why do you sit alone, while all the people stand around you from morning until evening?” 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 known to them the statutes and instructions of God.” Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “What you are doing is not good. You will surely wear yourself out, both you and these people with you. For the task is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone. Now listen to me. I will give you counsel, and God be with you! You should represent the people before God, and you should bring their cases before God; teach them the statutes and instructions and make known to them the way they are to go and the things they are to do. You should also look for able men among all the people, men who fear God, are trustworthy, and hate dishonest gain; set such men over them as officers over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. Let them sit as judges for the people at all times; let them bring every important case to you, but decide every minor case themselves. So it will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you. If you do this, and God so commands you, then you will be able to endure, and all these people will go to their home in peace.” So Moses listened to his father-in-law and did all that he had said. Moses chose able men from all Israel and appointed them as heads over the people, as officers over thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens. And they judged the people at all times; hard cases they brought to Moses, but any minor case they decided themselves. Then Moses let his father-in-law depart, and he went off to his own country.

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