Moses' father-in-law said to him, “What you are doing is not good. You and the people with you will certainly wear yourselves out, for the thing is too heavy for you. You are not able to do it alone. (Exodus 18)
There’s no question about it; Moses was a leader. Not only did he lead the deliverance of God's people from their bondage in Egypt, he also acted as the lawgiver, judge and mediator for God's people. This leadership position that God had given him was one that he took seriously, and so he was sincere in all of his efforts to concern himself with the cares and conflicts of his people no matter how great or small the case. However, this became a full-time commitment that would take up the entirety of the day, and so one day his father-in-law foresaw the exhaustion and lack of efficiency this would bring upon Moses and the people and offered some wise advice:
“What you are doing is not good. You and the people with you will certainly wear yourselves out, for the thing is too heavy for you. You are not able to do it alone.”
How many of us might be trying to do too much and therefore sacrificing efficiency for utter exhaustion?
As Matthew Henry once wrote, "There may be over-doing even in well-doing." Now to be sure, we are never to settle for less than what we are responsible for doing, but we also ought not to load ourselves with more than we are responsible to bear.
Great men can display great power by empowering other great men.
The tasks of a deliverer, lawgiver, judge and mediator was more than even a great man like Moses was capable of fulfilling completely. And so, through his father-in-law’s advice, Moses made a decision to lead by empowering others. Moses appointed new leaders to help with these tasks and only the severe cases and concerns of the people would make it to the supreme court of Moses' attention and action.
Empowering others can decrease our exhaustion and increase our efficiency.
Moses was a great leader, but one day a greater leader than Moses came into this world. He was more than capable of the tasks undertaken by a deliverer, lawgiver, judge and mediator.
Jesus our Lord and Leader is the ultimate Deliverer, Lawgiver, Judge and Mediator for his people. No matter how great or small our case or concern may be, he has invited us to cast our cares upon him. He exhausted himself by bearing the great burden of our sin and empowered us to live the life that we were created to live.
And so, may we take on the responsibility of finding rest in the work of Christ, and may we perform our tasks efficiently and effectively by embracing a kind of leadership that empowers others.