And so it was, on the next day, that Moses sat to judge the people; and the people stood before Moses from morning until evening. So when Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he did for the people, he said, “What is this thing that you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit, and all the people stand before you from morning until evening?” (Exodus 18:13-14)
Through the years, there have been people who have asked me, “What is your real job?” or “What do you do to make a living?” In other words, they incorrectly assume that working in ministry isn’t work but something that people do on the side in addition to their “real job.” Mind you, I don’t think these people mean it as an insult; it’s just that some don’t truly consider just how taxing working in the ministry can be. If you have spent any time at all in the ministry, then I don’t have to tell you.
In these verses, Moses, acting as a judge for the people, spent all day listening to people’s problems and issues. It was upon his shoulders to hear, deliberate and make decisions on matters small and greater for this mass of people. No doubt, he was absolutely drained by the end of the day and that is why, apparently, Jethro spoke up.
Whether it is ministry or some other vocation, we all need to consider that, if we are not careful, we can allow the responsibility God has given to grow into something beyond what He requires of us. In other words, we must all be careful to maintain proper balance in our lives so that ALL responsibilities given to us are addressed properly. More specifically, don’t let your job or your ministry rob you of the time you should spend with your family and loved ones. Furthermore, be aware of the fact that our bodies and minds can only do so much. It is our responsibility to take care of ourselves in such a way that we can continue to do what we have been called to do. Like Moses, we all have great intentions and want to help God’s people but we must all consider the voice of the Jethros who say, “For your sake and the sake of your family, get some help.”
Blessings and Shalom,