Unsung Heroes: Jethro

Blair Smith, Speaker

Exodus 18:1-27 | July 17 - Sunday Morning,

Sunday Morning,
July 17
Unsung Heroes: Jethro | Exodus 18:1-27
Blair Smith, Speaker

Our Father, Your Word is truth. Sanctify us by Your truth, through the Word preached. May Your Spirit open our hearts to receive Your truth. May my words be according to Your truth, and in all things, may the One who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life be seen and be exalted. It is in Jesus Christ’s name we pray. Amen.

Well, in-laws get a bad rap. They are the butt of many an offhand comment. You’ve heard them. What are you doing this weekend, Bill? Well, the out-laws, I mean, the in-laws are in town.

Well, I feel compelled to say I have wonderful in-laws. They have been a great blessing to me and to my life. Many of you have had that same experience. That doesn’t mean all relationships with in-laws are great, but we can give thanks to God that He blesses families with wise and even godly in-laws.

That’s how they’re often presented to us in Scripture, in a positive light. Perhaps the most famous in-law in all of Scripture is Naomi, mother-in-law to Ruth, a book of the Bible goes by Ruth’s name. Naomi is a model of blessing and encouragement in incredibly difficult circumstances.

Another in-law is the unsung hero who we consider together this morning, the unsung hero Jethro. This sermon is a part of our summer series on Unsung Heroes in the Bible. If you’ve head of Jethro, you probably know he’s Moses’ father-in-law, the father of Moses’ wife Zipporah, and if you know that, you probably know he gave Moses some very good and wise advice. We’re going to get to that advice and how it is important for Israel, and it’s really important for the Church all the way up until the present.

But before that, we want to set this in context, so we’re going to walk through our passage in this sermon through three points. We’re first going to zoom out. We’re going to zoom out and consider how God is about delivering His people, how God is about delivering His people, that’s our first point this morning.

Our second point is we’re going to zoom in and we’re going to listen in to how God uses family conversations, family conversations.

Then thirdly we’re going to zoom forward, zoom forward and consider how God provides for the ongoing health of His people.

So zoom out, zoom in, zoom forward.

Let’s now read our passage together. It’s the whole of Exodus 18, verses 1 to 27. Here the Word of the Lord.

“Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses’ father-in-law, heard of all that God had done for Moses and for Israel his people, how the Lord had brought Israel out of Egypt. Now Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, had taken Zipporah, Moses’ wife, after he had sent her home, along with her two sons. The name of the one was Gershom (for he said, “I have been a sojourner in a foreign land”), and the name of the other, Eliezer (for he said, “The God of my father was my help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh”). Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, came with his sons and his wife to Moses in the wilderness where he was encamped at the mountain of God. And when he sent word to Moses, “I, your father-in-law Jethro, am coming to you with your wife and her two sons with her,” Moses went out to meet his father-in-law and bowed down and kissed him. And they asked each other of their welfare and went into the tent. Then Moses told his father-in-law all that the Lord had done to Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel’s sake, all the hardship that had come upon them in the way, and how the Lord had delivered them. And Jethro rejoiced for all the good that the Lord had done to Israel, in that he had delivered them out of the hand of the Egyptians.”

“Jethro said, “Blessed be the Lord, who has delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians and out of the hand of Pharaoh and has delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians. Now I know that the Lord is greater than all gods, because in this affair they dealt arrogantly with the people.” And Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, brought a burnt offering and sacrifices to God; and Aaron came with all the elders of Israel to eat bread with Moses’ father-in-law before God.”

“The next day Moses sat to judge the people, and the people stood around Moses from morning till 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, and all the people stand around you from morning till evening?” And Moses said this 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 them know the statutes of God and his laws.” 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. Now obey my voice; I will give you advice, and God be with you! You shall represent the people before God and bring their cases to God, and you shall warn them about the statutes and the laws, and make them know the way in which they must walk and what they must do. Moreover, look for able men from all the people, men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe, and place such men over the people as chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. And let them judge the people at all times. Every great matter they shall bring to you, but any small matter they shall decide themselves. So it will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you. If you do this, God will direct you, you will be able to endure, and all this people also will go to their place in peace.””

“So Moses listened to the voice of his father-in-law and did all that he had said. Moses chose able men out of all Israel and made them heads over the people, chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. And they judged the people at all times. Any hard case they brought to Moses, but any small matter they decided themselves. Then Moses let his father-in-law depart, and he went away to his own country.”

The Word of the Lord.

Now one of the most famous books in the history of the western world is John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress. Many of you have read it. Beyond the striking allegory, the perception it has into the Christian soul, it is an enduring classic because it gives us a picture of the Christian life. A picture of the Christian life as one of pilgrimage, of pilgrimage. We are not home, we are on our way home. We have been saved. We’ve been united to Christ by the Spirit. We have a sense of what our home is, especially on a day like today where we gather as God’s people on the Lord’s day in the Lord’s house, but still we recognize we are on the way.

This is true for us now as the people of God. It’s true for us now because we look forward to our glorification, we look forward to being with the triune God in the new heavens and the new earth, and we simply got foretastes of that now.

It’s also true for the people of God after the Exodus. God had freed them from the bondage of slavery under the thumb of the Egyptians and He’s leading them somewhere better now. He’s leading them to the Promised Land, to the land flowing with milk and honey.

And what Bunyan’s Pilgrim teaches us is that this pilgrim life is a life on the way and as it is a life on the way, it is a life of conflict, of conflict. Internally. We have the struggles of our own grumbling, our own unbelief. Think of your own internal struggle, day by day, with sin. And this is no different from the ancient Israelites, who often wished they were back in Egypt where they had food. Whenever they faced hardship, “What was it like when we were back there?” So they struggled with complaining and contentment. This is an internal struggle.

But externally, externally there are forces that seek to destroy God’s people. The Church today throughout the world faces a variety of soft and violent persecution, and this again is similar to the ancient Israelites.

Just one chapter prior to this one, in Exodus 17, God’s people faced an external and violent threat from the Amalekites, who were defeated in that chapter, it’s a fascinating episode, through the power of God, but through the power of God working through Moses’ raised hands. It’s a remarkable scene that makes crystal clear that God’s people are delivered, but they’re delivered through God and through His power, and He often likes to bring His deliverance through apparently very strange means that redound to His glory.

Well, God as a powerful deliverer, comes to a pinnacle in our chapter in the book of Exodus, chapter 18. The story of this book leading up to this point has been about the salvation God brings to His people. In the next chapter, in chapter 19, there will be a focus on God’s will as it’s revealed through the law at Mount Sinai. So here in chapter 18, God will not let us forget His powerful deliverance. He here puts in an exclamation point on it.

But as He often does, He does it in a surprising way. He does it in a surprising way. He does it here through a Gentile, through a Gentile. This is surprising that He does it through a Gentile, but if we are reading Exodus with Genesis, it is not entirely surprising. God promised, all the way back when He was originally giving His promises of the covenant of grace in Genesis 12, He said to Abram, “In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” And then later He said, “Behold my covenant is with you and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be called Abraham, for I have made you a father of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful and I will make you into nations and kings shall come from you.”

This, of course, is being fulfilled throughout the world today, but even in the Old Testament when God’s focus was primarily on His people, the Jews, He’s giving us glimpses of how He is working throughout the world among the nations.

He starts with Israel, God has a special love for Israel as we see throughout Exodus, but he has always had His eye set on the nations. His glory will be seen when nations are coming to Him.

We see through our unsung hero this morning, Jethro, a foretaste of the nations. Not all Gentiles, not all Gentiles are enemies to the people of God. The Amalekites in chapter 17, they were, but sometimes the Israelites are their own worst enemies, as they murmur in the wilderness, and sometimes God uses a maverick Gentile who confesses faith and is a tool in God’s revelation.

This is something for us to remember. This is something for us to remember and apply to our lives. In a time where the cultural heat is being turned up against the Church in the western world, we’re tempted to view all those outside the Church as Amalekites, right? As those hardened and poised to destroy God’s people. But God has many in this world who are a people of God and don’t know it yet, who will be in the Church but are not yet in the Church. Remember Paul, a great persecutor of Christians, who would later be the apostle to the Gentiles.

So how do we know this? Christ has not yet returned. Christ is still in the business of gathering His people. God still has some Jethros who He will be drawing to Himself through our witness to Christ. Even the witness, even the witness of family conversations.

So zooming out we see Yahweh is a God who delivers.

Let’s now zoom in and listen to this family conversation that we find in verses 1 through 12 of our passage. As we turn to verses 1 through 12 of this chapter, the first thing that stands out is how it contracts with the preceding material of Exodus. So if you’re reading through Exodus, you’d start in chapter 1 and you’re going through the chapters, and then you happen on chapter 18, one thing that will jump out to you is that things slow down. Things slow down.

In this long narrative, such as Exodus, filled with sometimes brief episodes and a fair amount of action, think of all the action of the plagues and getting the people of God out of Egypt, the fact that the narrative slows down, what that causes us to do if we’re attentive readers to God’s Word, is to now really pay attention. Now we should always be paying attention, but the mere fact that this is slowing down, we really want to listen in carefully.

You know, it’s like when the light sabers and star fighters calm down in Star Wars and there’s a conversation, say between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker, that action slowing down and that dialogue, we want to listen carefully. This is going to be pivotal to the whole story.

That this whole chapter is taken up with exchanges between Jethro and Moses’ family, it tells us that God is up to something. He wants us to really pay attention here.

As we see in verse 2, at some point Moses sent his wife and children back to her family. We’re not exactly sure when he did this, but it makes sense that he might have done it when the plagues were heating up, right? In Egypt. I want you go get out of town, Zipporah and children. This will be for your safety. So they go back to her family.

And as we noted, what is remarkable here is we have Jethro, a leader of a neighboring people, who’s not seeking to destroy. That’s kind of what we’re accustomed to as we follow these Israelites. Not seeking to destroy, but to honor, even to confess, even to confess Israel’s God.

Moses and Zipporah’s sons’ names tell the story of where Israel has been and her deliverance. First there’s Gershom, “I have been a sojourner in a foreign land,” and of course that’s been the story of Israel. Next there’s Eliezer, “The God of my father has been my help and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh.” That’s a story of God’s redeeming grace as He took them, people of God, out of slavery in Egypt.

Remember what God said to Pharaoh in Exodus 9: “But for this purpose I have raised you, Pharaoh, up, to show you My power so that My name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” And what’s remarkable is that’s happening already. That’s happening already. Jethro has heard from the word of mouth and now from Moses all that God has done for Israel, and he gives his own personal response.

We find that personal response, that confession, in verses 10 to 11. This comes right after a warm greeting by Moses and his personal testimony to what God, specifically the text here highlights, Yahweh, the covenant God, has done for His people, how He has delivered them.

Jethro rejoiced at this and said, “Blessed be the Lord.” And Jethro, too, uses here God’s covenant name. You can see it there in your English Bibles, LORD, all capitalized. This is to signal that the name behind it here is Yahweh, God’s covenant name. Jethro, too, using that name. He doesn’t just give a vague reference to a mighty god, he specifically blesses Israel’s God, the God of the universe.

Then he responds. He responds with conviction. We see that in verse 11. He says, “Now I know.” He knows that Yahweh’s not just Israel’s tribal deity. He confesses He’s greater than all, greater than all gods, the gods of the nations. The gods of the nations are to be mocked. They were mocked through the plagues in Egypt as through them Moses demonstrated Yahweh’s power over them. Jethro sees this, he understands that Yahweh is mightier than all other gods, even the gods found in Midian that he formerly served. Jethro is apparently convinced, convinced of this.

This is a remarkable passage of Moses as an evangelist to his own family. Moses as an evangelist within his own family.

As many of us know, talking about our faith in Christ with our family can be one of the most difficult things that we do. Why? Then know us best. They know us best. They know our weaknesses. And Jethro here, as we will learn, knew one of Moses’ weaknesses, and he will give some advice to try to steer him on a better path.

But’s amazing what weaknesses can be tolerated when there’s humility, as there is here in spades with Moses, who greeted his father-in-law by bowing down and kissing him and truly listening to him.

Our families do know us best, warts and all, and this is what makes it sometimes so hard to speak of our faith and to invite them to confess faith in Christ as well. But thanks be to God, He uses family. In fact, family and friends are one of, if not the primary, means God uses in order to draw people to Himself.

Moses gives us a wonderful example here of one who was humbly faithful to testify to the true and living and gracious God, Yahweh Himself, and he gives testimony to what He has done and that opens the floodgates for Jethro’s own personal faith, this Gentile, his father-in-law.

And his faith is confirmed through what appears to be almost a covenantal ceremony, where Jethro offers sacrifices to God and joins Aaron and the other leaders to eat a meal before God. You know, just as we confess our faith in Christ and then share a meal together in the Lord’s Supper in which we commune with God, there’s almost this sacramental reality that highlights the great and mighty reality that God delivers not only His own people, He even delivers Gentiles who see the greatness and the grace of Yahweh and confess His name.

Well, we’ve zoomed out to gain a broad perspective on how this passage fits within God’s great deliverance and His people, and we’ve now zoomed in to see how God delivered this one Gentile, our man here, the unsung hero Jethro, through the intimacy and even mundaneness of family conversation.

Let’s now zoom forward here, in verses 13 to 27, where the passage pivots from Jethro as confessor of Yahweh to God, to providing wisdom for Moses and really for the whole of God’s people. This wisdom comes from God but Jethro is His chosen instrument, and this is a wisdom that will be for the ongoing health of God’s people and our spiritual flourishing.

Well, after Jethro confesses faith in Yahweh, shares this meal with the leaders of Israel, life for Moses doesn’t stop. It says in verse 13, “the next day.” “The next day Moses sat to judge the people.” Now the fact that Moses is sitting here to judge the people teaches us two things. Number one, Israel was not a lawless society prior to the giving of the law at Sinai in the following chapters. For one, we know the Sabbath and Passover observance were already a part of their life, and that Moses taught the people the statutes and laws of God.

What happens at Sinai is a codification of the law and how it will operate among the people of God going forward as they eventually make it to the Promised Land. But we also know that because Israel has been captive to Egypt, they could have hardly had their own judicial system up until this point. But now they’re out of Egypt. Now that they’re out of Egypt, there’s opportunity.

What has happened is things have defaulted to their main leader Moses handling cases. Not just one or two cases. Remember, Israel in Egypt had grown into a numerous and a mighty people. Moses is having to judge them from morning until evening and this is a problem. This is a problem. It’s a two-fold problem. It’s a problem for Moses and it’s a problem for the people of God.

We as a church in the 21st century have something to learn from both perspectives. As Jethro’s wise advice brings solution, yes, to Moses, but also to God’s people. From the perspective of Moses, we have something to learn about our finitude. That is, how we are limited in our humanity, and we need to humbly recognize that. Moses is overworked. Moses is overcommitted. Sometimes it takes a wiser, older, more experienced person who cares for us, who cares for our family, to recognize that, and that’s what Jethro does here.

Jethro, father to Moses’ wife, grandfather to Moses’ children, now also a believer in Israel’s covenant God, he looks at this scene and he gives one very simple, direct judgment. It’s there is verse 17 – “Moses, what you’re doing, it’s not good. It’s not good.” He goes on – “You, and the people with you,” and certainly here he’s thinking of the Israelites and the Israelite leaders, but I also imagine he’s thinking here of his daughter and his grandchildren, “You and the people with you will certainly wear yourselves out for the thing is too heavy for you. You cannot do it alone.” Those are some of the most refreshing words that we can hear, right? You cannot do it alone.

Now let’s briefly consider why is Moses so overworked? It’s true, he’s judging all these cases, from morning til evening, but in the midst of that he’s also, as we can see in verse 16, functioning as law giver, as he makes God’s people know the statutes and laws of God.

Then we see in verse 20 he’s to be the teacher for the people. He makes them know the way in which they must walk and what they must do.

So Jethro, confidently and wisely, brings advice that provides gracious resolution to this problem. He tells Moses, “I want you to select a plurality of leaders, but not just any leaders. Not just anyone will do. Godly leaders. Men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe.”

We can put that briefly – they are to have the right loyalties, to God first and foremost, and they cannot be swayed away from that loyalty.

These men will then help take the burden off of Moses’ shoulders.

So what is established here is a tiered leadership structure where people and case are broken down from larger into smaller groups and from weightier into lighter cases. On the one hand this makes almost too much sense, right? Perhaps it’s been suggested, or last least thought of before by Moses or those who are around him, but there’s a crucial difference here in this episode. The courage of Jethro to give this advice confidently and the humility of Moses to receive it and to implement it, to apply it.

We must remember while advice like this can be given in a certain attitude, “I know better than you, now you listen to me” type of tone, that’s not the case here and it doesn’t have to be the case in our lives and relationships. So often we’re reticent to give advice because we think it can only take place within that “I know better than you” tone.

Jethro is not being self-serving. He’s not seeking to bring attention to himself here. It’s not like Jethro’s a consultant who’s hired by Israel, who gives this great advice so that he can then get a top job after all is said and done in Israel. It says at the end of the chapter, Jethro departs, he goes back to Midian.

No, Jethro is a hero because he’s attentive and loving enough to give advice and bless someone and a family and a nation that he cares for. He knows this advice will be a blessing. Look at verse 22: “So it will be easier for you and they will bear the burden with you.” And verse 23: “Moses, you’ll be able to endure.”

Certainly Jethro here is thinking not just of those immediately before him, but also the generations. This will be a blessing to Moses’ whole family down through Jethro’s grandchildren and beyond.

As I prepared this sermon and thought about Jethro, I couldn’t help but thinking about a wiser, older elder at a church I formerly served at in the Washington, D.C., area. He was an accomplished, internationally recognized patent attorney. He lives his life open-handed in service of others. He was one that younger attorneys, of which there are many in D.C., looked up to, sought advice from. One of the things that this man was doing well into his 80s, maybe even into his 90s now, was working with younger attorneys as well as the D.C. Bar Association, not on working more, but on working smarter and working less.

You see, he thought the legal profession had turned into a monster where you couldn’t make a career of it, at least in a place like D.C., unless you were working 100-hour weeks late into your 20s, 30s, and 40s, which of course are ages when young lawyers are trying to get married, trying to start families, be involved in the communities, and their churches. 100-hour weeks, week after week. They work you to the bone, leave no room for anyone to bless anything other than the firm and its clients.

So this wise elder was doing his best Jethro for anyone that might listen, saying, “You’re going to wear yourselves out. You’re not going to be a blessing to your family and church. Try and find a smarter, more wise, godly way.” And while he was trying to give good advice to these young lawyers, he was also trying to work as much as he could on the system through the Bar Association. That’s Jethro-type work. That’s bringing wisdom from God and trying to work it into the highways and byways of our life.

The question for us this morning – has God put you in a similar situation? Perhaps you’re a more experienced mother, a financial adviser, a teacher. You see others in your spheres of influence who are trying to do too much. You know they will wear themselves out and miss being a blessing they can be to those around them and down through the generations. They need others to help bear burdens with them.

Should you pray about giving some Jethro-type advice? What have you learned? What have you experienced that will help things go easier for others so they may endure in the faith and be a blessing to those around them?

So maybe you this morning need to take your cue from Jethro. But maybe you need to take your cue from Moses in this instance. You’re overcommitted. You’re overworked. Now, this could just be a blind spot. You need someone to simply shine a light and some wisdom so you can see the areas where you need to grow and you need to take greater responsibility.

But as we know, it can be more than a blind spot. There can be a real spiritual matter here to wrestle with and to repent of. Perhaps you fear giving up some measure of control. Perhaps you fear others not doing as good of a job as you think you can do, and so you fear sharing burdens with others. Perhaps you fear not receiving recognition. Let’s pray for humility and receptiveness such as Moses had here, where we’re ready at all times to receive Jethro advice, even if it puts us a few notches lower, means a little less hype in our lives.

Now Jethro recognizes that good structures matter. Good organization, good structures, matter. Having just one person at the top who’s trying to do everything, it’s a recipe for disaster, both for him and for the people that he is leading. And Moses teaches us that leaders need to be receptive to wisdom of good structures. They need to actively say no to things and free others to share in the burdens of leadership.

Now all the Presbyterians in the room, and we’re a Presbyterian church, after all, your “amen-ing” in your hearts. Now, you’re “amen-ing” quietly and not shouting because, well, Presbyterians. We do things decently and in good order.

Now what God establishes here among Israel through Jethro’s wise advice is the foundation for the judicial system in Israel going forward. It is also the foundation for elder rule in Presbyterianism, in the church. A presbyter, that word is simply a Greek word for elder. Presbyterianism is a form of church government that holds together through elder rule, through connected churches. Presbyterians believe in distributed responsibility. By definition, we do not believe in one man trying to do it all on his own.

Earlier in the service, we read from Titus 1 and Paul’s instruction for elders who are to rule the church. You’ll note there not just one was to be appointed, elders, elders are to be leading the church. The bigger the church, the more elders are needed. So a church like Christ Covenant has lots of elders. Churches that are connected to one another regionally, they need a presbytery to handle weighty matters that come to them from individual churches, and presbyteries need a general assembly when large and important matters from the presbytery need a higher court to decide in a matter.

The whole Presbyterian system of church government takes its cues from a variety of Scriptures, but at the foundation is this one – Exodus 18 and the wise advice that Jethro gives to Moses. Jethro brings solution to Moses’ problem. He gives wise advice that brings solution to the churches’ problems.

But it extends beyond, you know, the details of Presbyterian polity that I just gave you and you can wake up from your nap now. It brings solution to churches, to families, to lives, if we are willing to listen and apply. It brings solution to the people of God.

One byproduct of only having Moses teach and judge according to God’s people is that while the Word was present as Moses spoke it, it was in a sense distant from all of God’s people, distant. Through Jethro’s wise advice, a structure is established that provides a way for God’s Word to penetrate from thousands to hundreds to fifties to tens. What enables God’s Word getting down into the tens, into that personal sphere, is this good and this wise structure.

Think about it. The Word goes forth Sunday by Sunday from this pulpit. This is a necessary and vital function of the ministry of the Church. It’s one of God’s choicest gifts to His people, the Word preached. But then elders, elders take the Word and they shepherd their communities with it. And you have women and you have men’s Bible study leadership. You have discipleship groups. You have adult Sunday School, youth group, children’s Sunday School. All these are ways of structuring this big group of intergenerational people at Christ Covenant in order that God’s Word might come nearer and minister across generations, minister into the nitty and the gritty of our lives.

So we need Jethros who will speak wisdom to the leaders of the church, to our pastors, to our elders. We also need elders who will minister God’s Word to a hurting family. Youth leaders who will minister God’s Word to a teenager who is just beginning to consider his or her faith in light of their whole life through the lens of Scripture. Nursery workers who will plant seminal stories in the imagination of our children. Bible study, small group leaders who will bring God’s Word into the creases, crevices, and corners of our lives.

I submit to you that’s consistent, that’s actually following Jethro’s wise vision here.

Well, as we’ve zoomed out from our passage, we saw that God is faithful to His promises. He delivers His people. He delivers them through great and mighty acts, such as the Exodus from Egypt. He continues to deliver them even through a maverick Gentile such as Jethro, who becomes a tool of God’s revelation. So we’ve zoomed out.

We’ve zoomed in and we saw how God uses mundane things, mundane things like family conversations, to draw people to Himself. Moses is an example here for us of an evangelist, a family evangelist, who is faithful to give witness to God’s mighty deliverance in that very hardest of audiences, our own family, and thanks be to God this Gentile Jethro confesses faith in Yahweh.

And from there we then zoomed forward to this wise Gentile dispensing advice that is for the ongoing health of God’s people even today in the Church. It was for Moses’, it was for ancient Israelites’ health, and if we have ears to hear, it is for our health, for the health of the leaders of the Church today and the body of Christ, as we seek for that life-giving Word to penetrate down through the body, from thousands to hundreds to fifties to tens, even to you and to me.

Let us pray. Our heavenly Father, we thank You for Your grace. We thank You for Your grace for Your people that we see in the story of the Exodus, a picture of our own slavery to sin and how You sovereignly release us from our bondage to our sin through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. We thank You for saving us. We pray for any that are here that do not know Christ, that they would be drawn to Christ through the Word. So we thank You for Your grace, but we also thank you for Your wisdom. We thank You that when You save us, You do not simply lead us unguided, but You continue to guide us, and You guide us through the wisdom that You provided in Your Word, even through this Gentile Jethro. We thank you that he had a heart for how that Word might be applied throughout the people, even down to the personal level, and may that be our heart at Christ Covenant. May we continue to pray and encourage pastors and Kevin as they preach that Word Sunday by Sunday from this pulpit, may it be true to Your Word, but may we also be about making sure that wisdom is getting down, that Word is getting down into all of our lives. So we pray for wisdom, for leadership at Christ Covenant, and in our own lives of how we might apply Jethro’s wisdom, but may we be also humble, may we be Moses, may we be receptive to those that can speak into our lives in a way that will bless not only us, but will bless down through the generations. Give us the grace to be like Moses if we need to. May all this redound to the greater glory of Christ who is our Savior, who we have been united to by the Spirit. We now pray through Christ’s name and continue to worship Him. Amen.