“Be wise, my son, and bring joy to my heart..” ( Proverbs 27:11).
The life of Moses can fall into three chapters. There is the impulsive lad who strikes down an Egyptian impatient for the liberation of the Israelites ( Exodus 2: 11- 14). The second phase is a leader guiding a restless people through a scorching desert on to the Promised Land. And finally there is the sage handing over the baton to his successor Joshua and giving the Israelites a word of hope. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you” ( Deuteronomy 31:6).
We might say that the last phase of Moses life reveals a much wiser person. Those who enjoy chewing and sucking on raw sugar cane sticks, know that they taste much sweeter as one gets to the bottom end. Through the years of experiencing the ups and down of life, Moses had become a much wiser person whom everyone waited on his word.
One area where Moses in his journey matured was in handling people. One day his father-in-law Jethro visited him and noticed that Moses had taken on the burden of listening to every case that came up to him. “When his father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he said, “What is this you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge, while all these people stand around you from morning till evening?” ( Exodus 18:14).
Jethro then pulled Moses aside and advised him on a very important principle of leadership- delegation. “Listen… select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. Have them serve as judges for the people at all times, but have them bring every difficult case to you; the simple cases they can decide themselves. That will make your load lighter, because they will share it with you. If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied” ( vv 19-23).
Moses not merely listened but soon implemented his father in law’s advice.
Being wise has been defined as “the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment”! For Moses he grew into such a wise and skilled leader through his life experiences. Some, such as when he was forced into exile after taking the law in his hands were hard lessons. Others were humbling as when his father-in-law saw his error and coached him into what seemed so obvious. Moses became much wiser because he embraced all these life’s lesson.
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I pray for wisdom in all my affairs, taking and growing through the lessons of life, so that I prosper in your service, this I pray in Jesus’s name.