The highest level of learning of the age, the wisdom of the Egyptians, was his. He was â€œmighty in words and deedsâ€ (Acts 7:22). By his hand, God had worked great miracles and destroyed the enemies of Israel. He had led the Israelites, a multitude of hundreds of thousands, out of Egypt. Moses was well-educated, well-qualified, and well-experienced. He should not have needed any advice from anyone.
Yet when his father-in-law, Jethro, came to visit, he observed what Moses was doing and said, â€œWhat 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?â€
His words may have sounded harsh. Mosesâ€™ first thought could have been, whatâ€™s wrong with what I am doing? Do you understand how difficult a thing this is? He could have been affronted and refused to listen to what Jethro had to say. Instead, Moses was all ears. No wonder the Bible describes him as the humblest person in the world (Num 12:3).
Moses welcomed changes that would bring greater efficiency and benefit to the people of God. He did not say, â€œWell, we have been doing this for quite a while now. I see no reason whatsoever to make any changes that would confuse people. Everything is in good order.â€ With such a remark, he might well have stopped his father-in-law from offering further suggestions. But rather than taking things personally, Moses focused on how best to accomplish Godâ€™s work. Indeed, his faithfulness in all of Godâ€™s house is exemplary (Heb 3:2). Moses displayed true wisdom:
The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But he who heeds counsel is wise. (Prov 12:15) If we cannot separate personal feeling from the interests of Godâ€™s work, we slow the progress of sacred work. If we are self-centered in our words and actions rather than centered on the welfare of Godâ€™s flock, then whatever â€œwisdomâ€ we may possess is earthly, and not from above (Jas 3:13-17).
Mosesâ€™ wisdom led him to filter through the emotions Jethroâ€™s remarks may have caused and find his father-in-lawâ€™s words worthy of contemplation. All in all, he was a humble and wise worker of God. May the Lord grant us the same virtues as He calls us to join in His various ministries.