Greetings in the name of the Father, the son, and the Holy Spirit.
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” – Colossians 3:16 (ESV)
Amidst the harsh and unforgiving expanse of an immense desert, a multitude of weary travelers journeyed toward a land of promise, a land flowing with milk and honey, as foretold by their God. Led by Moses, a humble and resolute shepherd who had been called by the Almighty, these former slaves had cast off the shackles of their lives in Egypt, entrusting their fates to the divine plan that had been set before them.
With each step, they navigated a treacherous landscape, confronting the elements as they traversed scorching sands, navigated treacherous rocky terrain, and braved chilling winds. Along the way, they experienced hunger and thirst, exhaustion, and even moments of doubt and despair. Yet, despite the adversity they faced, the Israelites remained steadfast in their faith, their resolve fortified by the miraculous signs and wonders that accompanied them on their arduous journey.
As they ventured onward, they encountered both wondrous miracles and daunting challenges, each a testament to their unwavering belief in the power and presence of the Almighty God. They saw the parting of the Red Sea, crossed on dry ground with walls of water on either side, and stood in awe as their pursuers were swallowed by the sea’s returning depths. They marveled at the divine provision of manna from heaven, satisfying their hunger, and water from a rock, quenching their thirst. Even as they wandered in the wilderness, they knew they were not alone, for the Lord was with them, guiding and protecting them every step of the way.
As they made their way through the desolate landscape, the Lord led them to the foot of a majestic mountain, where they established a temporary encampment. It was here that a wise and revered man named Jethro, a Midianite priest and Moses’ father-in-law, sought them out. Having heard of the Israelites’ miraculous exodus from Egypt and the extraordinary events that had unfolded, he was eager to meet the man who had led them to freedom and to bear witness to the mighty hand of God at work in their lives.
I. The Importance of Godly Counsel:
Moses’ willingness to accept and apply Jethro’s advice is a testament to his humility and teachability, qualities that are essential for spiritual growth. New Testament verses that emphasize humility and the importance of receiving wise counsel include:
- Philippians 2:3-4 (ESV): “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
- James 1:19-20 (ESV): “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.”
- 1 Peter 5:5 (ESV): “Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.'”
The Bible verses underscore the importance of humility, listening to wise counsel, and valuing the input of others. By embracing these qualities, we can grow in our faith and be better equipped to serve God and our fellow believers.
II. Recognizing God’s Deliverance:
Jethro rejoiced in God’s deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt, saying in Exodus 18:10, “Praise be to the Lord, who rescued you from the hand of the Egyptians and of Pharaoh, and who rescued the people from the hand of the Egyptians.” His acknowledgment of God’s mighty works serves as a reminder for us to recognize and celebrate the ways God has delivered us in our own lives.
In the Psalms, we also find numerous examples of praising God for His deliverance. Psalm 34:17-19 states, “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; He delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all.” These verses reassure us that God is attentive to our cries and is faithful to deliver us from our difficulties as God did to the Israelites who suffered under Egyptians as slaves.
Furthermore, Jesus Himself spoke of the ultimate deliverance He came to provide. In Luke 4:18-19, Jesus read from the prophet Isaiah, saying, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Jesus’ mission was to bring deliverance from sin and death, offering eternal life and hope to all who believe in Him.
By reflecting on Jethro’s acknowledgment of the Lord’s mighty hand in rescuing the Israelites from Egypt and the many scriptural examples of God’s deliverance, we should cultivate a heart of gratitude and strengthen our faith in the God who continually rescues and sustains us. As we grow in our appreciation for God’s deliverance, we will be inspired to share our testimony of His goodness with others, leading them to praise and worship the One who sets us free. Thus, together we will expand His Kingdom on earth.
III. The Power of Testimony:
Moses shared with Jethro all that the Lord had done to bring the Israelites out of Egypt (Exodus 18:8). This testimony of God’s power and faithfulness led Jethro to praise God and recognize His sovereignty. This demonstrates the transformative power of sharing our testimonies with others.
Jesus instructed His disciples in Mark 5:19, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” Our testimonies can be powerful tools for evangelism and encouragement, inspiring others to seek God and trust in His goodness.
The Apostle Paul is a prime example of the power of testimony. In Acts 26:9-18, Paul shared his testimony before King Agrippa, recounting his dramatic encounter with the risen Christ on the road to Damascus, his conversion, and his call to ministry. Paul’s testimony not only demonstrated God’s grace and power but also challenged those who heard it to consider the reality of the Gospel message.
Sharing our testimonies can also provide comfort and support to fellow believers, as they are reminded of God’s faithfulness in their own lives. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 says, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” Our stories of deliverance, healing, and transformation can encourage others in their walk with the Lord.
In summary, the power of testimony is evident in Moses’ sharing of his experiences with Jethro, leading to Jethro’s praise of God. As followers of Christ, we must recognize the impact of our own testimonies and share them with others, allowing God to use our stories to bring hope, encouragement, and transformation to those around us.
IV. Embracing Unity in Worship:
In Exodus 18:12, Jethro, Moses, Aaron, and the elders of Israel came together to participate in a sacrificial meal, worshiping the Lord together. This shared worship experience is a beautiful illustration of the unity that believers can enjoy as they come together in the presence of God.
The Apostle Paul emphasizes the importance of unity in worship in 1 Corinthians 1:10, where he writes, “I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.” Shared worship experiences foster a sense of community and unity among believers, strengthening our bonds and deepening our collective faith in God.
Jesus Himself prayed for unity among His followers in John 17:20-21, saying, “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” As we worship together, we reflect the unity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and demonstrate to the world the love of Christ that unites us.
The early church in Acts 2:42-47 exemplifies the impact of unified worship, as they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayer. This unity led to a deep sense of awe and wonder, and the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. United worship not only fosters spiritual growth among believers but also serves as a powerful testimony to non-believers of God’s presence in our midst.
Jethro’s participation in the sacrificial meal with Moses, Aaron, and the elders of Israel underscores the importance of embracing unity in worship. As followers of Christ, we must come together in worship, celebrating our shared faith, and demonstrating the love of Christ to a watching world. Through unified worship, we deepen our bonds with one another, grow in our understanding of God’s grace, and serve as a powerful testimony of His presence and power in our lives.
the story of Jethro’s visit to Moses offers valuable lessons for our lives today. As we reflect on the importance of godly counsel, recognizing God’s deliverance, the power of testimony, and embracing unity in worship, let us apply these lessons to our own lives and seek to grow in our relationship with Christ.
Let us be humble and teachable, open to receiving wisdom from others, just as Proverbs 19:20 advises: “Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.” Let us remember and celebrate God’s deliverance in our lives, trusting in His continued guidance and protection, as Psalm 34:19 says, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.”
Let us share our testimonies with others, inspiring them to seek God and trust in His goodness, following the example of Revelation 12:11, “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” And finally, let us come together in unity as we worship our Lord, demonstrating the love of Christ that binds us together, as Ephesians 4:3 urges us to, “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”
As we apply these lessons from Exodus 18:1-12 to our lives, let us remember the words of Colossians 2:6-7, “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” May these lessons encourage and challenge us to be more faithful followers of Jesus, as we grow together in love, wisdom, and unity. Amen.
“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (ESV)