Jethro and Moses
Of course, whenever I hear the name “Jethro” I will always immediately think of the Beverly Hillbillies TV show and Granny Clampett’s big ole grandson stomping around the cement pond in his leather brogans and his waaaaay too short britches. I saw a picture of Granny the other day with this caption: “If common sense was LARD, most people wouldn’t be able to grease a pan.”
As we begin a new unit on the topic of mentoring as an investment in the lives of others, that quip from Granny should kick start us off in the right direction. We need to all see our lives from two vantage points. First, we are a learner, and we need a mentor. Later, we need to become a mentor and we then will need a student. That student will need a student. So forth and so on we march. Common sense coupled with spiritual insight brings a smile to the face of Jesus.
Passing the faith along to my brother is not just a great song (I can hear it as I type this sentence), it is a mandate from Matthew 28:29-20. Mentoring is not counseling, though godly counsel is certainly needed. Mentoring is first living a life that reflects Christ. It is walking beside another in a faithful friend relationship that points toward Christ. Mentoring and discipling are synonymous. God established the home as the first place of discipleship, launching true arrows. Had we followed His plan, our future generations would not have struggled to grow and mature in faith.
Over the next few weeks, we will look at some mentoring relationships in scripture. Hopefully, we will see that this model flows from the Old Testament into the New Testament. Also, we should recall the method Jesus used with The Twelve. He used management by walking around. Come and See. Follow Me. Learn from Me. Go and Tell. Rinse and repeat! The very fact that we are here today is a result of their faithfulness in sharing the story with their generation and speaking into the lives of others.
We must seek to be God followers through Jesus where the teachable become teachers. Faith joins with belief. Maturity is golden. Consider these partnerships we will study:
Jethro and Moses
Moses and Joshua
Eli and Samuel
Mordecai and Esther
Barnabas and Paul
Paul and Timothy
At the age of 40, Moses fled Egypt after murdering an Egyptian who was wounding a fellow Hebrew. He fled to Midian where he met the daughters of Jethro, the priest of Midian. He became a shepherd for Jethro’s flock. He married Zipporah, one of the daughters of Jethro. They had two sons. Approximately 40 years passed.
Near the age of 80, Moses met the Lord at the burning bush near Mount Sinai where he was sent to Egypt to deliver the people from bondage. He brought the sons and his wife to Egypt but then he sent them back to Midian. He confronted Pharaoh in the Name of God. The plagues were sent by God. The Passover killed the firstborn in every household in Egypt that was not covered by the blood of the Lamb. The people are freed and crossed the Red Sea. From the original 70 from the house of Jacob, the people now numbered approximately two million. Moses had a very huge responsibility. He needed help and he didn’t even know it!
About three months after their deliverance from Pharaoh, Jethro came to visit with Moses and brought Zipporah and the two sons of Moses back to him. Jethro quickly observed that this work was too much for one man to handle alone. He took Moses under his wing and gave him some amazing leadership advice. First, he rejoiced with Moses over their deliverance from Egypt. Then he gave glory to God in agreement with Moses. They shared a covenant meal together and made sacrifices to God.
Jethro spent time observing the tedious, tiring work Moses was doing among the people. He suggested that Moses appoint leaders over all the people so that they could deal with the day-to-day issues and free Moses to spend proper time with the Lord. His job was soon to be the mediator of the covenant of God before the people. The Ten Commandments and the building of the wilderness tabernacle would be Moses’ next major event. Jethro didn’t know what was ahead, but he could see that Moses needed help and rest and freedom to be attentive to the directions of the Lord in the days ahead.
Israel had been in bondage for 400 years in Egypt. They had to learn how to live together, how to follow the directions of the Lord, how to continue on their journey to the Land of Promise and most of all, learn how to properly worship this wonderful Holy God. Thank the Lord for sending Jethro to be transparent and purposeful with Moses in those critical days of nation building.
God uses human being mentors to speak into the lives of other people just as Jethro was willing to do with Moses. God has certainly used mentors in your life as He has in mine. Let these lessons remind you of those mentors who touched your life and helped point you in the right direction. Why not find their address and write them a note of gratitude? Why not find their phone number and give them a call? Why not personally go visit them and give them an embrace of deep thanksgiving for how they blessed your pilgrimage? Then…why not ask the Lord to show YOU someone that might just need YOUR help now?