“Now Jethro, the priest of Midian and father-in-law of Moses, heard of everything God had done for Moses and for his people Israel, and how the Lord had brought Israel out of Egypt. . . The next day Moses took his seat to serve as judge for the people, and they stood around him from morning till evening. 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?. . . But 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.’” (Exodus 18:1, 13-14, 21-23, NIV)
Many of us suffer from the malady “NIH”: Not Invented Here. A more proper diagnosis is xenophobia, which is a fear of strange or foreign things or people.
In today’s reading, we see that Moses had a serious problem, and his father-in-law (Jethro) offered a strange, but effective, solution: Delegation of authority. Moses, as we know, had a distinguished resume as a leader, administrator, prophet, and priest. Moses had seen things no other person in the history of the world would see. Moses could have rejected Jethro as irrelevant; and he could have rejected Jethro’s advice as inappropriate and untested; but to his credit, Moses did neither.
When you face problems, always leave room for God to work. This often means remaining open to the possibility that God may be presenting to you the solution from an unanticipated place or from an unexpected person — even from a stranger. – Luther