JETHRO COMES TO MOSES WITH ADVICE
Memory Verse: 18:9 (N . W . 19:8————Lesson: Exodus 18:1-27
—by E. L. Bynum
I. THE VISIT OF JETHRO. v. 1-12
A. Jethro Comes With Moses’ Wife. v. 1-7
1. Jethro heard what God did for Israel. v. 1
2. Moses’ wife was with Jethro. v. 2. Moses had sent his wife back to her father previously. Some teachers say that Moses sent his wife and children back to carry news after they left Egypt. We believe that it is more likely sent them back after the events recorded in 4:24-28.
3. The two sons of Moses. v. 3-4. Note the meaning of their names. Gershom means a stranger there. Eliezer means God is my help.
4. The time and place of the reunion. v. 5
5. The announcement of Jethro. v. 6
6. Thewarm and friendly meeting. v. 7. Moses carefully shows honor and respect to Jethro.
B. Moses’ And Jethro’s Communion. v. 8-12
1. Moses told all that the Lord had done. v . 8
2. Jethro rejoiced in what the Lord had done. v. 9. Like Melchizedek, he was a Gentile priest. He knew the living and true God.
3. Jethro blessed the Lord. v. 10. Gen. 14:20, Melchizedek …blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all. Gen. 24:27.
4. Jethro confesses the Lord above all gods. v. 11. The Hebrew word for “LORD” in v. 9-11 is “Jehovah,” which is the unique name of the God of the Hebrews. We know of no evidence that the heathen ever had a god by that name. While Jethro may have previously believed in other gods, it is apparent that at this time he does not.
5. Jethro offers sacrifice. v. 12
6. Communion before God. v. 12
C. Dispensational And Typical Lessons.
1. Moses is a type of the king (Christ) who is to reign.
2. Jethro is a type of the Gentiles who hear what God has done for Israel. v. 1. Psa. 18:43-44, Thou hast delivered me from the strivings of the people; and thou hast made me the head of the heathen: a people whom I have not known shall serve me. As soon as they hear of me, they shall obey me: the strangers shall submit themselves unto me.
3. Israel here is a type of the future Israel, restored and brought back to the Lord.
a. Zipporah is a type of Israel, the wife of Jehovah. Isa. 54:5-6, For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. For the LORD hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God. Jer. 31:32, Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD. Hosea 2:2, Plead with your mother, plead: for she is not my wife, neither am I her husband: let her therefore put away her whoredoms out of her sight, and her adulteries from between her breasts.
b. The Church is not in view in the Old Testament. Col. 1:26-27, Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
4. The sacrifice and communion is a type of that future communion and fellowship of believing Jews and Gentiles. Zech. 2:11, And many nations shall be joined to the LORD in that day, and shall be my people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto thee. Isa. 2:2-4, And it shall come to pass in the last days, [that] the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. Acts 15:13-18. And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me: Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things. Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.
5. The plan of the kingdom government is typified in Ex. 18:13-27. It did not work well then, but it will work in the future kingdom when conditions are right. I Cor. 6:2, Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Luke 19:17, And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities. Rev. 20:6, Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
II. JETHRO’S ADVICE TO MOSES AND ITS ADOPTION. v.13-27
A. Jethro’s Advice. v. 13-23
1. He observed and overworked Moses. v. 13
2. He enquires as to why it was that way. v. 14
3. Moses explains that he is a judge and teacher. v. 15-16
4. Jethro warns Moses of the consequences, if he continued to follow this method. v. 17-18
5. Jethro gives advice, but it does not come from God. v. 19-20
6. Jethro urges that thousands upon thousands of God fearing rulers be appointed. v. 21-22. (According to Ex. 12:37, there were 600,000 men. This would have taken 600 men over thousands; 6,000 men over hundreds; 12,000 men over 50; and 60,000 over 10. This would take a total of 78,600 men to take care of this job. Most commentators think this was a good plan, but we believe it was an awful bureaucratic system to throw on Moses and Israel).
7. Jethro promises success. v. 23
a. Jethro did advise Moses to make sure it was the command of God.
b. We should adopt no policy until we know it is the will of God. Churches are following new methods without knowing that they agree with the will of God. James 3:13-18, Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.
c. It is dangerous to follow the plans of relatives, rather than God’s plans.
d. God is able to supply all the help we need. Isa. 41:10, Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Psa. 55:22, Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.
B. Moses’ Adoption Of The Plan. v. 24-27
1. Moses hearkened unto his father in law. v. 24
2. Moses implemented the plan. v. 25-26
a. We have no doubt but what Jethro meant well.
b. There is no indication that God approved.
3. The failures of Moses.
a. He failed to remember who made him leader.
b. He failed to remember the source of his strength. Isa. 41:10, Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Psa. 55:22, Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.
c. He failed to see the danger of following relatives, instead of God.
d. We know the plan was wrong, for God set up His own order and ignored Jethro’s plan. Num. 11:14-17, I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me. And if thou deal thus with me, kill me, I pray thee, out of hand, if I have found favour in thy sight; and let me not see my wretchedness. And the LORD said unto Moses, Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with thee. And I will come down and talk with thee there: and I will take of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone.
4. Jethro departs to his own land. v. 27. We see the real attitude of Jethro in Num. 10:29-30, when Moses tried to get him to go with Israel. He preferred his own land, rather than to sojourn with the people of God. This reveals that Jethro was a dangerous man to follow.
—by E. L. Bynum
1. Give the three names used of Moses’ father in law.
2. Why was Moses’ wife with her father?
3. Name Moses’ wife.
4. What did Moses tell his father in law?
5. How did he respond to what Moses told him?
6. What evidence in this chapter do we have that Moses’ father in law believed in the God of Israel?
7. What did Moses’ father in law do that the elders of Israel joined in doing?
8. Moses is a type of _________________.
9. His father in law is a type of the _______________________.
10. Moses’ wife is a type of the_______________.
11. What advice did Moses’ father in law give to him?
12. Why or how do we know that this advice was not the will of God?
13. In what way did Moses fail in this?
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