One day Moses was just hanging out doing what he did, leading the people of Israel and presiding as judge in all of their disputes. At some point during the day he received the news that his father-in-law, Jethro, was coming for a visit.
Moses was excited about this visit for a couple of reasons.
He was looking forward to telling Jethro about all the things God had done to help them defeat their enemies and to get where they were at that time. Also, he knew that Jethro would get to see him in action presiding over all of the disputes. What man doesn’t relish the opportunity to show off a little for his father-in-law?
When Jethro arrived, Moses didn’t waste any time telling him about all of the amazing things which had happened and all the hardships they had experienced along the way. And Jethro was delighted to hear about everything.
The next day, Moses took his seat as judge to rule in the disputes among the people. There was a line of people from morning until night.
After a while, Jethro asked Moses, “What are you doing? What are you really accomplishing here?”
Without thinking, Moses responded in terms of the importance of what he was doing. Jethro interrupted with four words that ultimately saved Moses from wearing himself out.
Jethro said, “This is not good.”
Moses began to understand that he couldn’t possibly continue to hear all of the disputes himself. Jethro suggested that he appoint leaders over smaller groups, and that he should allow those leaders to settle the common disputes between their people. Only the major disputes should be brought to the attention of Moses.
Moses took Jethro’s advice and established a model for the court system that we use in the United States today. He quit over-extending himself, and the people were better served.
Are you trying to do too much?
If so, where do you need to back off?
In what situations do you need to quit saying, “YES?”