God Or Man

Dear Fellow-Disciple:

Now when Moses' father-in-law saw all that he was doing for the people, he said, "What is this thing that you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge and all the people stand about you from morning until evening?" (Exodus 18:14)

And Moses' father-in-law said to him, "The thing that you are doing is not good.

You will surely wear out, both yourself and these people who are with you, for the task is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone.

"Now listen to me: I shall give you counsel, and God be with you. You be the people's representative before God, and you bring the disputes to God. (Exodus 18:17-19)

"Furthermore, you shall select out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain; and you shall place these over them, as leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens. And let them judge the people at all times..." (Exodus 18:21,22)

When we read this passage of Scripture we're inclined to say, "That certainly is logical. Moses should have thought of that himself." We overlook the fact that Moses was a prophet of God, while Jethro was a politician, inclined to move on logic rather than revelation.

Though Jethro was a good, compassionate man, he was first of all, a Midianite priest. Midian was a son of Abraham by his concubine Keturah. The Midianites worshipped the God of Abraham, but not the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They separated themselves from Isaac and moved east (Genesis 25:6). The elders of Midian acted with those of Moab in calling Balaam to curse Israel. In Genesis 37:25,28,36, the tribesmen are named indifferently Ishmaelites and Midianites.

Moses should not have listened to Jethro. In following Jethro's logical suggestion, Moses relinquished God's control over the people, and transferred that control to men. As a prophet of God, Moses controlled the people as he was directed by God. The men he appointed were not prophets. They were good men, but they relied upon logic rather than upon revelation.

We see the result of this in Exodus 24.

Then Moses went up with Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, (Exodus 24:9)

...So Moses arose with Joshua his servant, and Moses went up to the mountain of God, but to the elders he said "Wait here for us until we return to you. And behold, Aaron and Hur are with you; whoever has a legal matter, let him approach them." (Exodus 24:13,14)

The result was disaster. Moses was gone a long time. The people became restless. They no longer looked to God for direction and decisions, they depended upon the elders Moses put over them. In turn, the elders were interested only in pacifying the people. So Aaron made a golden calf. The people began to worship the calf, and the worship turned into an orgy. All this happened because Moses listened to the logic of a man he respected.

What does that mean to us? First of all, we are inclined to honor the judgment of those who appear to be men and women of God. Without meaning to, we place their judgment between ourselves and God. We filter God through them.

When God appoints us to a task, He equips us for that task. Moses was called to a task, and he was carrying out that task as God directed him. God strengthened his body and mind. He could do a great deal of work with ease and pleasure. "Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength (Isaiah 40:31).

When a disciple receives a word from God, he should not run to another man of God, seeking confirmation. The Lord spoke to the disciple, not to the other man; therefore, the disciple is taking his eyes off God and placing them upon the logic of man. Almost without exception, that leads to error.

We are disciples of God. We may be first-grade disciples or high school disciples or post-grad disciples. It makes no difference, we are still disciples, because that is what Jesus called us to be.

If we receive a word from the Lord, we should hide it in our hearts. He will soon confirm it through another man or woman of God. That person will come to us and say something that witnesses in our spirit that we are receiving confirmation from God. The person will probably not be aware that he or she is giving us confirmation. That makes it even better because we realize God is speaking.

If we do not wait upon the Lord to confirm, we take the situation into our own hands. This means we take it out of the hands of God. When we take something out of the hands of God, by default, we place it in the hands of Satan. That is not our desire, but it is the result. Remember the golden calf.

"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, declares the Lord." (Isaiah 55:8). God rarely operates from man's logic. Consider how He directed the invasion of Jericho (Joshua 6), and look what He did through Gideon (Judges 6 and 7).

As disciples, we must realize that God does speak to us, personally. When we accept that as true, we can see how foolish it is to measure God's word with the logic of men. We are entering a time when it is most important for us to recognize when God speaks directly to us. The key is to focus upon the Lord, not upon any man, even a man of God.

Jesus is King!

P.S. What are you doing of eternal value?

Question for today: Did I depend more upon God, or upon my own logic in the decisions I made today?