Unification Sermons and Talks

by Reverend Joy Pople

Wilderness Lesson 2: Leadership

Exodus 17:8 - 18:27

In the desert lived a wild people called Amalekites, who were descendants of Esau. They attacked the Israelites. Moses chose a brave young man named Joshua to lead the Israelites against their enemies. Moses told Joshua: "Choose men to fight tomorrow. I will stand on top of the hill with God's staff in my hands."

The next morning, Moses, Aaron, and Hur watched the battle from the hilltop. Moses stretched his arms toward heaven and asked God to help His people. Moses held the staff in his hand. At first the people of Israel drove their enemies back into the wilderness, but Moses' arms became tired from holding up the staff. When his arms fell to his sides, the Amalekites turned around and drove the Israelites back.

Moses lifted the staff toward heaven again, and the Israelites began to win. Aaron and Hur found a large stone for Moses to sit on, and then they stood beside him and held up his arms all day. In the evening, when the battle was over, Joshua returned to camp with his men.

The Lord said to Moses: "Write about this on a scroll so people will remmeber this." In thanks to God, Moses built an altar at this place.

News reached Midian about all the things God had done for Moses and his people. Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, heard about it and sent news to Moses that he was coming. He came and brought along Moses' wife and their two sons, Gershom and Eliezer.

Moses went to meet his father-in-law and bowed down and kissed him. They greeted each other and then went into the tent.

Jethro asked, "What has the Lord done for you?"

Moses told his father-in-law about everything the Lord had done to Pharaoh and the Egyptians and all the hardships the people had faced along the way.

"Praise be to the Lord, who rescued you and the people from the Egyptians!" Jethro exclaimed. "Now I know that the Lord is greater than all the other gods." Moses and Jethro offered sacrifices to God, and Aaron and the elders of Israel came to eat a meal with Jethro in God's presence.

The next day Moses was very busy. From morning until evening the people came to him with their problems. When Jethro saw all that Moses was doing for his people, he said: "My son, why do sit all alone listening to people's problems from morning until evening?"

Moses explained, "The people come to me to know God's will. Whenever they have a dispute or quarrel, they come to me and I decide what is right. I tell the people God's way."

Jethro shook his head: "Moses, Moses, what you are doing is not good. The people who are coming to you will wear you out. The work is too heavy for you to do alone. Listen to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you. You must represent the people before God and bring their disputes to God. Teach the people God's laws and show them how to live. You should choose capable men to work with you—men who love God, who are trustworthy, and who will not be bribed. Make these men rulers of groups of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. Let them settle arguments. Whenever a big matter comes up, they can bring it to you; but they can take care of little things themselves."

Jethro's plan sounded good to Moses.

Jethro went on: "This will make it easier for you, Moses. You will last longer, and the people will go home satisfied."

Moses listened to his father-in-law and did as Jethro suggested, and Jethro returned to his own country.

 Joy Pople (pople@servtech.com) wrote this Bible story from the standpoint of the Divine Principle.

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