1 – “But on that day I will set apart the land of Goshen, where my people dwell, so that no swarms of flies shall be there, that you may know that I am the Lord in the midst of the earth. Thus I will put a division between my people and your people. Tomorrow this sign shall happen.” ’ ”” (Exodus 8:22-23, ESV)
RAF: Up until now, it appears the Israelites experienced the difficulty of the plagues as well as the Egyptians. God’s judgments upon mankind, or a particular nation, affect the Christians as well as those who are being judged. But then there does come a separation – wherein the distinction is made. Do not be surprised that you suffer some of the ill effects of God’s dealings with the lost.
2 – “For by now I could have put out my hand and struck you and your people with pestilence, and you would have been cut off from the earth. But for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth.” (Exodus 9:15-16, ESV)
RAF: Even in this judgment there is mercy. The multiplying of the plagues is not to torture – but to give space for repentance. He could had ended it is at once. But He would labor still to confront man with His glory. Yet look at the hardness of the heart of man, to be presented with undeniable truths, to experience the hand of God, to hear the pronouncements of God and see His Word come to pass, and yet remain unwilling to yield. Apart from God’s supernatural work in the heart of man, no external proofs will ever be enough. Man WILL NOT believe – that is his problem.
3 – “Moses said to him, “As soon as I have gone out of the city, I will stretch out my hands to the Lord. The thunder will cease, and there will be no more hail, so that you may know that the earth is the Lord’s. But as for you and your servants, I know that you do not yet fear the Lord God.”” (Exodus 9:29-30, ESV)
RAF: We take people at their word regarding repentance, until they prove otherwise. Moses did not believe Pharaoh’s repentance was genuine, and yet he acted upon it as though it were. Even though Pharaoh had a track record of deceit. Nevertheless, Moses prayed for mercy, and it was granted by God – each time – though God certainly knew Pharaoh’s heart was still not broken.
“” (Exodus 15:225-26, ESV)
4 – “There the Lord made for them a statute and a rule, and there he tested them, saying, “If you will diligently listen to the voice of the Lord your God, and do that which is right in his eyes, and give ear to his commandments and keep all his statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you that I put on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, your healer.”” (Exodus 15:25-26, ESV)
RAF: Those who walk with God need never fear they are being judged by Him. Note that His actions against the Egyptians were not for mere or intermittent infractions – but for long term, hard hearted unwillingness to yield to God’s explicit call.
5 – “Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “What you are doing is not good. You and the people with you will certainly wear yourselves out, for the thing is too heavy for you. You are not able to do it alone. Now obey my voice; I will give you advice, and God be with you! You shall represent the people before God and bring their cases to God, and you shall warn them about the statutes and the laws, and make them know the way in which they must walk and what they must do. Moreover, look for able men from all the people, men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe, and place such men over the people as chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. And let them judge the people at all times. Every great matter they shall bring to you, but any small matter they shall decide themselves. So it will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you. If you do this, God will direct you, you will be able to endure, and all this people also will go to their place in peace.”” (Exodus 18:17-23, ESV)
RAF: Jethro’s plan of action:
1. “Represent the people before God” – Your first responsibility is PRAYER.
2. “Warn them about the statutes and the laws” – Your 2nd responsibility is to INSTRUCT THEM IN THE WORD OF GOD.
3. “Look for able men” & “place such men over…1000’s, 100’s, 50’s and 10’s.”
1st level Elder: An “elder” for every 10 people to go to for normal guidance.
2nd level Elder: An elder for every 5 – 1st level elders, for them to go to for additional help. This is one more layer handling 50 people total.
3rd level Elder: An elder for every 2 – 2nd level elders, for them to go to for additional help. This layer now handles 100 people.
4th level Elder: An elder for every 10 – 3rd level elders, for them to go to for additional help. This layer now handles 1000 people.
If it hasn’t been solved yet, they can come to you as the lead praying/teaching elder.
4 layers of leadership which can be expanded or contracted to meet the needs of any size group, great or small. This prevents both the wearying of the people, and the leadership.