SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR THIS SERMON:
17:1 The whole community of the Israelites traveled on their journey from the wilderness of Sin according to the Lord’s instruction, and they pitched camp in Rephidim. Now there was no water for the people to drink. 2 So the people contended with Moses, and they said, “Give us water to drink!” Moses said to them, “Why do you contend with me? Why do you test the Lord?” 3 But the people were very thirsty there for water, and they murmured against Moses and said, “Why in the world did you bring us up from Egypt—to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?”
4 Then Moses cried out to the Lord, “What will I do with this people?—a little more and they will stone me!” 5 The Lord said to Moses, “Go over before the people; take with you some of the elders of Israel and take in your hand your staff with which you struck the Nile and go. 6 I will be standing before you there on the rock in Horeb, and you will strike the rock, and water will come out of it so that the people may drink.” And Moses did so in plain view of the elders of Israel.
7 He called the name of the place Massah and Meribah, because of the contending of the Israelites and because of their testing the Lord, saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”
8 Amalek came and attacked Israel in Rephidim. 9 So Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out, fight against Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.”
10 So Joshua fought against Amalek just as Moses had instructed him, and Moses and Aaron and Hur went up to the top of the hill. 11 Whenever Moses would raise his hands, then Israel prevailed, but whenever he would rest his hands, then Amalek prevailed. 12 When the hands of Moses became heavy, they took a stone and put it under him, and Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side and one on the other, and so his hands were steady until the sun went down. 13 So Joshua destroyed Amalek and his army with the sword.
14 The Lord said to Moses, “Write this as a memorial in the book, and rehearse it in Joshua’s hearing; for I will surely wipe out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.” 15 Moses built an altar, and he called it “The Lord is my Banner,” 16 for he said, “For a hand was lifted up to the throne of the Lord—that the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.”
18:1 Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses’ father-in-law, heard about all that God had done for Moses and for his people Israel, that the Lord had brought Israel out of Egypt.
2 Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, took Moses’ wife Zipporah after he had sent her back, 3 and her two sons, one of whom was named Gershom (for Moses had said, “I have been a foreigner in a foreign land”) 4 and the other Eliezer (for Moses had said, “The God of my father has been my help and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh”).
5 Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, together with Moses’ sons and his wife, came to Moses in the wilderness where he was camping by the mountain of God. 6 He said to Moses, “I, your father-in-law Jethro, am coming to you, along with your wife and her two sons with her.” 7 Moses went out to meet his father-in-law and bowed down and kissed him; they each asked about the other’s welfare, and then they went into the tent. 8 Moses told his father-in-law all that the Lord had done to Pharaoh and to Egypt for Israel’s sake, and all the hardship that had come on them along the way, and how the Lord had delivered them.
9 Jethro rejoiced because of all the good that the Lord had done for Israel, whom he had delivered from the hand of Egypt. 10 Jethro said, “Blessed be the Lord who has delivered you from the hand of Egypt, and from the hand of Pharaoh, who has delivered the people from the Egyptians’ control! 11 Now I know that the Lord is greater than all the gods, for in the thing in which they dealt proudly against them he has destroyed them.” 12 Then Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, brought a burnt offering and sacrifices for God, and Aaron and all the elders of Israel came to eat food with the father-in-law of Moses before God.
13 On the next day Moses sat to judge the people, and the people stood around Moses from morning until evening. 14 When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he was doing for the people, he said, “What is this that you are doing for the people? Why are you sitting by yourself, and all the people stand around you from morning until evening?”
15 Moses said to his father-in-law, “Because the people come to me to inquire of God. 16 When they have a dispute, it comes to me and I decide between a man and his neighbor, and I make known the decrees of God and his laws.”
17 Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “What you are doing is not good! 18 You will surely wear out, both you and these people who are with you, for this is too heavy a burden for you; you are not able to do it by yourself. 19 Now listen to me, I will give you advice, and may God be with you. You be a representative for the people to God, and you bring their disputes to God; 20 warn them of the statutes and the laws, and make known to them the way in which they must walk and the work they must do. 21 But you choose from the people capable men, God-fearing men, men of truth, those who hate bribes, and put them over the people as rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. 22 They will judge the people under normal circumstances, and every difficult case they will bring to you, but every small case they themselves will judge, so that you may make it easier for yourself, and they will bear the burden with you. 23 If you do this thing, and God so commands you, then you will be able to endure, and all these people will be able to go home satisfied.”