Day 15

Jethro’s Visit

Exodus 18:1-27, Deuteronomy 17:8-11, Acts 6:1-7

BY Guest Writer

Scripture Reading: Exodus 18:1-27, Deuteronomy 17:8-11, Acts 6:1-7

The story of Jethro coming to the aid of Moses is an echo of an earlier story. In fact, so are the first eighteen chapters of Exodus. In them, we find a creation narrative patterned after Genesis 1. You could sum their message succinctly as, “And God said, ‘Let there be Israel.’ And it was so.” The newly-minted nation, like the newly-formed earth, is good. Moses has been charged with its care, but the task soon proves to be too much for one person. Observing his solo leadership efforts, Jethro says, “What you are doing is not good” (Exodus 18:17).

Not good.

Jethro’s words echo God’s words in Genesis 2: “It is not good for the man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18). If there is to be orderly ruling and subduing, if there is to be fruitfulness and multiplication as God has decreed, the work cannot be done alone. Just as God provided Eve to be a necessary ally to Adam, He now provides Jethro and the leaders of Israel to be necessary allies to Moses.

Don’t miss this: The concept of self-reliance is wholly foreign to the Christian faith. We are created to need God and others. We are designed for interdependence and community. There is no such thing as a Lone Ranger Christian. It matters that we understand this as we listen for the echo of our own story in that of Moses.

Every believer’s story is this: “And God said, ‘Let there be new life,’ and it was so.” You and I may not be called to bring orderly rule to a nation, as Moses did, but we are called to submit our hearts to God as He brings orderly rule to our hearts as new creations in Christ. The Bible calls this sanctification. In God’s name, we take dominion over sin. We cultivate the fruitfulness of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22). Like Moses and Adam, we are called to rule and subdue, to be fruitful and multiply. And like them, it is not good to attempt the good work alone. Nor is it necessary. God has provided necessary allies for us.

First, He has sent His Spirit to comfort and convict. Any effort to grow in holiness apart from the help of the Spirit will teach us, as Jethro says, “The thing is too heavy for you. You are not able to do it alone” (Exodus 18:18). But He also sends help in the form of Christian community. He provides us teachers to guide us through the scriptures, mentors to guide us in wisdom, brothers and sisters to encourage us and hold us accountable.

What sin are you striving to rule in your own strength? The thing is too heavy for you. Ask for the Spirit to train and convict you. Seek the ready help of the family of God. Trade self-reliance for the gift of dependence on the Spirit and interdependence with the saints. “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” (Exodus 18:22-23).


Jen Wilkin is a wife, mom to four great kids, and an advocate for women to love God with their minds through the faithful study of his Word. She writes, speaks, and teaches women the Bible. She lives in Flower Mound, Texas, and her family calls The Village Church home. Jen is the author of None Like Him: 10 Ways God Is Different from Us (and Why That’s a Good Thing) and Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Our Minds.

Post Comments (141)

141 thoughts on "Jethro’s Visit"

  1. Sheila Busch says:

    What struck me as I read these passages is that Moses was doing what he felt like was his responsibility, but Jethro came along side him and said, “This is too much for you”. Often, I feel like I need to do it all, and I forget that my strength is finite, while God’s strength is infinite. I feel like asking for help is a weakness, when actually it is allowing others to come alongside and add their strength to mine. Lord, please help me to remember that my strength is not enough. Help me to lay down my pride and ask the people you have placed around me for help when I need it. Thank you for placing people in my life who are able and willing to help me when I need it.

    1. Kari says:

      This is wonderful Sheila! Thank you!

  2. Michelle says:

    Such a lovely reading. As a new believer this is my community for now and I am so grateful to have found it. I am learning so much and being moved and inspired everyday. Thank you #SheReadsTruth and thank you to all who take the time to post comments. I learn just as much from the comments as I do from the original posts.

    1. She Reads Truth says:

      We’re so glad to hear that Michelle and so grateful that you’re a part of our community! -Margot, The SRT Team

    2. Rachel Barrios says:


    3. Kari says:

      So true! I love the comment section, we have such a great community that feeds of the great SRT posts. We don’t do it alone! :)

  3. Peony Noirr says:

    Wow! I am an introvert in every sense of the word. I needed this reminder to live in communion with others.

  4. Denise Powers Fabian says:

    My community does not have to be large, I just am wired to have fellow Christians around me to hold up my arms and help me not carry anything alone.

    1. She Reads Truth says:

      Hi Denise, we’re so grateful that you’re a part of our SRT community! -Margot, The SRT Team

  5. Jennifer Piontek says:

    This is such a great devo today! Sanctification is a process and It takes time AND community! :) I know I’m in the middle of the Lord sanctifying my mind and I need all the community I can get to encourage me and keep me moving in Gods direction. Thank you ladies for your continual support and viewpoints I might not see yet :)

  6. Angela G says:

    I read that and all I could here was, “DELEGATE! DELEGATE! DELEGATE!”
    I have been working really hard to ask for help and to delegate.
    As Jethro said, “You will certainly wear our both yourself and these people who are with you, because the task is too heavy for you. You can’t do it alone (Ex. 18:18).”
    Yes! I am getting weary and tired. I need to delegate and share the responsibilities and not try to be a control freak.

  7. Jo Gistand says:

    Soooo good today! I needed to be reminded of this. I am a Lone Ranger period. I also knew that I would have to get in community with other Christians in order to grow. That’s one of my focai this year. God designed us to be in community to sanctify us. And I find, when I allow the Lone Ranger mentality to steep into my spiritual life, I stop growing in faith. I pray that He gives us the faith to not fear our next move, and to ask for help. Amen.

    1. She Reads Truth says:

      We’re so grateful that you’re a part of our community Jo! -Margot, The SRT Team

  8. Rae Ann Smith says:

    Lord, thank you for telling me that I don’t have to go it alone. My shoulders aren’t made to carry all life’s struggles by myself. Thank you for your Holy Spirit and those who you send to help me. What a wonderful post this is.

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