Home Sermons Exodus 18 – The Thing That You Do Is Not Good by Rev. Sharon Wooten

Exodus 18 – The Thing That You Do Is Not Good by Rev. Sharon Wooten

17 Jun

Exodus 18 – The Thing That You Do Is Not Good by Rev. Sharon Wooten

Exodus 18 – The Thing That You Do Is Not Good.

Jethro, Moses’ father in law heard about all that God had done for the children of Israel in delivering them from the Egyptians and decides to come to visit Moses and see for himself.

Verse 2 – He takes Zipporah and Moses’ two sons and brings them to Moses.  At some point during the ten plagues or after Moses must have sent them back to Jethro.  Now, Jethro is returning them.

Verse 3 – What were the names of the sons?  Gershom – I am a stranger in a foreign land.

Verse 4 – Eliezer – The God of my Father was my help and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh.

Verse 5 – Jethro came to Moses when they were in the 18:5 “…in the wilderness, where he was encamped at the mountain of God”.

What was the “mountain of God”?  From what I could find, they were in the Northern plains of Mount Horeb.

Moses was tending sheep in this same area in Exodus 3:1 “…And he led the flock to the back of the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.”

  • This was where Moses encountered the burning bush. What were his thoughts as he approached this mountain?  Maybe: “This is where it all began.” “Wow, a lot has happened since that day of revelation.”   He remembered his history with his Divine encounter where his destiny was revealed.  Revisit your Mt Horeb; remember what God spoke to you about your destiny.
  • So if this was the same area that Moses had kept Jethro’s sheep, then it wasn’t too far for Jethro to come and bring Moses’ wife and children.

Interesting: Mt Horeb is the same as Mt Sinai.  They are used interchangeably.

Book Mt Sinai Mt Horeb
Exodus 16:1; 19:1,2,11,18,20,23; 24:16; 31:18; 34:2,4,29,32. 3:1; 17:6; 33:6
Deuteronomy 33:2 1:2,6,19; 4:10,15; 5:2; 9:8; 18:16; 29:1


In Exodus 19, 20 Moses receives the ten commandments on this mountain.  Can you see why this is called the Mt of God.  What great encounters with God Moses had there!  Do you have a place to get away and have God encounters?  Now with the wonderful Holy Spirit we can have those same encounters in our own homes!  God is really wanting us to rebuild our alters of prayer and worship in our homes.

Who is Jethro?

  • 18:1 “..the priest of Midian” He was definitely in relationship with the Lord because he was spiritually discerning.
  • He blessed Moses for helping his daughters and gave Moses his daughter Zipporah. 2:21
  • Jethro and Moses had a good relationship. 18:7 So Moses went out to meet his father-in-law, bowed down, and kissed him. And they asked each other about their well-being, and they went into the tent.
  • Jethro loved God. Exodus 18:9 Then Jethro rejoiced for all the good which the Lord had done for Israel, whom He had delivered out of the hand of the Egyptians. 10 And Jethro said, “Blessed bethe Lord, who has delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians and out of the hand of Pharaoh, and who has delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians. 11 Now I know that the Lord is greater than all the gods; for in the very thing in which they behaved proudly, He was above them.”
  • Jethro acted as a priest among the people before the priesthood had been established. Ministered to the Lord.  Exodus 18:12 12 “Then Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, took a burnt offering and other sacrifices to offer to God. And Aaron came with all the elders of Israel to eat bread with Moses’ father-in-law before God.”
  • Jethro had wisdom. Read verses 13-16. 17 So Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “The thing that you do is not good18 Both you and these people who are with you will surely wear yourselves out. For this thing is too much for you; you are not able to perform it by yourself. 19 Listen now to my voice; I will give you counsel, and God will be with you: Stand before God for the people, so that you may bring the difficulties to God. 20 And you shall teach them the statutes and the laws, and show them the way in which they must walk and the work they must do. 21 Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. 22 And let them judge the people at all times. Then it will be that every great matter they shall bring to you, but every small matter they themselves shall judge. So it will be easier for you, for 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 this people will also go to their place in peace.”


  1. If you think you have too heavy a workload, can you imagine how Moses must have felt? Can you imagine having over 2, 000 000 people and their problems to deal with?
  2. Moses was trying to do a good thing for the Lord but the way he was doing it was all wrong. He was being worn down by taking on too much responsibility on his own.  Can you relate?  We can have a heart of obedience but fall to the trick of the enemy in taking on more than what we can do on our own.  The devil loves for us to get over committed and so busy that we become worn down.  Beth Moore calls it “The Captivity of Activity”.  We are no good to anyone if we are worn out.  Not even any good to God.  Sometimes we just don’t see what’s going on and we need a Jethro voice in our lives.
  3. When we take on too much responsibility, we are not only hurting ourselves, but we are not giving someone else the opportunity to grow.
  4. We need some Jethro’s in the church today who can come alongside those who are trying to do it all and help them to find a better way of doing things. This is a God given gift.  Jethro had a gift of being able to confront the issue without tearing down the person.

Unfortunately, there are some people who think they have the “Jethro spirit but all they have is a critical spirit.  They are always pointing out what is wrong with the church and with everyone.  And though they have plenty of criticism, they usually don’t have any solution.   I am just so glad that Jethro didn’t just tell him what was wrong with the system but gave him a solution.

What the church and church leaders need and really what we all need is a “Jethro” who will love them and build a trusted relationship with them.  These Jethro’s will be able to see how to order the natural to line up with the purpose and order of Heaven.  Their advice will be a blessing to whole church.

  1. I truly believe that there are things that need to ordered in the natural to prepare for the order of Heaven to be invited to operate.
  2. Moses trusted Jethro. They had relationship.  He knew that Jethro was a man of wisdom and good counsel.
  3. Verse 21 “Moses when you are looking for leaders look for these characteristics.
    1. Able men – Capable people. People of maturity and experience.
    2. Such as fear God – walking in intimate relationship with God desiring to please Him.
    3. Men of truth – Trustworthy, not deceitful. Standing for what is true.
    4. Hating covetousness – Not wanting what is not theirs. No selfish ambition to become the top leader.
  4. The work was delegated so that Moses’ workload was greatly lightened. Some judged groups of tens, fifties, hundreds, and thousands.  Some leaders are great but are great with groups of fifties not thousands yet.  We must give people time to grow before putting larger responsibility on them.
  5. Exodus 18: 23 23 If you do this thing, and God socommands you, then you will be able to endure, and all this people will also go to their place in peace.”  The result of ordering things rightly; endurance and peace.
  6. We need some people in the Kingdom of God who can endure. Heaven’s Kingdom order is peace.  Romans 14:17 17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
  7. Exodus 18:24 24 “So Moses heeded the voice of his father-in-law and did all that he had said.” It is a foolish thing to be given good Godly advice and not take it.  Obedience will bring reward.  Husbands, may I just gently say that sometimes God may give your wife some good Godly advice that could be a blessing to you if you would just listen.  We were created to be your helpmates.
  8. Exodus 18:27 27 “Then Moses let his father-in-law depart, and he went his way to his own land.”  Jethro did not leave until the system was in place and working well.  He wanted the best for his son in law.  He stayed until time to move out and leave it to the leaders.
  • We need some older men with wisdom and a sense of God’s order to be an encouraging voice in the lives of the younger generation. Men need men.
  • We need to all come before the Lord and ask Him. “God, do you need me to change the way I am doing some things for You?” Show me how to order some things in the natural to invite the order of Heaven in what I am doing.”
  • This principle can be used in all areas of our lives: Personal, Church ministries, the Business world. Ask God to show you what to do.  He is the God who speaks and orders.