Jethro Helped Moses

Dear Parents,

Moses and the Israelites had experienced a harrowing journey from Egypt into the wilderness. They made their way toward Midian, a land familiar to Moses. As a young man, Moses had fled from Egypt to Midian after he killed an Egyptian. (See Ex. 2:11-15.) Exodus 2 describes Moses’ first interaction with Jethro (also referred to as Reuel, Ex. 2:18), the priest of Midian. Moses rescued Jethro’s seven daughters from some shepherds at a well and drew water for their sheep. Jethro invited Moses to dinner. Moses stayed with Jethro and married his daughter Zipporah.

Moses and Zipporah had two sons. Moses’ family had been staying with Jethro, and now they were coming to meet with Moses in the wilderness—at the same place where God had spoken to Moses through the burning bush. Moses told Jethro about all the good things God had done for Israel, and Jethro rejoiced.

As the leader of God’s people, Moses had the job of judging the people. Anyone who had any reason to complain stood around Moses all day, waiting to present their case. Jethro observed Moses’ long and lonely work, and he confronted Moses about it. Judging all the people was too much responsibility for one person.

Jethro gave Moses advice about leading the people. Simply, don’t lead alone. He encouraged Moses to choose trustworthy men to act as judges over smaller groups of people. These men would judge the minor cases and bring the major cases to Moses. Then Moses would not have to work so much, and the people would not have to wait so long to solve their problems. Moses followed his father-in-law’s advice.

Moses needed others to help him lead God’s people and teach them God’s laws. God does not want believers to follow Jesus alone. He gives us brothers and sisters of faith who can help us love God, obey God, and tell others about Him. As you spend time with your kids this week, emphasize the importance of cooperation and humility in wisely carrying out God’s mission of making Jesus known.

●     Babies and Toddlers

  • God is good.
  • Jethro came to see Moses.
  • Moses needed help to lead God’s people.
  • Moses chose men who loved God to help him.

●     Preschool

  • What is God like? God is holy, loving, and good.
  • Moses needed help to lead God’s people.


●     Kids

  • What is God like? God is holy, loving, and good.
  • Moses needed help to lead God’s people.

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