A family and then a nation
One of the most powerful events in the entire Bible is the exodus of the Children of Israel from Egypt. It includes some spectacular events, the Ten Plagues, the Destruction of the Egyptian Army, and The Parting of the Sea. Yet right in the middle of the narrative, we find one of the most important events in the story and yet it seems to be overlooked or at best given a minor mention as a side note. This event is vital to G-D’s plan for Israel and a key moment in understanding the broader Biblical plan for mankind. The event spoken of is found in Exodus Chapter 18 when Yitro (Jethro) Moses’ father-in-law meets Moses after they have left Egypt.
Most people read these verses of Scripture and focus completely on the section where Yitro watches Moses at work as Moses is counseling the people from morning to evening and then advises Moses to appoint men to assist in the counseling/judging process because it was a disservice to the people to have to wait all that time. Yitro tells Moses to only handling the major problems and let those appointed handle the less severe.
While this establishment of leadership is very important just before we read about Yitro’s advise we read the following verse, Exodus 18:6
He had told Moses, “I, Jethro your father-in-law, am coming to you, along with your wife and her two sons.”
This one line of text is a spiritual reset that is the precursor to everything that follows. Why? Because the last time we read about Moses and his wife they have a big argument and then Moses’ wife stays with her father while Moses goes to Egypt to rescue Israel from bondage. Moses has now led the Children of Israel out of slavery, and they are about to gather at Mount Sinai where with the giving and accepting of the Torah they will become a nation. But before Moses could lead the people to the mountain and become a nation, first G-D had to restore Moses as a husband and father. You see G-D’s plan has always been and always will be family first. This one sentence so often overlooked because it is placed in between so many things we find more interesting or exciting is key to Israel becoming what they are to become. Just about it, G-D restored Moses’ bride to Moses just before G-D takes Israel to be His bride.
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Eric Tokajer is author of With Me in Paradise, Transient Singularity, #ManWisdom, OY! How Did I Get Here?: Thirty-One Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before Entering Ministry, Jesus is to Christianity as Pasta is to Italians, God Has No Plan "B", and his most recent book Galatians in Context.