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  • William T. Howe Ph.D.

January 25, 2023

The Bible Edge

Everyone needs an Edge, Believers can have the Bible Edge

Exodus 18:17

And Moses' father in law said unto him, The thing that thou doest is not good.

Moses was the top man. But he listened to the good counsel of his father-in-law, which set forth a pattern for management that has stood the test of time and is still in use today in governments, corporations, churches, homes, and small businesses alike. According to Exodus 12:37 when Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt there were 600,000 men on foot. These combined with their wives and children could easily eclipse 1.5 million people that were under Moses’ watch care. He had a big job.

But he was humble enough to listen to some unsolicited advice from a respected source. Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, saw him sit in judgment of the people of Israel from morning unto evening. His advice was basically this; teach others to judge the minor matters and let them be “rulers” over tens, fifties, hundreds, and thousands. If any issue was major in that the lesser rulers could not decide, then let them come to Moses for judgment.

The point at hand today is really not the management structure Jethro advised Moses to adopt, it is that Moses adopted it. He, being the ultimate boss (if you will) of the Israelites, took some good advice from someone he respected. No wonder that in Numbers 12 the man called Moses was described as the meekest man upon the face of the earth. He was meek enough to listen to some good advice.

Most of the advice leaders receive is unwelcomed, and frankly not acceptable. But sometimes the unsolicited advice serves a purpose. A wise person in top management would do well to listen and fairly judge all advice from all sources. Then use the good, sound, well thought out, and useful advice.

Perhaps you’ve heard the story of the truck that was too tall to go under a bridge. The truck was just a few inches too high. The driver, the dispatcher, and the police were in a quandary. Because of the way the street and bridge were designed, they could not back up, they could not lift the bridge, and they could not cut off the top of the truck. As it happened the bridge was just outside a fence of a mental institution. Upon observing all the commotion one of the residents of the hospital recommended to the driver, “Let air out of all the tires to lower the truck a few inches”. To which they did, and it worked. The driver came back to tell the man thank you and ask him how he came up with such a simple remedy. To which the man said, “I may be crazy, but I’m not stupid.”

The best advice can sometimes come from unusual circumstances or individuals. Treat them all with due consideration. It may just allow you to overcome the once thought of as impossible situation. After all, good advice always gives an edge in any situation.

By the way, it is interesting that this is only the second time the phrase “is not good” is used in Scripture. The first was on the occasion of man being alone. God took care of that in a wonderful way. God always has an answer for the “is not good” things of life. On these, He always gives an edge, a Bible Edge, to any and all who will simply take His advice.

William Howe, Ph.D.

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