Jethro – An Ideal Father-in-law

Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses, the priest of Midian, was likely a descendant of Abraham through Keturah. (Genesis 25:1-2) Hence, it is believed that Jethro was a worshiper of Jehovah. He could be portrayed as an ideal Father-in-law and a grandfather.

Hospitality: Jethro showed hospitality to Moses, a stranger when he escaped from Egypt. (Exodus 2:21-22) Moses saved his daughters, who were shepherdesses from the attack of other shepherds. Later Jethro’s daughter Zipporah was married to Moses. Indeed, Moses was content to stay with him and was looking after his flock.

Encouragement: When Moses wanted to return to Egypt, Jethro sent him to fulfill God’s call. (Exodus 4:18) He did not dominate or dictate Moses, instead allowed him to do as he wished. Perhaps, Moses also did not disclose the whole plan that God had revealed to him.

Protection: Probably, when Moses was following God’s guidance to deliver the Children of Israel, Zipporah and sons went to Midian, Jethro’s home. It could have been between the plagues; they were sent to Jethro.

Visit to the wilderness: When Israel was in the wilderness, Jethro took Zipporah, Gershon, and Eliezer to Moses. (Exodus 18:1-12) Moses gave him respect by bowing and welcoming him.

Discernment: Jethro was able to discern God’s hand in the life of Moses. Unlike the magicians of Egypt or Pharaoh, Jethro had spiritual discernment. He clearly understood how God with His mighty hand delivered Israel from the tyranny of Egypt. After hearing a report from Moses, he rejoiced and offered a Burnt Offering to the Lord. (Exodus 18:1, 7-12)

Advice to Moses: When Jethro saw that Moses sat alone to judge from morning till evening, he felt that Moses was overwhelmed, and may experience stress, mental tension, and emotional exhaustion. He suggested that Moses should choose the right people and delegate his job. (Exodus 18:14-22) Later Moses implements that suggestion.

Returns home: After being satisfied that all things were well with Moses’ family and the people of God, he went home. (Exodus 18:27) He retired in peace to live among his people.

Am I hospitable, courteous, and generous with others?