16 when they have a dispute, they come to me and I decide between one person and another, and I make them know the statutes of God and his laws."17 Moses' father-in-law said to him, "What you are doing is not good.
Jethro, the wise father in law of Moses, notices that Moses is wearing himself out by trying to solve every problem that the people have. This is bad for several reasons:
- Moses gets severely worn out
- The people don't learn to deal with things themselves
- It is not a sustainable model because no new leaders are being trained
- Nobody but Moses is seen to have wisdom from God - everyone should have an active relationship with God
- More for today's world than back then, we don't have prophets who hear directly from God as Moses did (otherwise we would be adding to the bible) so such a system promotes the potential for abuse of power.
Jethro's solution is simple but effective. Like a pyramid building up from bottom to top, there should be leaders over small groups, leaders over larger groups progressively, and finally Moses at the top. Smaller issues are dealt with at lower levels and as problems become too large for one level they are brought to the higher leaders with Moses dealing with the few big issues.