And Jethro rejoiced over all the good things the LORD had done for Israel, whom He had rescued from the hand of the Egyptians.
Exodus 18:7. The visit of Jethro comes between the agony of Rephidim and the solemnities of "Sinai," like the insertion of a sweet pastoral poem between two tragedies. Something may be learnt from it as to what should characterise friendship in its highest form, that is, between two devout souls, as consecrated and elevated by religion.
I. CONSTANCY. Moses and Jethro met as in the earlier years; no assumption with Moses, no sycophancy with Jethro.
II. COURTESY. Ver. 7. The nearer our relations to each other, the more indispensable this grace.
III. MUTUAL SOLICITUDE. Ver. 7.
IV. INTERCHANGE OF EXPERIENCE. Vers. 8-11. Happy time, when the deeper experiences (religious) can be exchanged to mutual advantage.
V. COMMUNION IN WORSHIP. Ver. 12. It is clear that Jethro and Moses were one as to Monotheism, in their common possession of the great Divine traditions of the race. Jethro spiritually was in the descent of Abel, Enoch, Noah, and Melchisedek. For him but one God, the God of heaven and earth, and therefore the God of Israel. Contrast with Amalek! Hence the sacrifice and the sacrificial feast.
VI. FIDELITY IN GIVING COUNCIL. Vers. 14, 17-23. Great courage required.
VII. HUMILITY IN RECEIVING IT. This the moral attitude of Moses.
VIII. AN ULTIMATE REFERENCE IN ALL INTERCOURSE TO THE DIVINE FRIEND. Ver. 23. "And God commanded thee so."
IX. SYMPATHY AS TO GREAT OBJECT. Jethro knew the destiny of Israel, and was concerned for the realisation.
X. PEACEFUL PARTING AT LIFE'S DIVERGING PATHS. Ver. 27. Apply this to moral and intellectual cross-roads; and to that which is so difficult - agreeing to differ - and that with mutual respect and affection. All in view and hope of the Perfect and immortal amity that is beyond the sky. - R.
Jethro rejoiced for all the goodness.1. The Church's friends rejoice in all the good done for it, and deliverance of it.
2. As Jehovah is the cause of good and deliverance to His Church, so He is the object of their joy (ver. 9).
3. Joyful hearts for the Church's good are thankful hearts to God for the same.
4. Deliverance of special relations, but especially of the Church, from powers of enemies is just matter of thanksgiving (ver. 10).
5. Experience of the mighty works of God perfects the knowledge of Himself.
6. The great works of God set Him above all that are so called.
7. The pride of enemies exalts the power of God above them (ver. 11).
8. Knowledge of God is best expressed in sacrificing and worship of Him.
9. Holy feasting is consistent with God's holy worship.
10. God's glory must terminate all sacrificing and eating among His people.
11. Eminent members of the Church may not disdain communion with true proselytes (ver. 12).
(G. Hughes, B. D.)
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