Forest Lake Talks

6/8/23 Devotional from Ed

June 8, 2023

Text: Deuteronomy 16:18-20

18 You shall appoint judges and officials throughout your tribes, in all your towns that the LORD your God is giving you, and they shall render just decisions for the people. 19 You must not distort justice; you must not show partiality; and you must not accept bribes, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and subverts the cause of those who are in the right. 20 Justice, and only justice, you shall pursue, so that you may live and occupy the land that the LORD your God is giving you.

Devotional: In these words from God through Moses, we see two important points: delegation and pursuing justice.

There’s a likelihood that many (if not all) reading this devotional right now are tired and stressed.

So was Moses.

Here’s the abridged charge from God to Moses in Exodus: “Lead the Hebrew people of Egypt, please, and then lead them through the wilderness on the way to the promised land. By the way, they’re going to be looking up to you. Do what I ask you to do. Tell them what I say. Thanks.”

Can you imagine the pressure? God is asking you to lead!

Effective leadership, however, requires an acceptance that others are capable of helping. Others have been gifted. In Exodus 18, we read that Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, recommended delegation, essentially saying, “You can’t do it all, Moses! You’ll wear yourself out” Moses is reiterating this point in the words above: “Appoint good leaders, Hebrew people. They can render just decisions, too.”

I am sure these words were comforting to Moses. Are they comforting to us?

Our daily lives may feel comfortable at times, but as we know, there are many complexities behind the scenes – constant emails, childcare pressures, parental care, and our own health concerns. It can be tempting to think every important decision has to be made by us (and only us).

However, God has placed people in this world who can help us. That’s wonderful news, but we’re not off the hook.

God has also placed us in the world to advocate for others when their lives are not straight and comfortable. Based on Moses’ words above, God gives us a charge of pursuing justice, too.

It works both ways.

In the weeks ahead, may we strive to find that balance between acceptance and advocating.

Prayer: Holy God, fill us with your Spirit. Empower us to accept what we cannot control, knowing you are in charge, and empower us to advocate for others through our nonstop pursuit of justice. Amen.

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