DELEGATION – God’s answer for sharing the burden
February 21 Bible Reading: Deuteronomy Chapters 1-3
In Deut 1:9-18, Moses reiterates one of the most important decisions that he took early on during the wilderness journey of the Israelites. Through the wise counsel of his father-in-law Jethro (see Exodus 18:13-26), Moses quickly realized his inability to bear the burden of all the people even though he was a mighty leader with God’s power and abilities at his disposal. In his own words: "And I spoke to you at that time, saying: 'I alone am not able to bear you…How can I alone bear your problems and your burdens and your complaints? " (Deut 1:9, 12). So, he chose ‘wise, understanding and knowledgeable men’ as leaders/officers over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens (vv. 13-15), and instructed them to judge impartially over the matters brought to them (v. 17a). Moses only took those matters to judge that could not be adjudicated by the officers under him (v. 17b). This is the pattern of judicial matters were followed smoothly for the Israelites throughout the forty years of the wilderness journey.
In the New Testament - in Acts 6:1-6, we see the same principle of delegation working out in matters concerning food distribution in the first century church. The Apostles rightly decided to concentrate on spiritual matters like prayer and the ministry of the Word (vv. 2, 4). "Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business" (Acts 6:3). They then chose seven godly men (including Stephen, who became the first Christian martyr), prayed with the laying on of hands, and commissioned them for the ‘secular’ administrative tasks. Everyone did their part in the ministry of the Church and no more complaints were heard among the believers.