“Moreover, look for able men from all the people. Men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe, and place such men over the people as chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. And let them judge the people at all times. Every great matter, they shall bring to you. But any small matter, they shall decide themselves. So it will be easier for you and they will bear the burden with you. If you do this, God will direct you. You will be able to endure, and all this people also will go to their place in peace.”
These verses describe very early on in the Bible how God set up a structure for justice to be carried out among his people, for people to be judged. All these different cases that were all coming to Moses and through Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, we see these instructions to appoint many different leaders, as chiefs over thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens, to judge the people. Their qualifications, God said, “Look for able men from all the people, who fear God and who are trustworthy and hate a bribe.”
From the beginning, God has ordained a process to promote justice among His people.
What a picture. Out of all the things that could have been listed right there, look for leaders who fear God and who are trustworthy and hate a bribe. Who are not going to put their advantage over someone else being judged rightly. Who are not going to seek selfish gain in that way. “If you do this,” God says, “you will be directed by me. You’ll be able to endure.” This is for Moses, good as leader to have other leaders. “All this people also will go to their place in peace.”
Don’t we want that? Don’t we want justice and peace to be evident in whatever country we live in? So we pray. God, we know this was a unique picture in the Old Testament, as you set up this structure among your people. But as we read this today, particularly as followers of Jesus in the United States, as well as other countries, but the United States as we’re going through this election, God, we pray, we ask for leaders who fear you. God, we ask for leaders who are trustworthy, who don’t seek selfish gain.
God, we ask for that. God, we ask for this for our current leaders and our future leaders. God, we pray for leaders who are in positions of power and influence right now, who know you, who’ve trusted in you, in your salvation, who are walking with you. God, we pray that you would strengthen them and help them to lead in the fear of you. Help them to continue to be trustworthy in a way that reflects the character of Christ, not to seek selfish gain. God, we pray for other leaders who don’t know you right now, who are not walking with you, who’ve not placed their faith in Jesus, who are not followers of Jesus.
God, we pray that you would bring them to fear you. God, we pray that by your grace they would be trustworthy leaders, that they would not seek selfish gain, but seek the good of others and good according to you. Good according to your word and your character and your wisdom, not according to our foolishness, according to what is right in our own eyes.
God, we pray for leaders like this, and for justice and peace that flows from leadership like this. We ask for this in our country. God, save us from ourselves. Save us from leaders who don’t fear you. God, save us from leaders who are not trustworthy and who do seek selfish gain. God, we pray for good leaders in our country. According to this picture of goodness that we see in Exodus 18. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Join us in praying God’s Word as we lead up to the presidential election on November 3rd. Download our prayer guide HERE.