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Sabbath Bible Lessons

Wilderness Wanderings (1)

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Lesson 11 Sabbath, March 14, 2020

The Visit of Jethro

“And Moses’ father in law said unto him, . . . Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens” (Exodus 18:17, 21).

“In His instruction to Moses the Lord very plainly set forth the character of those who were to fill important positions as counselors.”—Testimonies to Ministers, p. 341.

Suggested Reading:   Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, pp. 13-18

Sunday March 8


a. After the battle with the Amalekites, who came to visit Moses, and whom did he bring with him? Exodus 18:1–5.

“Not far distant from where the Israelites were now encamped was the home of Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses. Jethro had heard of the deliverance of the Hebrews, and he now set out to visit them, and restore to Moses his wife and two sons.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 300.

b. When Jethro sent word to Moses that he was coming, what did Moses do at once? Exodus 18:6, 7.

“The great leader was informed by messengers of their approach, and he went out with joy to meet them, and, the first greetings over, conducted them to his tent. He had sent back his family when on his way to the perils of leading Israel from Egypt, but now he could again enjoy the relief and comfort of their society.”—Ibid.

Monday March 9


a. What did Moses tell his father-in-law? Exodus 18:8.

b. How did Jethro react to the good news? Exodus 18:9–12.

“To Jethro [Moses] recounted the wonderful dealings of God with Israel, and the patriarch rejoiced and blessed the Lord, and with Moses and the elders he united in offering sacrifice and holding a solemn feast in commemoration of God’s mercy.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 300.

c. As we consider this time of sharing between Moses and Jethro, what should we remember as we come in contact with others, both within and without the church? Psalm 105:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:18.

“The dealings of God with His people should be often repeated. How frequently were the waymarks set up by the Lord in His dealings with ancient Israel! Lest they should forget the history of the past, He commanded Moses to frame these events into song, that parents might teach them to their children. They were to gather up memorials and to lay them up in sight. Special pains were taken to preserve them, that when the children should inquire concerning these things, the whole story might be repeated. Thus the providential dealings and the marked goodness and mercy of God in His care and deliverance of His people were kept in mind. . . . For His people in this generation the Lord has wrought as a wonder-working God. . . . We need often to recount God’s goodness and to praise Him for His wonderful works. . . .

“Let us look to the monumental pillars, reminders of what the Lord has done to comfort us and to save us from the hand of the destroyer. Let us keep fresh in our memory all the tender mercies that God has shown us—the tears He has wiped away, the pains He has soothed, the anxieties removed, the fears dispelled, the wants supplied, the blessings bestowed—thus strengthening ourselves for all that is before us through the remainder of our pilgrimage.”—Conflict and Courage, p. 364.

“We are the constant recipients of God’s mercies, and yet how little gratitude we express, how little we praise Him for what He has done for us.”—Steps to Christ, p.103.

Tuesday March 10


a. What did Jethro observe concerning the judicial work of Moses, and what was Moses’ response? Exodus 18:13–16.

“As Jethro remained in the camp, he soon saw how heavy were the burdens that rested upon Moses. To maintain order and discipline among that vast, ignorant, and untrained multitude was indeed a stupendous task. Moses was their recognized leader and magistrate, and not only the general interests and duties of the people, but the controversies that arose among them, were referred to him. He had permitted this, for it gave him an opportunity to instruct them; as he said, ‘I do make them know the statutes of God, and His laws.’ But Jethro remonstrated against this.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 300, 301.

b. What advice did the godly priest then give to his son-in-law? Exodus 18:17–23.

c. What were the four main qualifications that the visitor emphasized in the selections of the men who were to share Moses’ burdens? Exodus 18:21 (first part). What counsel, given to those selecting managers for schools, is just as applicable in the various departments of the work today?

“Wherever schools are established, wise managers must be provided, ‘able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness,’ men who will do their very best in the various responsibilities of their positions. Business ability they should have, but it is of still greater importance that they walk humbly with God and are guided by the Holy Spirit. Such men will be taught of God, and they will seek counsel of their brethren who are men of prayer.

“The managers of our schools must labor with pure motives. In their unselfishness they will remember that other parts of the great harvest field will require the same facilities that are provided for the school under their care.”—Testimonies, vol. 6, p. 215.

Wednesday March 11


a. How did Moses respond to the wise counsel of his father-in-law? Exodus 18:24, 25.

“The Lord had greatly honored Moses, and had wrought wonders by his hand; but the fact that he had been chosen to instruct others did not lead him to conclude that he himself needed no instruction. The chosen leader of Israel listened gladly to the suggestions of the godly priest of Midian, and adopted his plan as a wise arrangement.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 301.

b. What does this teach us about how we should treat those who are older and more experienced than we are? What makes their advice valuable? Leviticus 19:32; Proverbs 16:31.

“Reverence should be shown for God’s representatives—for ministers, teachers, and parents who are called to speak and act in His stead. In the respect shown to them He is honored.

“And God has especially enjoined tender respect toward the aged. He says, ‘The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.’ Proverbs 16:31. It tells of battles fought, and victories gained; of burdens borne, and temptations resisted. It tells of weary feet nearing their rest, of places soon to be vacant. Help the children to think of this, and they will smooth the path of the aged by their courtesy and respect, and will bring grace and beauty into their young lives as they heed the command to ‘rise up before the hoary head, and honor the face of the old man.’ Leviticus 19:32.”—Education, p. 244.

c. What was the result of the recommended delegation of authority? Exodus 18:26.

“This counsel was accepted, and it not only brought relief to Moses, but resulted in establishing more perfect order among the people.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 301.

Thursday March 12


a. Just as God required those under Moses to have certain qualities, what were Moses’ special qualifications? What important attribute did he possess? Numbers 12:3.

“Moses was a humble man; God called him the meekest man on earth. He was generous, noble, well-balanced; he was not defective, and his qualities were not merely half developed. He could successfully exhort his fellow men, because his life itself was a living representation of what man can become and accomplish with God as his helper, of what he taught to others, of what he desired them to be, and of what God required of him. He spoke from the heart and it reached the heart. He was accomplished in knowledge and yet simple as a child in the manifestation of his deep sympathies. Endowed with a remarkable instinct, he could judge instantly of the needs of all who surrounded him, and of the things which were in bad condition and required attention, and he did not neglect them.”—The SDA Bible Commentary [E. G. White Comments], vol. 1, p. 1113.

b. What special promise was given by Jesus to the meek? Matthew 5:5.

“Meekness is a precious, Christian attribute. The meekness and lowliness of Christ are only learned by wearing Christ’s yoke. . . . That yoke signifies entire submission.”—In Heavenly Places, p. 236.

Friday March 13


1. What qualities should we look for in choosing leaders in the work today? Should those who lack these qualities be chosen?

2. What is of greater importance than business ability when choosing men for responsible positions?

3. What should we often speak about in our contact with others? Why?

4. How should we treat our ministers, parents, and teachers in the faith? Why?

5. Why were Moses’ exhortations so powerful? What does this teach me?

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