At 40 years of age, Moses was on the run.
He had killed a man, and Pharaoh wanted Moses dead for it. So Moses fled hundreds of miles east to the land of Midian. One day at a well, Moses came to the rescue of 7 shepherdesses who were being prevented from watering their flocks. In gratitude, their father invited him to a meal. The dinner event began the relationship between the two men, with Moses marrying and starting a family with Jethro’s oldest daughter. During the next 40 years, Moses and his family stayed near and worked with Jethro’s family – Moses was actually shepherding Jethro’s flock when God met him in the burning bush to appoint him as the one to lead the nation of Israel out of Egypt.
Now let’s hit fast forward...Moses has successfully led the nation out of slavery. Egypt has been soundly defeated by the plagues God had sent and their military was obliterated during the Red Sea crossing. However, before they meet God at Mt. Sinai, there is a family reunion.
Before we read about Moses and Jethro, let’s stop and think about their relationship. Moses arrived at Jethro’s house as a man who was hunted and looking over his shoulder. Moses had grown up in Pharaoh’s palace, the richest of the rich in all of Egypt. The Bible doesn’t mention the extent of his Egyptian education and training, but it’s not too much of a stretch to think that Moses was a little out of place when it came to rural life. Over forty years’ time, Moses learned the ropes of leading and shepherding. Little did he know, God was using his time under Jethro’s supervision to prepare him for the task at hand.
With this in mind, let’s look at their meeting.
So Moses went out to meet his father-in-law, bowed down, and then kissed him. They asked each other how they had been and went into the tent. Moses recounted to his father-in-law all that the Lord had done to Pharaoh and the Egyptians for Israel’s sake, all the hardships that confronted them on the way, and how the Lord had delivered them.
Jethro rejoiced over all the good things the Lord had done for Israel when He rescued them from the Egyptians. “Blessed is the Lord,” Jethro exclaimed, “who rescued you from Pharaoh and the power of the Egyptians, and snatched the people from the power of the Egyptians. Now I know that the Lord is greater than all gods, because He did wonders at the time the Egyptians acted arrogantly against Israel.”
Then Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, brought a burnt offering and sacrifices to God, and Aaron came with all the elders of Israel to eat a meal with Moses’ father-in-law in God’s presence.
This meeting was a joyous occasion. You can see that they were excited to see one another, and they were excited about the things God had done. It is a great moment when a mentor can truly celebrate with his protégé about the success God has had in their lives. I’m certain that evening was full of “remember when” stories, with Moses thanking Jethro for his help all those many years ago, and with plenty of rejoicing over God’s part in all of it.
As mentors, we need to make sure we’re celebrating the successes of our protégés. As someone being mentored, we need to make sure we’re telling our mentors about the victories God has won in our lives. A public celebration will serve as an encouragement to both people and give God the proper recognition He deserves.