A Practical Lesson on Delegating Tasks from the Bible: Moses


Photo by Salvatore Vuono

I was reading an inspirational piece this morning and came across this very interesting and important passage in the Bible. I was struck by its relevance to today's leader and entrepreneur thousands of years after it was written. As you read on, you'll understand why.

Here's why delegating tasks and collaboration with other leaders is important for success:

Exodus 18:13-24

" 13 The next day Moses took his seat to serve as judge for the people, and they stood around him from morning till evening. 14 When his father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he said, “What is this you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge, while all these people stand around you from morning till evening?”

 15 Moses answered him, “Because the people come to me to seek God’s will. 16 Whenever they have a dispute, it is brought to me, and I decide between the parties and inform them of God’s decrees and instructions.”

 17 Moses’ father-in-law replied, “What you are doing is not good. 18 You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone. 19 Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you. You must be the people’s representative before God and bring their disputes to him. 20 Teach them his decrees and instructions, and show them the way they are to live and how they are to behave. 21 But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. 22 Have them serve as judges for the people at all times, but have them bring every difficult case to you; the simple cases they can decide themselves. That will make your load lighter, because they will share it with you. 23 If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied.”

 24 Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said…"

What can we take away from this passage?

– First what struck me was that Moses was open to feedback (17). He listened to his father-in-law and took his counsel seriously enough as to implement the advice he was offered.

– A leader is a teacher, he inspires; he is a representative of those he is called to lead (20).

– Team work lightens the load and multiplies success in the organization (18).

Appoint people to leadership positions that are grounded in similar values and who are of solid character (21).


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