Moses was a great prophet; God used him to deliver the Israelites after four hundred years of bondage in Egypt. The Lord appeared to him in a burning bush and spoke with him over and over as leader and as friend. Yet there was a time in Moses’ life when he seriously lacked wisdom. He couldn’t seem to see the forest for the trees.
The man who brought the wisdom Moses lacked at the time was an outsider named Jethro who was Moses’ father-in-law. Jethro had not been with them during the exodus but joined them as they wandered through the desert. He watched one day as Moses sat and judged the people from sunrise to sunset.
When Jethro asked him why in the world, “do you alone sit, and all the people stand before you from morning until evening?” (Exodus 18:14). Moses basically told him that the people needed him to help them sort things out. There were so many people in need of advice; he literally had no time for anything else.
“Not a good idea!” (I’m paraphrasing), said Jethro. He suggested a much more reasonable system whereby Moses would appoint judges under him to decide cases and he would only handle the most difficult matters. Moses had enough wisdom to see the beauty in the plan; he enacted it and it worked.
If you suspect you can’t see the forest for the trees in your own life, invite someone from a different forest to take a look. Wisdom from the outside often puts some wisdom on your inside.