The Man in the Glory

The Man in the Glory

David Haxton

There is much to be learned from a devotional study of Exodus chapter 18 and verses 13 to 18.

Moses is the man at the gate; the Lord Jesus is the Man in the glory. The passage before us is preceded by an old world story of surpassing beauty. It is warm with courtesy, and the tender arts that are not so evident in our modern world as when Jethro called to pay his respects to his son-in-law. When one is tempted to deal harshly with his brethren, it would be well to ponder Exodus 18:7, “And Moses went out to meet his father-in-law, and did obeisance, and kissed him; and they asked each other of their welfare.” In the camp by the mount of God, a welcome was prepared, and Jethro was the guest of honour.

Early the next day Moses was about his business. The man who carries responsibility among God’s people will not dissipate his strength by late feasts even among his brethren. As he sits at the gate to judge the people, it seems that Jethro takes a walk through the camp to interest himself in the habits and organization of this great multitude, and he observes at the gate the effort of Moses to keep pace with the weight of problems that require wise judgment.

“The thing that thou doest is not good,” said Jethro to Moses, “Thou wilt surely wear away, both thou and this people that is with thee; for this thing is too heavy for thee; thou art not able to perform it thyself alone” (verse 18). Jethro then brought forth his plan for: first, the recognition of special leadership; and, second, the delegation of selective responsibility. It seems that God sanctified this proposal for the administration of an earthly people, and leaves it as an illustration of the administration of the Church of His heavenly people (Eph. 4:11-16). Let us now consider what was too heavy for Moses, the man at the gate, and let us rejoice, that for the Man in the glory there is nothing too heavy. Moses was attempting

An Unceasing Ministry (V 1): The people stood by Moses from morning until the evening. This impressed Jethro so that he asked, “Why sittest thou thyself alone, and all the people stand by thee from morning unto even?” From early morning until late at night Moses struggled to arbitrate, judge, and advise. He made himself available to every one the whole day, and as Jethro predicted he would have broken down under the strain. An unceasing ministry was humanly impossible; he would wear away, this man at the gate. Today, we look up to the Man in the glory, for, let it be said with joy and reverence, He will never wear away; He is able Himself alone, to perform much more than Moses. “This Man, because He continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them” (Heb. 7:24-25). We may bring all our problems all the day long to the One Who ever liveth to make intercession for us. What a comfort to remember that His ear is always open to hear our cry! Moses also attemped to provide

An Unhindered Access (15): “The people come unto me to enquire of God.” Moses not only tried to make himself available, but approachable. Those who seek to lead or guide should be both of these, and should not be a respecter of persons. He was free to receive the meanest and the poorest, and to give each a ready entrance into his presence. This attitude of Moses reminds us of the words of James, “My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.” Blessedly true it is that we all have a ready acceptance to-the Throne of Grace, and there may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need (Heb. 4:16). All may avail themselves of the ministry of the Man in the glory. Our Lord Jesus Christ is not only available but, He is approachable at the Throne of Grace. Note further how Moses sought to exercise

An Unbiased Judgment (16): “They come unto me, and I judge between one and another.” The subtleties of family quarrels, the bitterness of business deals, and even the normal administration of camp discipline taxed the impartiality of the great law-giver, Moses. One can well imagine his anxiety to administer fairly, to hold the balance between the severe rebuke and the kindly warning. What a lesson for those who handle the affairs of the believers to act with grace and impartiality before God and not men! Human resources always fail, and even Moses, under the strain of all day sitting at the gate, could not completely guarantee impartial judgment. Let us remember when we are inclined to misjudge one another, that there is One in the glory of unbiased judgment, Who is no respecter of persons, and He judges righteously. Our Lord Jesus discerns the very thoughts and intents of the heart. There follows a sweet aspect of the great law-giver at work by the gate. Moses seeks to express

An Unfailing Sympathy (16): He sought to judge “between one and another.” The arbitration of Moses was not merely legal, but sympathetic. How it must have grieved his heart to look upon the disagreeableness, the churlishness, the envying of the people! His heart would be heavy with sorrow as he viewed in his followers the marks of selfishness and pride. If that was true of Moses, how much more of the Man in the glory? Our Lord Jesus is touched with the feeling of our infirmities; He sees and judges between His own. How His heart must grieve over our misdemeanours, strifes, and disputings! Happy are the souls who willingly say, “The Lord judge between me and thee.” This He will do for our mutual good, for He yearns that we enjoy harmonious fellowship. Finally, Moses sought to be

An Unerring Guide (16): “I do make them know the statutes of God and His laws.” Who was better fitted to do this than he? Moses referred each problem to the word of God and its teaching. He was not able alone to give an infallible solution to the intricacies of human disputes. At the beginning of the day perhaps the mind was clear, the decisions crisp and precise, but by night-fall the mind would grow weary, the body tired, and the spirit depressed. Would not human powers falter, and as Jethro had suggested, Moses “wear away?” He was not able to perform this alone. We today feel the need of an unerring guide, one to say, “This is the way, walk ye in it.” We have such an One; there in the glory we have our blessed risen and glorified Lord Jesus. He is able to lead us “in paths of righteousness for His own Name’s sake.”

Remember, child of God, that every man at the gates of life is at the best weak and failing, but the Man in the glory is able to fulfil His unceasing ministry on your behalf. He offers you unhindered access into His presence; He exercises unbiased judgment in every difference; He acts with unfailing sympathy, and as an unerring guide all along the journey.

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Self-occupation is a spiritually ruinous thing, whatever form it may take; but it is highly objectionable when it leads any servant of God to imagine that he is the last true man upon earth. The testimony of God has never yet depended upon the slender thread of a human life, and it never will. God Himself will take care of the testimony.

“Elijah the Tishbite”

—by W. W. Fereday