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The Bible's Take On Separation Of Responsibility

Written May 14, 2007 at 07:03 MDT Tagged programming

Got a great email this morning from Brian Di Croce that I thought I would share with everyone.

In Exodus 18 we read how Moses overextended himself in caring for the people. His father-in-law, Jethro, asked him why he sat alone from morning until night with the people standing around him. He responded that the people came to him to inquire of the Lord and that he judged between them that they might know God's laws and statues.

Here comes the principle of separation of responsibilities...

Jethro told him that he (Moses) would wear himself out, as well as the people he was trying to help. He told him that the responsibility was too heavy , and warned him that he could not continue to bear it alone. Then he proceeded to give his son-in-law some wise advice. He explained how to delegate responsibility.

For any of you interested; here is the actual story taken directly from Exodus 18: 23-23 (NIV version):

The next day Moses took his seat to server as judge for the people, and they stood around him from morning till evening. 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?'

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

Moses father-in-law replied, 'What you are doing is not good. 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. 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. Teach them the decrees and laws, and show them the way to live and the duties they are to perform. 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. 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 the will share it with you. If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied.'

Interesting thought to start the week out with!!

God Bless.