Now Jethro, the priest of Midian and father-in-law of Moses, heard of everything God had done for Moses and for his people Israel, and how the Lord had brought Israel out of Egypt.
2 After Moses had sent away his wife Zipporah, his father-in-law Jethro received her 3 and her two sons. One son was named Gershom, for Moses said, “I have become a foreigner in a foreign land”; 4 and the other was named Eliezer, for he said, “My father’s God was my helper; he saved me from the sword of Pharaoh.”
5 Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, together with Moses’ sons and wife, came to him in the wilderness, where he was camped near the mountain of God. 6 Jethro had sent word to him, “I, your father-in-law Jethro, am coming to you with your wife and her two sons.” Exodus 18:1-6
We forget soometimes that communication was almost non-existent back in Biblical times. People didn’t know what others looked like unless they had met them personally. Reputations and rumors may have proceeded them, but they didn’t know much else about the person. There was no radio, TV, newspaper, or teletype to broadcast news. The news spready by word of mouth. That’s all they had.
Even Moses’ father-in-law didn’t know much about his grandchildren or perhaps that he even had grandchildren. Moses had taken Jethro’s daughter back into Egypt so that he could lead the children of Israel out. But Jethro somehow had heard the good news of his son-in-law’s exploits but was probably sketchy on the details.
We don’t know how long Zipporah and her boys were away from Moses or even why he sent them away. Jethro sent word that they were returning to him, this time with Jethro coming with them. It would be a chance for Jethro to get a first hand account of Moses’ adventures with God.
Have you ever been this kind of “giddy,” where you can’t wait for “that moment” to come along? You’ve missed this person so much that you can’t sleep or spend all your waking ours thinking about what you’d say when you met again? I get the impression that this was Jethro’s mindset. When Moses was told, he himself might have had the same reaction since his wife and boys were in the mix.
Back in the 80’s, the late televangelist Jack Van Impe used to send out small trumpet pins with the words “Perhaps Today” on the trumpet. The meaning was taken from 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17: “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.”
If you only lived by these words, Jesus’ return is imminent – and it could be today! Of course we have the whole of Scripture to consider, but the point is still: Jesus “could” come again today.
How does that make you feel? Do you get excited thinking about it? Have you thought about it at all lately?
Are you giddy like Jethro or unaware like Moses?