The First Convert

Alec Motyer

READ : Exodus 18:1-27

Now I know . . . (v. 11)

Jethro was a religious man—even a “priest” (Exodus 2:16)—but it is not enough to be religious. Nor, it would seem, did Moses consider that Jethro’s religion was enough for him. Rather, as soon as the polite formalities were done (18:7), he told Jethro about the Lord (v. 8) and the “priest of Midian” came to believe in the God of Israel (vv. 9-11). Not only that, but he was welcomed in full into the covenant community (v. 12), and became an immediate contributor to its well-being and good order (vv. 17-24). The testimony that led to his conversion was simply an account of “what the Lord had done.”

Moses told this under two headings: first and foremost, the great victory over Egypt (v. 8a)—the plagues and the Passover, how Pharaoh was shattered and Israel redeemed. Then secondly (v. 8b), Israel’s experiences from Egypt to Sinai, and the miracles and providence of the Lord which met them at each point of need. Nothing complicated, just the simple facts of the Lord’s redemption and loving care.

This is the message we have for the world, working through personal testimony to individual persons, used by the God of all grace for their eternal salvation. Why did Israel suffer in the wilderness? To have a testimony to share!


Lord, give me a testimony to share.