And Moses’ father in law said unto him, The thing that thou doest is not good.
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.
Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens:
And let them judge the people at all seasons: and it shall be, that every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge: so shall it be easier for thyself, and they shall bear the burden with thee.
Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country:
And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it.
And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another.
And place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens
One of mankind’s most ingenious inventions is that of delegation. Many rulers have expressed a desire to maintain direct interaction with those that they are responsible for, but this becomes a literal impossibility once the populace grows too large. Eventually there simply are not enough hours in a day to maintain guidance for every individual.
Moses faced this exact dilemma as he sat in judgment over the people of Israel. He was instructed to put in place a hierarchy of judges, worthy individuals who could mediate over all the smaller disputes and only bring to Moses the particularly difficult cases.
This solution was both beneficial to Moses and also to the people. Everyone could receive mediation, and ideally it would be as if from the hands of Moses himself.
There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard…and let it out to husbandmen…and the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another.
“Ideally” was the key word there. Because while delegation has its benefits, it does also have its drawbacks. It is inevitable that at some point a steward will make a different judgment than the leader would have. Some stewards will be more capable than others, while others will be misguided. And, as in the extreme case of Jesus’s parable, some stewards might even be wholly corrupted.
In short, delegation will eventually lead to outcomes that stray from the wishes of the ruler, even in extreme ways. It is still the method by which God’s imperfect, mortal, time-constrained servants try their best to care for His flock; but it simply has to be coupled with something that is more guaranteed.