So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning. When Moses hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up – one on one side, one on the other – so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.
Exodus 17 vs 10-13
The people of Israel are some six weeks out of their slavery in Egypt and while camped at Rephidim when the Amalekites attack them. Life has not been easy and they have grumbled about food and water and even wished they were back in Egypt! Now they are under attack.
Moses takes the matter in hand and Joshua is instructed to choose men to go with him to engage the Amalekites in battle while Moses will observe from the top of the hill with, significantly, the staff of God in his hands.
The account, like so much of the Book of Exodus and indeed the whole of the Bible, is rich in imagery and has much to teach us. I don’t want to force something into the verse that is not there but I hope you might share my sense that this speaks strongly of working together in partnership for the gospel.
Gospel work is a glorious work and the rewards are great as we see individuals moving from darkness to light and having their eyes opened to see and accept Jesus Christ as Lord. But gospel work is hard work and is a constant battle as we fight
‘not against flesh and blood but against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6 v.12
As the battle with the Amalekites was fought it went one way and then the other as Moses raised or lowered his hands (symbolic of prayer to God). Seeing this Aaron and Hur came alongside and held Moses ‘ hands up steady till sunset and the Amalekites were defeated.
As we think of our Gospel work, are we supportive of one another coming alongside to encourage and to strengthen one another as weariness sets in?
As we think of church leaders doing a hard and sometimes lonely job are we supportive of them coming alongside to strengthen them when weariness or discouragement sets in?
As we think of ourselves seeking to live lives worthy of Christ in a world that rejects him and therefore, on occasions, his people are we ready to ask others to do for us what Aaron and Hur did for Moses?
The battle will not stop until Jesus returns but he has provided within his church the means by which we can prevail – in this particular example from Exodus by supporting each other in prayer and practically as we are able.
Are we doing it? Obviously not by literally by holding up each others hands but by faithful, informed prayer – the great means by which we can draw down the power of heaven for the task before us.