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Lending A Hand

Exodus  17: 8 – 13 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Then Amalek came and fought against Israel at Rephidim. So Moses said to Joshua, “Choose men for us and go out, fight against Amalek. Tomorrow I will station myself on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.” 10 Joshua did as Moses told him and fought against Amalek; and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. 11 So it came about when Moses held his hand up, that Israel prevailed, and when he let his hand down, Amalek prevailed. 12 But Moses’ hands were heavy. Then they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it; and Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other. Thus his hands were steady until the sun set. 13 So Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.

The story found in Exodus 17:8-13 comes after the Great Exodus, during the Israelites’ time of wandering the desert, and right before they inherited their promised land.  The Israelites, again being led by Moses, had their sights set deliberately on a particular promise or outcome, if you will.  Take this moment to ponder over your own life today and where you may fall in this story.  Do you have a journey you are walking?  What about a battle you are facing?  Or even know of a dear friend facing one?

Might we be missing a point if we do not notice the relevance of the other two there to help as well? Sure, we see Moses and Joshua-they are quite familiar to us and the main characters of this passage, but yet let’s not overlook the purpose of the other two:  Aaron and Hur.  It is easy to get caught up in the leader of the group that God chooses, or the general who is down in the midst of the war, but what about the others?  To me this is a great story depicting how God uses each of us to support one another as we have to deal with our battles.

The story ends with the Israelites winning the battle, or “overwhelming the Amalekites.” Could this have had the same outcome without Aaron and Hur?  Sure, especially true for those who believe God is God and can do anything through us and on his own, yes?  After all, Moses split the Red Sea with God’s assistance and no one else. A story which also depicts Moses and his hand holding a staff. Can’t you imagine the brute strength needed to do that?  Winds and water rushing around and away from his staff being held in place.  So why not here?  Maybe this example of God is provided to help us realize the importance of a support system?  When reading that these two guys are being there for their friends, trusting in God, not themselves, to deliver, I realize that their presence matters.  Their actions matter to the outcome. This story also reminds me of another found in the New Testaments, in Luke 5:17-20, which speaks of the friends lowering their sick friend through the roof to be healed by Jesus for they could not get through the crowd.  So, the take away today from both of these stories affirm that there is value in God’s provisions via other people.  Many times, that does require some sort of action on our part, regardless of how big or small.  I hope you’ll take time right now to praise God today for the people whose lives you have encountered and if needed, may you be reminded that the battles in life are not meant to be fought alone.

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