Who’s Holding Your Hands Up?

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.
~EXODUS  17:12 (NIV)

 

A FRIEND OF MINE RECENTLY REMINDED ME of the importance of having the right people by your side in times of difficulty and challenge.  She referenced the account of the Israelites’ defeat of Amalek, one of the many tribal nations Israel would encounter leading up to and throughout the conquest of Canaan.

 

My friend (Linda Hoffman) gave the following brief review of the state of things for Israel leading up to this encounter: 

 

This was the Israelites’ first battle since breaking free from the Egyptians. About 1.5 months into the journey . . . they were attacked at Rephidim.

Previously God [led] them out of Egypt in a specific direction to avoid their enemies & war. (13:17-22) even tho the road was shorter. He did not want them to encounter war, BUT they did exit Egypt ready for battle (13:18).

You may be familiar with the story (you can read about it in Exodus 17):  God was bringing judgment on the tribal nation of Amalek through the battle they incited against the fledgling nation of Israel.   It was an interesting encounter.  Moses, Israel’s leader, was over 80 years of age.  In other words, he was not a young man.

 

Moses gave battle instructions to Joshua, the military general of  Israel’s inexperienced army, informing him that he would take his position at the top of a hill, making himself clearly visible to Joshua and the army.  He would take with him the staff of God, which was a clear representation of the power of God in the miracles He worked against the Egyptians and of His provisional power in their wilderness journey. 

 

After taking his position on top of the hill, Moses stood and held up his hands holding the rod of God.  The Scriptures tell us that as long as Moses held his hands up Israel would prevail.  But as the aging Moses wearied, the strength of his arms would give out and he would lower them.  Whenever he did, the tide of battle would turn.

 

Seeing what was happening, Moses’ brother Aaron and Hur came to the rescue.  They moved a large stone to where Moses was standing—one that would allow him to sit yet remain visible.  Then, with one on either side of him, they would raise his hands in the air and hold them steady until the battle was won.

 

The Scriptures also make it clear that there is an ongoing battle of good and evil being waged in the heavenly realm over the souls of men.  You and I are also a part of that war, doing battle equipped with the armor of God and in the power of His Spirit.  But it is an exhausting battle.  Our arms get weary.  We grow tired.  We need rest.  We want a break.  Often that break does not come.  We must fight on, but how are we to do that?  We need brothers and sisters in arms to come alongside us and hold our hands up. 

 

Needless to say, 2020 has been a year of intense conflict and hardship.  On the surface, some of the battles we have encountered may seem physical, not spiritual (i.e. COVID-19 and other illnesses), but make no mistake, the enemy is using things that are not overtly spiritual and manipulating them to take their toll in the spiritual realm, even to the point of dividing and polarizing the Body of Christ.  Other battles that we are facing are clearly spiritual.

 

If you are anything like me, you have found yourself weary of it all, just needing a little room to breathe—prayer warriors and hand-holders to come alongside.  I am grateful to God that He has given me just such a band of brothers (and sisters) who do that faithfully for me.  My wife (Jean) is my most constant warrior companion and helper.  She never leaves my side.  God has given me you (His Church) as encouragers and prayer warriors—staff, elders, ministry teams, card writers, gift-givers, prayer-lifters—all battling on in difficult times.

 

But in thinking of this Moses Scenario,  my mind and heart were drawn in thanksgiving to God for Adam and Micah.  They have been to me Aaron and Hur.  They have held my hands up when I have grown weary.  They have stepped in, again and again, to shoulder burdens and assume responsibilities that help me fight on and not lose heart.  They have lightened my load and refreshed my spirit.

 

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:
      If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help him up.
     ~Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (NIV)

 

And though a man might prevail against one who is alone,
      two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
     ~Ecclesiastes 4:12 (ESV)

 

Who is your Aaron and Hur?  Who is holding your hands up enabling you to fight on?
 
_______________
Thanks, Linda Hoffman for the reminder of why God has placed us in the Body of Christ


Thanks, I Needed That

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,
 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another,
 and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

-Hebrews 10:24-25

LIFE IS SOMETIMES HARD.  Storms and challenges seem to rise out of nowhere.  Sometimes the rains are gentle and sometimes the skies open wide and pour out torrents, much like the rains we experienced in town just this past week—at least over my house.

Then there are seasons that leave us dry and parched, and a single spark would threaten to destroy us.   Read more…