Raised Arms | Devotion 2: We Need God, and Each Other
“Then Amalek came and fought with Israel at Rephidim. So Moses said to Joshua, ‘Choose for us men, and go out and fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.’ So Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought with Amalek, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed, and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands grew weary, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it, while Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side. So his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. And Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the sword.” Exodus 17:8-13
“Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends.”
This line, made famous in a song by The Beatles in 1967 (Yes, I am that old), certainly rings true with me. Have you ever over-committed yourself and basically could not physically or mentally complete the task without help. Honestly, there have been periods in my life when precious godly family and friends have been my lifeline. These situations have been entirely my fault because I have a hard time saying “No.” I do not stop to think about asking God about it, or even think about all my other commitments. I just say, “Sure, I can do that.” Then reality hits and I scream for help. They come to my rescue. Oh, I have been blessed many times in this way.
There have also been times when I was plugging along trying to complete a task that I did not realize was too big for me, and some great friends would just show up to help. They saw that I was struggling when I did not, and they came alongside and supported with physical help, words of encouragement, and needed suggestions to make the job easier. I knew I had received grace upon grace; blessing upon blessing.
In the verses from Exodus, we see Moses following the command of God. Moses was once again trusting and depending on God, knowing that God was the only One with the power to help them overcome the army of Amalek. Moses’ obedience and dependence on God was a great example to the Israelites. It made them realize that God alone was truly able to provide for all their needs. From the time Moses was called by God at the burning bush until this time of the battle, a wonderful relationship had been developed between Moses and his Father God. He had learned that God would never leave or forsake him (Hebrews 13:5) and that God would show him great things when he called upon Him (Jeremiah 33:3). Moses knew he needed to know God and that his relationship with God was paramount in his life.
That is so true for all of us. We need that close, personal relationship with our Heavenly Father (Psalm 23; Proverbs 18:24), and He desires a close relationship with us (Leviticus 26:12; Matthew 11:28). How do we develop a relationship with God? We do it just as we do with others; we spend time with God. We do that through prayer, reading the Bible, and meditating on the Scriptures. It is the sweetest, most fulfilling, and the best relationship we can have.
Likewise, we see in Exodus chapter 17 that God had brought to Moses’ life people who would help him in time of need. Moses’ relationship with Aaron and Hur was one that resulted in assistance and support when needed. As the Scripture stated, Moses would be on the hill holding up the staff God had given to him. It would be a reminder of all the great things that God had done with that staff in the past, and a sign to the Israelite army that God was in the midst of their battle. As the battle continued throughout the day, Moses’ arms grew tired. As long as he held the staff high, the Israelites won the battle, but when his arms began to sag, the Amalekites began to win. Realizing their leader was becoming exhausted during this difficult battle, Aaron and Hur came to the aid of Moses. They gave him a place to sit and held up his arms. Moses needed support, and they gave it.
It is wonderful when friends jump in to help when we need it. Just think about our leaders in the church whom God has called specifically to minister to us. What an encouragement we can be if we come alongside to support them. We need each other. That is the way God made us. He created the Church for us so that we can support and serve one another. God has promised to supply all our needs (Philippians 4:19), and many times, He uses others to supply those needs.
How can you be the hands and feet of Jesus to others today? Can you offer assistance to others with help, encouragement, Scripture, and prayer before they ask? Look around. Who needs relief, comfort, and support? You could be the difference between a loss or a win in someone’s battle.