Devotions

Category Archives: Memoirs of Moses

We Need God, and Each Other

Raised Arms | Devotion 2: We Need God, and Each Other
LaRae Wing

“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.

Standing in The Battle

Raised Arms | Devotion 1: Standing in The Battle
Debbie Gabbara

Sometimes we all need help. Over the last few years, I have had two knee replacement surgeries. They each required months of physical therapy. In the beginning, my leg was very weak, and I needed help to stand and do the required exercises. I was so thankful for the physical therapists that would come along side me and literally hold me up. When I was not able to stand on my own, they were there to support me.

Moses was a great man of God. He went to God in his time of need. In Exodus chapter 17, we find the Israelites in battle, and Moses standing with his arms held up in appeal to God for help, “Moses’ arms soon became so tired he could no longer hold them up. So Aaron and Hur found a stone for him to sit on. Then they stood on each side of Moses, holding up his hands. So his hands held steady until sunset” (Exodus 17:12 NLT).

If you keep reading the story here in Exodus chapter 17, you will find that whenever Moses’ arms were up, the Israelites were winning the battle against the Amalekites and when they came down, the battle would shift, and they would begin to lose ground. The Bible does not say that Moses asked for help. His friends saw that he had a need and were there to support him. Aaron and Hur saw that Moses needed help and found a way to be there for him.

People all around us are struggling in the battles they are fighting. Every day we hear about hardships in the lives of those that we know and love. That means that every day we have the opportunity to be a help to someone in some way. As we all know, it is hard to ask for help. Aaron and Hur were watching and saw that Moses needed them. If we are keeping watch, we will find ways to be a help to those around us. Sometimes we are needed to pray and encourage someone, and sometimes we are needed to stand in the battle with them and hold them up.

Proverbs 11:25 says that whoever brings a blessing will be blessed, that when we water, we will be watered. God blesses us when we bless others! Galatians 6:2 says that we obey the law of Christ when we share each other’s burdens.

Aaron and Hur stood strong in the battle as they supported their leader and friend. Who has God put in your life to whom you can be a blessing?

 “Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say.” 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 (NLT)

Shake Your Head

Water, Manna, & Quail | Devotion 6: Shake Your Head
James Mann

As we enter into Exodus 17:1-7, we come across the people of Israel leaving the Wilderness of Sin. This is one of the many times where we come across the people of Israel questioning Moses and God. In the previous chapter of Exodus, we see these same people complaining about the lack of food, and now they are complaining about the lack of water. This is one of those “shake your head” moments where you question whether the Israelites will ever learn to put their faith in God. Moses takes this opportunity of frustration and turns the situation back on the Israelites by asking, “Why do you test the Lord?” Why, after being delivered from the hands of Pharaoh, would these Israelites continue to question God’s plan for them? The exciting thing is, God still takes care of His people even after they question Him. Even after they question His motives, God still uses Moses to go upon the rock and strike water from it. We know this is not the first time that we see the Israelites questioning God, and as we continue to read, we will see this is definitely not the last time either. This moment is brought up again in Deuteronomy 6:16. After God fulfills all of His promises to His people, Moses brings up the foolishness of God’s people for ever doubting Him.

We often read through the Israelites time in the wilderness and laugh at how blind they are to God’s presence and plan for their lives. We get frustrated to see how many times people can ignore God when times get challenging. We are able to feel these emotions because we are reading about the story after it has already taken place. Now change your point of view for a moment. Pretend you are reading the story of your life. Pretend everything you have ever done is laid out before you in the form of a book. Would you read through and feel proud of your walk with God from cover to cover? Even though I laugh at the way the Israelites act, I believe my life would look a lot like this. When times get challenging, we either work in one of two ways. We either act like the Israelites in verse three and question God and quarrel with one another, or we act like Moses in verse four and lean on God in our times of need. In this passage, we see Moses stand out from the pack by showing the real qualities of what a leader looks like. I pray that in your times of trouble and need that you act like Moses did here, and ask God for His guidance in what is going on in your life.

Road Trip

Water, Manna, & Quail | Devotion 5: Road Trip
Jen Combs

Lately, I have been plunking my way through the Old Testament. Sitting here reading and re-reading Exodus 17:1-7, I cannot help but laugh. I feel like it is me having a conversation with my kids on a road trip.

Here is how my mind raced:

“All the congregation of the people of Israel moved on from the wilderness of Sin by stages, (In other words, me trying to “herd” my “cats” or kids out the door, in stages) according to the commandment of the Lord, and camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink (Holy Smokes, I walked out the door without snacks or drinks packed for our road trip!). Therefore the people quarreled with Moses and said, ‘Give us water to drink’ (No explanation needed. Just think about five kids in a minivan on a 20-hour road trip, with everyone asking for something to drink, over and over and all at different times. Maddening, right?). And Moses said to them, ‘Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the Lord?’ (Me turning around yelling, “Do you want me to pull this car over? Stop hollering!”). But the people thirsted there for water, and the people grumbled against Moses (Me) and said, ‘Why did you bring us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?’ (I can hear one of my kids, “Why did you take us from our comfy house and go on this forever long trip with nothing to drink, I am going to die!”).  So Moses cried to the Lord, ‘What shall I do with these people? They are almost ready to stone me!’ (My same response with an added, “Have I neglected to ever feed or water you in all of my 16 years of mothering?”). And the Lord said to Moses, ‘Pass on before the people, taking with you some of the elders of Israel (I am going to get your Dad.) and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock of Horeb, and you shall strike the rock, and water shall come out of it, and the people will drink.’ And Moses did so, in the sight of the Elders of Israel. And he called the name of the place Massah and Meribah, because of the quarreling of the people of Israel, and because they tested the Lord by saying, ‘Is the Lord among us or not?’” (I am thinking about naming my van Massah and Meribah, it means quarreling and testing. I am pretty sure my kids quarrel and test me every time we are in it).

Now we can laugh at the comparison of the whiny, stubborn people of Israel and our kids. However, in actuality, this is so the Lord and me. How many times have I wondered if He was with me? Even when He has proved Himself faithful over and over, I still question things on my journey. Then there are the times I start to take control myself because maybe He just does not have me and my circumstances on His list of priorities.

Even though I know He is with me, why do I doubt? Why do I question? One commentary I read said that in less than six months’ time the people of Israel had witnessed ten plagues, the pillar of cloud and fire, the opening and shutting of the Red Sea, the miraculous sweetening of the water, and the sending of food and meat from Heaven. How soon we forget. One of the lessons God has been teaching me over the last three years is to be steady in the Lord. I need to do this regardless of my circumstances or feelings. I challenge you with that today. Be steady. He is with us. He has got us. Do not be whiny.

Leap of Faith

Water, Manna, & Quail | Devotion 4: Leap of Faith
Wes McCullough

If you have ever needed confirmation that God will supply your needs, Exodus 16:13-36 is the perfect Scripture to affirm your belief. Sometimes God arranges things so clearly perfect, but our human minds cannot rationalize what happened.

Here is a quick recap of this passage:

The Israelites have been delivered from Egyptian slavery and are about to spend significant time in the desert where there is not much to eat. God does the impossible and sends manna, a flakey and sweet wafer-like substance, every morning. Everyone gathered as much as they wanted for the day, and the manna melted away. If manna was kept overnight, it spoiled. These rules applied for six days of the week. On the Sabbath, however, no manna came. Everyone was instructed to gather two days worth the previous day. Only then would the manna last two days.

Some people will struggle to comprehend this situation. On only one particular day does the manna not spoil. There is no logical explanation here; it is simply God being God. He is not bound by the laws of nature, time, or logic; He is infinite in all aspects.

A classic movie scene from “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” comes to mind. As the movie climaxes, Indiana is making his way toward the Holy Grail and must make a “leap of faith” to cross a bottomless void. From his perspective, the task seems impossible, but he puts disbelief aside and steps out in faith.

Our minds will never be able to comprehend the fullness of God’s power and wisdom. We like concrete truths. We like to feel in control of our situation and future. When our perception of control wavers, we are prone to worry, and the Bible is clear about that. Matthew 6:25-27 says, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?  And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” 

God has promised to supply our needs. Put your worry aside and focus on serving Him. Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”



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