Friday, August 07, 2015

Lifting Up

Image result for moses arms up
Exodus 17:8-13 Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim. And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: to morrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand. So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses' hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.

Exodus 17 presents the reader with an unusual manifestation of the Lord blessing Israel with victory over the nefarious Amalekites. As the battle ensued below, Moses stood on a hill with the rod of God. When his hands were raised, Israel had the upper hand. When they were lowered, Amalek gained the advantage. Much can be said about this passage, but I want to focus on the human aspect of this occurrance. Moses grew weary as he held up the rod of God is this battle. What might seem like a simple task became much more difficult as time passed. Thankfully, there were faithful individuals that willingly assisted him with bearing this heavy burden. if this great man of God needed the assistance of others, how much more do we?

The answer is plain. We can not go it alone in any area of life. Perhaps we can muddle our way through the inevitable challenges, but we will quickly grow weary and discouraged. We have all experienced this to some degree. I have tried to do this and miserably failed. Thankfully, God has not called us to do it all by ourselves! His word is replete with examples and instruction to come alongside and lift up one another. Notice the following passages:

Hebrews 3:13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

Jude 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

Exhortation literally means to come to another’s side to strengthen and encourage them. This is in stark contrast to the popular notion that we should take advantage of a man in his weakness. Nor does it say we are called to lecture or act condescendingly towards a weaker individual. As Aaron and Hur lovingly lifted the arms of Moses at a point of weakness during the battle, we should be willing to do the same for our brothers and sisters in Christ. The Apostle Paul rightly echoed this principal when he commanded the strong to bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2). This is a must in every area of discipleship!


Michael D. Green, Jr.