Scripture Reading: Exodus 17:8-16
What difference can it make to those around you whether or not you can “stay up” in your faith? For some people, it may mean the difference between victory and defeat, between staying free and falling back into bondage.
When God calls us to take action, He wants us to take our position, and maintain our position, even when we begin to feel weak. He may even send others to help us so we can continue to stand strong.
In the case of Moses, God sent two men to help him when he was feeling weak. When Moses was wearing out, he lowered his arms, and his army began to lose. But when Aaron and Hur gave him a boost, Moses’ army got a boost at the same time. There’s a short description of this event in Exodus 17:
“The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, ‘Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.’
“So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. 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. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword” (Exodus 7:8-13).
It must have seemed odd for Moses to tell Joshua to go into battle while Moses himself went up on a hill, holding his staff in his hands. But they both had their roles to play. They both had to take their positions and maintain their positions for victory to come. Moses needed to keep his staff in the air, and Joshua needed to fight with all his might.
What’s the deal with Moses having to hold his arms up in the air? What good could that do? While I’m sure there were supernatural things that God did by having Moses raise his staff, (like turning water into blood and splitting the Red Sea in two), I also think there were some “natural” things that God did through this act, too.
As Joshua and the army looked up to the hill, they could see their leader, Moses, with his staff in his hands raised up to heaven. They could also see if Moses grew weary and lowered his arms. While one movement gave them strength and courage, the other movement led to weakness and discouragement.
Moses, Aaron and Hur all saw the effect this had on Joshua and the army. They knew what needed to be done. When Moses couldn’t do it by himself anymore, Aaron and Hur stepped in to lift his hands for him. As they watched Joshua and the army until sunset that day, they saw the result of what they were doing: the Israelites were finally able to overcome the Amalekites.
A famous Christian once told his friend that he didn’t want to be a role model for others. His friend said, “It’s not a matter of whether or not you want to be a role model. You are a role model. The question is whether you’re going to be a good role model or a bad one.”
There are times when we may not feel like taking the position God has called us to take. There are times when we may not feel like maintaining the position God has called us to take. We may wish we could go down to fight instead of standing on a hill. Or we may wish we could go stand on a hill instead of going down to fight! But if God has called us to our position, we just need to take it and maintain it.
What position has God called you to take? Take your position and maintain your position―then watch to see the difference it can make in your life, and in the lives of those around you.
Want to learn more? You can watch a podcast with more discussion about this topic below.