No I'm not going anywhere! I'm referring to Exodus the second book of the Old Testament.
Exodus 17:8-13 To be precise!
A while ago I posted a simple Facebook status "Carol wants to go home". In hindsight I realize that could be taken several ways. Mother Irmgard replied in typical mother fashion, "come visit me". Other friends replied in a similar way. One dear friend sent me a message. She was concerned. In her message she included a scripture reference from Exodus 17.
If you recall your bible stories from Sunday School, this was a good one. The Amalekites were attacking the Israelites. Moses, the leader of the Israelites gave the instruction to go and fight! While they were in battle, he (Moses) would go to the top of the hill and stand, arms outstretched, staff of God in hand, while they fought.
So, Joshua and his men went into battle. The account tells us that as long as Moses held up his arms, the Israelites would be winning, but as his arms grew weary and he lowered them the Amalekites would gain the upper hand.
Have you ever tried to hold up your arms for any length of time? Go ahead, try. Easy? Well grab a broom and hold it up...high...keep holding. I imagine a battle would last more than a few minutes. Keep holding that broom. How long did you last? All day? Maybe not, I know I can't.
As you can well imagine Moses also grew weary. But the consequences of his fatigue meant potential defeat for his army. No pressure there!
Throughout scripture we are reminded of team work, and this story is no exception.
Cue Aaron and Hur!
Aaron and Hur knew they couldn't take the staff of God and hold it FOR Moses, but they could help him nonetheless. They found what I hope was a flat and reasonably comfy stone and aided Moses in sitting down. Then they proceeded to hold up his arms. I love the picture: Aaron on one side, Hur on the other; holding up the arms of their leader.
Long story short, Joshua and his army defeated the Amalekites, not simply because of Moses' amazing leadership qualities, but because of teamwork. Following God's direction took a team of people standing (or sitting as the case may be) together. When one grew weary they literally held up the arms of an exhausted leader; working together to ensure victory.
In a sense we are in a battle. There is a battle for the lives and souls of our teenagers. At times I grow weary in the fight. Then, just when I need it, I am reminded by a dear friend (who I have yet to meet face to face), that there are those who are upholding my arms. What a sweet spot of rest.
It is far too easy to forget that I am not alone in caring, in doing, in being. There is an army of supporters, many who are unknown that continue to bathe our young generation in prayer! It is reassuring that as I get tired, when I can't hold my arms up one more minute, I can relax because I know I'm not alone.
May you find renewal and refreshment along the journey!
If you'd like to read it for yourself, here is Exodus 17: 8 -13
New International Version (NIV).
The Amalekites Defeated
8 The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. 9Moses 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.”
10 So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. 11 As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. 12When 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. 13 So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.