Moses & Holding up his Arms — Israel’s warfare & Moses’ prayer (supported by others).
Reading 1: Exodus 17:8-15
Reading 2: Deuteronomy 25:17-19
Reading 3: 1 Timothy 2:8
Today’s readings may be shorter than usual, but they are full of powerful truth and lessons for us all.
First we see that the enemies of God attack when God’s people are tired and vulnerable. In the verses from Deuteronomy, Moses tells us that they had “no fear of God” – a foolish omission on their part because God’s judgment will call for their destruction as a result. This may seem brutal and extreme, but this is the world of the original covenants that pave the way for God’s grace to be more fully and clearly expressed in future. To disobey and attack the God who has just demonstrated His power over the world superpower is either total foolishness or pure evil (or likely both)!
Second, we see the power of trusting God (symbolized by Moses holding the staff of God as he prays for the Israelite army). Imagine Moses holding up the staff over his head in both hands, like a banner. That would become tiring (and we see the significance of his helpers in a moment) – but it reflects trust in God that is confirmed by the name of God Moses applies to the altar he builds after the victory: Yahweh Nissi, God is my banner. This indicates that God fights for His people when they trust Him to do the fighting, obeying His instructions.
Third we see the significance of Aaron and Hur’s presence with Moses. Just as Joshua is not alone in fighting the battle, so Moses is not alone in fighting the prayer battle. It is almost unheard of in scripture for God to call an individual to prevail alone over God’s enemies. Even Jesus had only the 40 days in the wilderness alone, but worked with His disciples for the rest of His ministry until His lonely death in our place. This shows us that following Jesus (and obeying God) is almost never a solitary spiritual exercise. We are designed to work together, and called to help one another.
Have a great day!