Sunday Scriptures — Hold Each Other Up

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Among the many stories of the Israelites’ wanderings through the wilderness recorded in the Bible, the story of Moses, Aaron and Hur in the battle against the Amalekites at Rephidim is one of my favorites. I love the fact when Moses grew tired, his friends held up his arms. After all, isn’t that what friends are for?

The LORD had told Moses to stand at the top of a hill and hold his staff in the air above his head during the battle. As long as Moses held his hands up, the Israelites won the fight. When his arms grew weary and his hands fell down, the Amalekites won.

Easy enough, right? Not if you’re the one trying to keep your arms in the air while holding a heavy stick aloft during the heat of day.

By all accounts the Amalekites were pretty nasty people. They were nomads who raided surrounding settlements and killed for the fun of it. They figured the Israelites would be easy pickings. What the Amalekites failed to realize was the fact the Israelites were God’s chosen people, and the Battle is the LORD’s.

As Joshua and his men fought the battle and Moses stood on the hill Moses’ arms began to grow weary. He couldn’t help it. No matter how hard he tried to keep his arms up he just couldn’t. That’s when his brother, Aaron, and friend, Hur, stepped in to help. They found a large stone for Moses to sit on as each of them stood on either side and held up Moses’ arms. With the support of these two men Moses was able to keep his arms and staff held high. Because of that, the Israelites were able to be victorious over their enemy.

There are so many lessons to be learned from this story I don’t even know where to begin.

In this world Satan often uses others or circumstances to attack us just for the fun of it. Harmful words. Physical wounds. Sickness. Financial difficulties. Exclusion. Our peace, time, resources are plundered. Our good name is sullied. We are accused falsely. Damage is inflicted.

But Satan forgets who we belong to. We belong to God. We are among his people and he sends others alongside us to hold up our arms in the desert times of this life.

An encouraging word here. A prayer there. Setting a stone beneath us to rest while they help shoulder some of our responsibilities temporarily.

Aaron and Hur stood by Moses’ side and held up his arms to ensure victory against Amalek. Similarly, we need to hold up our friends knowing they will respond in kind.

Any Aarons or Hurs in your group of friends? If so, might I suggest you offer up a prayer of thanks for them.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Leave a comment below. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, “Pick out some men to go and fight the Amalekites tomorrow. I will stand on top of the hill holding the stick that God told me to carry.” Joshua did as Moses commanded him and went out to fight the Amalekites, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his arms, the Israelites won, but when he put his arms down, the Amalekites started winning. When Moses’ arms grew tired, Aaron and Hur brought a stone for him to sit on, while they stood beside him and held up his arms, holding them steady until the sun went down. In this way Joshua totally defeated the Amalekites. Exodus 17:8-13 (GNT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scriptures — Find Strength in Jesus

By Sandy Kirby Quandt

During the time David and his men were running for their lives from King Saul, they moved to the Philistine town of Ziklag, where they lived for over a year. Near the end of his time on the run, just before Saul died and David became king over Judah, some Amalekite marauders came into Ziklag while David and all his men were on a mission with the Philistine king, Achish.

After being sent home from the battle, the men returned to find Ziklag completely destroyed. The Amalekites looted the town, then burned it to the ground. They took captive all the men, women, and children. (If Saul had obeyed God, and destroyed the Amalekites when he was told to, this would not have happened. But, that’s a story for another time.)

In their utter distress over the loss of their families, the men threatened to kill David. He was their leader. They believed the responsibility fell on him. David was distressed over the loss of his family as well, but to have the men turn on him?

What to do? David turned to the LORD, and received strength.

Some of us have been in situations where we were greatly distressed. We’ve had our possessions taken, or destroyed. Maybe even lost our homes through fire, or an act of nature. Some of us have lost loved ones, and our hearts are broken. We’ve been hit with the cruelty of the world, and left to cry out for justice.

May I suggest we do what David did when we face the disasters in our lives? Turn to God. Call out to Jesus. Take his hand, and receive the peace only he can give.

What are your thoughts on the subject?

David was desperate. His soldiers were so upset over what had happened to their sons and daughters that they were thinking about stoning David to death. But he felt the Lord God giving him strength. 1 Samuel 30:6 (CEV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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One of my devotions will appear on Christian Devotions June 10, 2014. Please stop by.