Today I read in my Bible the story of Israel fighting the nation of Amalek in Exodus 17. The children of Israel had not been long out of the land of Egypt, and the journey was starting to feel a little rough on some of them. They had been hungry and God provided Manna for them to eat, they were thirsty and God had Moses whack a rock so they could have water. Moses has already had one talk with God about these people he was leading to Canaan, and frankly, Moses was ready to hand them over. Now they were going to face a battle too!
In verses 8 and following we read about this battle. The army of Amalek came out to fight. We see no real reason other than Israel was walking through their land, and when about a million people walk through your yard, you feel like fighting. So, Moses gives the battle plan to Joshua that he should go out and fight Amalek the next day. Moses’ part in the battle will be to stand on the hillside and hold up the staff of God.
The next day, the battle began. Joshua went to the valley with his army while Moses, his brother Aaron and Hur went to the top of a nearby hill where they could watch the battle below. Whenever Moses held the staff up Israel would gain the upper hand in the battle, but when he dropped his hands, the battle would quickly go in favor of Amalek. Moses was getting tired, and things were starting to look very bad for Israel. Then, in verse 12 we read:
But Moses’ hands grew weary, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it, while Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side. So his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.
– Exodus 17:12
At the end of the day, Israel prevailed over Amalek. As I thought about this passage I began thinking about how this battle was won. Obviously God brought about the victory, but to me it was the way that He did it, and the lessons I can take from this battle and how God’s men were used in it.
Nobody doubts that Moses was God’s guy. He was the one with the special staff, the one that talked to Pharaoh, the one that was leading the people and the conduit God used whenever He spoke to His people, but this was a time that Moses needed help. If he had not had help then it would have simply been a story of God sweeping in and just blasting the enemy. I think God wants us to see the importance of the men that were in it with Moses. He was not alone. Sometimes we need people to come alongside us to give us specific support. Moses had that. He had men that showed three very important attributes we need in those we do life with.
A Warrior – Joshua was Moses’ guy when it came to battle, and eventually he became God’s guy to use to conquer the Promised Land. He was the guy that could see the obstacle, but also had the gifts necessary to overcome them. We need people like that in our lives too. They need to take care to not take up a battle they should not, but we should have that person we can count on when things get really bad. We need someone who will just look us in the eye and echo Val Kilmer’s Doc Holiday and say, “I’m your Huckleberry.” (Go watch the movie Tombstone if you didn’t get that reference. Best line of the flick.)
A Comforter – Moses was tired and needed to sit down or the battle would be lost. Aaron and Hur hauled up a rock and gave him a place to sit in order for the battle to continue. We need to have a friend in our life that is there to offer that comfort we need from time to time when we are just flat wore out. Maybe finances are rough and they drop a bag of groceries off or take you out to eat. Maybe they just show up with a pizza and watch movie with you. They don’t do anything really big, but they are there when the battle is raging to do something that gives you just that little bit of “normal” needed to keep you in the fight.
An Encourager – Moses was ready to drop. his arms felt like lead, and he had nothing more to give. I imagine he was in pain, but Aaron and Hur stepped in and said, “We’re here. You have to finish this, we can’t do it for you, but we are here to see you through it. We’ve got ya.” These are the guys that allow us to experience victory. These are the guys that help us conquer addictions, depression, and so much more. They know the battle is not theirs but they just refuse to walk away and let you flounder. They want the win for you as much or more than you do!
God has blessed me with men like this in my life. One of those men challenged me to invest in the spiritual lives of those I call friend. You could say he called on me to fight for the friends that I have. Another of those men is a grand encourager to me. I would call him a cheerleader, but nobody wants to see those legs in a skirt! He is always telling me that I can do it through God’s help and he draws my eyes back to His battle plan. Some of the others are guys that always seem to know when I am feeling the weight of battle and they just wander by and let me know they care. Not a big, flashy role, but vital for victory.
I hope I am doing the same for those guys. In a Relentless life, we all have our own battles, but we share the struggles with each other and lift each other up. We provide a rest for each other when we just need a chance to relax. We are willing to gear up to fight when necessary.
So, how about you? Are you in the battle now? Do you know someone who is? Start looking at who is there for you an dhow you can be there for them. You’ll be glad you did.