When the Israelites were at Rephidim, they were attacked by the Amalekites. 9 So Moses told Joshua, “Have some men ready to attack the Amalekites tomorrow. I will stand on a hilltop, holding this walking stick that has the power of God.”
10 Joshua led the attack as Moses had commanded, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur stood on the hilltop. 11 The Israelites out-fought the Amalekites as long as Moses held up his arms, but they started losing whenever he had to lower them. 12 Finally, Moses was so tired that Aaron and Hur got a rock for him to sit on. Then they stood beside him and supported his arms in the same position until sunset. 13 That’s how Joshua defeated the Amalekites. Exodus 17:8-14 CEV
Several years ago, when I taught Children’s Church, we studied this passage. As a learning aid, I gave the class a dare/challenge. Whoever could stand with their arms raised the longest through the lesson would receive a prize. I didn’t think they would last long and I was right. Just a few moments into the lesson, the girls had all given up and were cheering the boys on. But each of the boys was determined to be the last man standing, in spite of a lot of moaning and groaning. I finally had to tell the remaining boys to sit down and gave them each a prize.
They got the message of the lesson though. There was no way Moses could have kept his hands raised all day to help the Israelites win the battle. He needed help! He needed friends to find him a rock to sit down on and then he needed them to hold his arms up so the Israelites would win the battle.
The Israelites had no fighting skills at this point, being newly freed from slavery. So they needed to see Moses’ staff to trigger their faith, reminding them of God’s power in defeating their Egyptian enemies at the Red Sea. If their leader got tired and gave in, lowering the staff, they lost heart and gave in too, yielding to the Amalekites. It took the whole nation working together to win this battle.
Let’s make this personal. When you are in the midst of a recovery process, whether it’s from abuse, grief, or some other hurtful circumstance, how long can you endure by yourself in the battle for wholeness? You might be able to stand for awhile like my macho church boys, but without the helping hands of others you will eventually succumb to your weakness and suffer defeat.
Asking for help is difficult for many of us. And we do need to take care who we ask since we may be easily hurt or revictimized. Those we choose must be trustworthy – family, friends or counselors who will listen, encourage and pray for us. They don’t need to have all the answers, but they must walk with God who does.
Moses’ help came from two trusted men, Aaron his own brother who stood with him in Pharaoh’s court from the beginning of the plagues and Hur. We don’t know much about Hur, but in later passages at Mt. Sinai, we see that he had become a trusted friend and aide to Moses. (Exodus 24:14)
Remember that God is walking with you through this recovery process. He has been showing himself to be faithful in his love, provision and protection for you. Even if there seems to be no one there to help you, he is there. But as you trust him, he can bring others into your life who will help hold up your arms when you feel too weary or injured to fully trust him.
How has God been doing this for you? Who has he brought alongside you to help you – to hold up your arms?