Stick ’Em Up!

Blog / Produced by The High Calling
Default image

In my first year as a volunteer at a professional golf tournament, I was assigned to carry a standard—a large board mounted on a pole. For 18 holes, hefting up that heavy and awkward sign, I identified my golfers and their scores. I soon learned to seize every opportunity to rest the standard on the ground. (I later discovered that this assignment typically landed on unsuspecting first-year volunteers.)

No tournament official pressured me to keep my standard aloft, and my respites did not cause any golfer to lose the tournament. Moses, however, was playing for different stakes.

The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. Moses 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."

So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When 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 until sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword. (Exod. 17:8–13)

Only a few days into the wilderness journey, the Israelites were attacked by the Amalekites, an ungodly nation trying to prevent them from reaching the Promised Land. God directed Moses to send Joshua into battle and, carrying the rod of God, to oversee the fight from the hill. As long as Moses held the rod skyward, lifting attention and credit to God, Israel prevailed.

If you've ever raised your arms for a long time, you can imagine Moses' struggle. The blood left his arms; they began to ache and grow numb. Eventually, both arms dropped, and the Amalekites began to dominate.

Then Aaron and Hur stepped up. When Moses could no longer summon his own strength, his friends moved alongside and held up Moses' arms for him. Their strength became his. With two men at his side, Moses' rod held and Israel prevailed. Though Aaron and Hur's task may seem menial, if not for them, the nation of Israel would have fallen.

In the thick of battle, whatever the struggle, we all have limits; no one can make it unless we hold up others—and allow the same for ourselves.