Today's Devotional Thought
October 16, 2013 by Rachel Piferi
Holding Up Their Arms
One of my favorite stories in the Bible can be found in Exodus 17. It is the story of Moses holding his arms up to the Lord as Joshua led the Israelite army to fight the Amalekites. It is a quick story spanning only 6 verses, but it is a powerful story of pointing to God, our own human weariness, and the importance of supporting our leaders.
There are four characters in the story. Three of them are big names. And one is a lesser known name that is barely mentioned in the Bible after this story and was never mentioned, in fact, before. In this brief story of great impact, you have Moses, Joshua, Aaron, and Hur.
As it says in the story, Joshua was sent to fight the Amalekites and Moses took Aaron and Hur to a hilltop as he fought. And as long as Moses held his arms up, with the staff of God pointing towards the heavens offering credit and attention to the one and only God, Joshua was successful. But as soon as Moses lowered his arms and no credit or attention to God was offered, Joshua would begin to lose.
Have you ever had to raise your hands for a long time? Have you ever had to hold something up for that long?
I can almost feel the stinging and numbness and fatigue of holding my arms up for an extended period of time. I have never had to hold them up as long as Moses was expected to and I can only imagine the physical fatigue that overtook him. The aching and numbness became too much. He lowered his arms. And the enemy prevailed.
That is when his friends stepped up. Aaron on one side and Hur on the other side. They rolled a stone underneath of him to sit on and then with their arms, Aaron and Hur held up their leader's arms. Their strength supported and strengthened Moses so he could continue to point towards God and lead the Israelites to victory. And with these two men at Moses’ side, the Israelite army prevailed.
Whether it is a physical battle or a spiritual battle, all leaders have their limitations. And it is at that moment that we must come alongside and support them.
When I look at this story, I think instantly of those on the frontlines of battle and the spiritual leaders who need our support. I think of the weariness that comes from physical and spiritual battles in our life and how so important it is that we support our leaders as they go to spiritual battle for us.
Paul told the Ephesians of the spiritual battle that we are all in when we wrote, "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." (Ephesians 6:12)
And as our leaders fight tirelessly for us all, we must hold up their arms to keep on fighting.
They are human and they get tired. And I believe it the responsibility of the rest of us to support them and encourage them in this battle. Pray for them. Write them a note. Give them a day of pampering.
Just give your pastor or pastor's wife a hug and say, "I'm holding up your arms today."
Today, I encourage you to remember the battle that rages around us and pray for those who faithfully lead us in that battle. Your pastor and his wife are leaders in the fight against evil that is all around us. And as they fight for us and with us, they can get weary.
Hold up their arms today.