|Theme: Upholding Others in Prayer
|Focus on: Moses, Aaron, and Hur.
|Reading Portion(s): Exodus 17:8 to 16 & Deuteronomy 25:17-19.|
|– Important Background Information|
|– Helps you find strength in God|
|What this article teaches you|
|Prayer is warfare. It is warfare that is directed against the forces of evil. That is why it is said that a prayerless Christian is a powerless Christian! For only prayer can give us the strength to gain victory over enemy forces. Though there may be many things for us to do to ensure victory, it will not give us victory unless they are strongly backed by prayer.But sustained praying is not easy. We grow tired easily. Then we suffer reversals in our battle against spiritual forces of darkness. It is here that others can help. We can seek their support in prayer. The knowledge that they are also praying can give strength to our souls to continue praying. Such support in prayer is invaluable. Such combined power of prayer cannot be defeated. Thus we win over enemy forces.|
We are now watching the Israelites wage their first war. This took place at Rephidim. The Israelites had come out of Egypt and were marching forward. Without any provocation the Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites from the rear. Those who were weary and worn out and lagging behind were cut off without mercy.
Now Moses commanded Joshua to take some of the Israelites to go out and fight the Amalekites. Moses promised that the next day he will go and stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in his hands. He might have decided to go up the hill because from that vantage point he can have an overall view of the progress of war. He carried the staff of God in his hands because God had commanded him to take it with him to Egypt to perform miraculous signs with it.
The next day the war began. Meanwhile, Moses, Aaron and Hur had gone to the top of the hill. Here we find a very significant thing happening. While Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning. But when he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning.
God has recorded this incident for us to learn a great secret of victory in Christian life and its battles. Victory is not gained by some great actions on our part. That is what others may see on the outside. But the secret of victory is found on top of the hill. It is there that hands have been raised up in prayer. In this battle against the Amalekites we find the fortunes in the battle changing now and then according to the raising and lowering of Moses’ hands. So it is clear as daylight that victory is dependent on prayer. If we continue in prayer we will gain the upper hand. But if we relax when we are to battle in prayer we will start to lose immediately.
In this particular battle against the Amalekites we find yet another significant event on top of the hill. Moses the man who was praying with his hands lifted up to heaven grew tired. This created a big problem because without his praying the Israelites were losing. So Aaron and Hur put a stone under him and Moses sat on it. Then they stood on his sides and held up his hands. Thus Moses’ hands remained steady till sunset. Because of this Joshua was able to defeat the Amalekites.
This throws light to a very important aspect in prayer. It tells us that even the greatest warrior in prayer can grow tired. And when that happens there will be a reversal in the fortunes of those he had been upholding in prayer. It is at this time that others should step in. They may not be able to pray like great prayer warriors like Moses. But they can definitely support people like him in prayer by doing what Aaron and Hur did. And when they do so the battle will be won.
God was very particular that Moses record this incident and make sure that Joshua heard it. This was because God said that He will blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven. At the same time we can safely assume that God wanted Joshua to know that the battle was won because hands were lifted up to God in prayer.
Moses then built an altar to the Lord to commemorate this victory. He called it The Lord is my Banner. This altar was named thus because hands were lifted up to the throne of the Lord.
It is significant to note that this was the first war that the Israelites
fought after they came out of Egypt. It is more significant to note that they
won it through prayer. This occurrence of prayer here is lovely because two
people stepped in to uphold the chief prayer warrior. Thus the battle was won.
Let us follow their example. Let us too uphold others–specially our spiritual
leaders–in prayer especially when they grow tired in prayer. If this is done we can be sure that the victory will be ours!