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Holding me up

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A couple weeks ago, I ran across this tidbit in the Old Testament.  (Exodus 17:9-13)

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.” 10 So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. 11 As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. 12 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 till sunset. 13 So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.
hands up
I have been surprised this year how much I have gotten out of the Old Testament.  Jesus and the New Testament offer grace, redemption, and love, but we don’t have to throw the baby out with the bathwater.  I love how the Old Testament leads up to the New–how God chooses unlikely characters and works their will and choices together into a tapestry of eventual redemption and hope.

Even though I’m on my third time through the Bible, I’m surprised that I didn’t remember the passage above.  I remembered that Moses did some awesome stuff with his staff, but the idea that Joshua could only win the battle when Moses’ hands were up?!  That’s odd!  It’s worth a little contemplation.

Can you imagine how Moses felt when he realized that the outcome of the battle he was watching depended on the position of his spectator arms?  Can you imagine this scenario with yourself and your favorite boxer or sports team?  How would you do?

God was asking something impossible of Moses’ humanity.  Moses could not do it by himself.  In previous vignettes, we see God’s power flow directly through the staff, but this time God sends power through others.  God sends  power through friends.

Isn’t it wonderful not to have to go through this life alone?  God is with us.  Sometimes when I can’t feel God enough, God sends his strength and hope through the ones who walk beside me.  I feel them lift my arms up when I can’t do it myself.  I hear their words when I am filled with doubt.  Later, I see the hands of God holding them so they can hold me.  I am so thankful for the people who hold my arms up, and I look forward to the opportunity to return God’s favor.