Lifting the hands of Moses and application for today
Created by Jon Taylor - Thursday 11 Jul 2019
Jon Taylor
Lifting the hands of Moses and application for today
Though a great amount has been written about the wider context and implications of the victory over the Amalekites in Exodus 17:8-16, it is worth zooming in on a part of that; the raising of Moses’ arms and how we can serve the Lord and help his ministers, wherever we find ourselves. I know of a dear brother who rightly wished to help a pastor by raising his arms in a similar way to that of Aaron and Hur that inspired me to write this small piece.
Consider that Moses had a huge responsibility and wisely accepted the counsel of his father-in law in the following chapter by appointing seventy others to help him to judge Israel. It would be an understatement to say that he had a mountainous workload and they could assist and relieve him of many duties and enable him to prioritise his most important ministerial tasks.
One commentator wisely described intercessory prayer as akin to the gymnasium of the soul. Yet in addition to his spiritual battles, Moses was undoubtedly physically fatigued by raising his arms for an inordinate amount of time. Think of the build- up of lactic acid you would experience if you kept your arms raised until the going down of the sun! Think also of an Olympic weightlifter who has essential ‘spotters’ either side to steady the colossal weights raised especially if the lifter loses balance or is unsteady. This demonstrates the need to support others in a contemporary setting by helping with practical needs as well as the more obvious spiritual battles.
Lifting the arms of God’s servants today
Pastors, itinerant workers for the Lord, missionaries and others all face similar challenges. They commonly have huge demands and would benefit greatly from others lifting their hands. Notice that the lifting of Moses’ arms was not a complicated task but one that involved willingness and obedience. That means that if we are a believer, there is probably some means that we can assist and help to raise the hands of those we wish to support. If you are not sure how you could help, there is absolutely no harm in asking.
We can help by remembering them in prayer regularly and praying for all their needs and for spiritual protection for them. We can offer to help in a practical sense with providing hospitality, relieving of administerial tasks and carrying out maintenance or similar tasks so that they can be freed up for the ministry of prayer and preaching the word which is their primary calling (Acts 6:4).
The Lord is my banner
Joshua played a key role on the battlefield and defeated Amalek, though only prevailed when Moses raised his hands. Moses role was critical, yet the victory wasn’t merely formulaic in that his hands were raised or that he used the rod of God. Like Aaron and Hur, Moses implicit obedience was vital and pointed not merely to the strength of Israel and their army, but to the God of Israel and His strength.
According to the Lord’s command, Moses wrote a memorial in the book and in addition built an altar ‘YHWH Nissi’, ‘The Lord is my banner’. When Moses hands were raised, they were lifted in an intercessory manner and the banner didn’t advertise Joshua’s or Moses’ achievements, but the God who they followed and obeyed. We all have a part to play and when we raise the arms of those we wish to support, it is God who receives the glory. This is achieved not through our might, effort or power, but by the Spirit of God. God’s servants today would greatly benefit by having their arms raised. In so doing we will lighten their load and please the Lord. Those who have their arms raised will proclaim not themselves nor their accolades or spiritual achievements, but with one accord declare, ‘to God be the glory’ since ‘The Lord is my Banner’.
Thursday 11 Jul 2019