Now, the Amalekites made war with the Israelites at Rephidim. Moses instructed Joshua to choose men to fight the Amalekites. While Joshua and the warriors fought, Moses would stand on the hill with the staff of God.
As instructed, Joshua chose men to fight the Amalekites, and the next day, Moses went to stand on top of the hill with the staff of God. But Moses did not go up the hill by himself. His brother Aaron and fellow Israelite Hur went with him up the hill. When Moses held the staff high and steady, the Israelites were winning. When the staff started to lower because Moses became tired, the Israelites started to lose.
Seeing Moses struggle, Aaron and Hur found a stone for Moses to sit on. Then, Aaron and Hur each stood on either side of Moses, holding his arm up and keeping it steady, until Joshua and the Israelites won the battle. After the battle, God told Moses to write what happened and to tell Joshua. Then, Moses built an altar calling it “the Lord is my banner” (Jehovah Nissi or God is my standard, a rallying point)
Resource: Exodus 17: 8-16
- In battle, everyone has a role to play. Joshua was a warrior and battle leader, and Moses was the petitioner to God. Why is it important that everyone plays their role in battle?
- Besides winning, why do you think it was important for Moses to hold up the staff of God during the battle? What did it represent?
- When Moses was able to hold the staff of God high, the Israelites were winning, but when he lowered it, the Israelites started losing. What does that say to you about life?
- Moses did not go up the hill alone. His brother Aaron and fellow Israelite Hur went with him. Why is it important that they chose to go with Moses? How is it important to our life?
- When Aaron and Hur saw Moses struggling, they helped Moses rest by giving him a stone to sit on, and then, they helped hold up his arm. Have you ever had friends come to your rescue when you needed help? What happened?
- When Aaron and Hur saw Moses struggling, they didn’t ask if he needed help. They saw the situation and helped. Have you ever helped someone without them asking for your help? What happened? Has someone ever helped you without you having to ask? What happened?
- Sometimes, fighting “the battle” by yourself can leave you tired. Why is it important that we rest during the battle? How important is it for us to have the right people to help us when we need to rest?
- Why is it important for God to be our standard in battle, our standard in life?
- Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 ESV
- Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed, and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands grew weary, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it, while Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side. So, his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. And Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the sword. Exodus 17:11-13 ESV
- And Moses built an altar and called the name of it, The Lord Is My Banner, saying, “A hand upon the throne of the Lord! The Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.” Exodus 17:15-16 ESV
- When God is raised as the standard, you are winning.
- Sometimes, during our struggle, we will need rest, and it is important to have trustworthy people in our lives ready to help.
- If you can help, help.
- Sometimes, the best role you can play is the role of support.
- With the right people in your life, you can remain steady and win.
Father God, thank you for being our standard, for being our banner in troubled times. Before our struggle starts, send us the help we need. Help us to recognize that help and to accept the help. When we grow weary, remind us that we are not alone, and show us where our help comes from. Finally, Father God, give us rest when we need it, but do not let our efforts fall to the wayside. Give us the strength to return and continue the fight. We ask this in Jesus’s name. Amen.
What is one thing you learned from this story that you will apply to your own life? Why is what you chose important for your life?