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. 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 sun set. And Joshua defeated Amalek, and his people with the sword. (Exodus 17:11-13)
I receive great comfort and strength from the story in today’s scripture. When Moses held up the “staff of God” over the battlefield, the Israelites prevailed. When his hands dropped, the Amalekites did.
When Moses’ assistants, Aaron and Hur, saw that Moses’ hands had to remain upright in order to defeat the enemy, they got him a stone to sit upon. When it became clear that Moses needed yet more support, they gathered at his sides and physically kept Moses’ hands in the air. Israel finally won the battle because Aaron and Hur supported Moses when he became tired. It took all three supporting and coordinating together to defeat the Amalekites.
We have our own battle right now and we don’t know how long it will last. Unlike the Israelites who could see their enemy, we can’t see ours. Not being able to see our enemy can make it even harder for us to stay focused and steadfast.
As we engage in this battle for our health and safety—for our very lives—it would be natural for us to become fatigued and discouraged. Just as Moses needed the support and strength of Aaron and Hur, so we need the support and strength of each other when we’re flagging.
Some of us are better at giving help and support than we are at asking for or receiving it. Why is that the case? Do we think that asking for help is a sign of weakness? If so, where did we get such foolishness? No one is bullet proof. No one is impervious to fatigue. No one can do battle non-stop. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness; instead, it is a sign of our humanity, honesty, and strength.
Without the help of Aaron and Hur, Moses had no hope of keeping his arms extended over the battle field. If Moses dropped his arms, the Israelites had no hope of prevailing.
Our hope in defeating this virus is in and through each other. Our hope in prevailing during this time is through coming alongside of each other just like Aaron and Hur did for Moses. We need to extend help and support to others. We need to receive help and support from them. In the battle we are facing, sometimes we will be Moses receiving help, and sometimes we will be Aaron and Hur giving it. The picture of the three of them working together is a picture of hope that we need to emulate in order to live, do battle, and prevail.
- Do you have either a hard time receiving or giving support? If so, what would help you to move beyond your reluctance or resistance?
- How might you need to ask for help right now? Who should you ask?
- Who might need your help and support during these times?