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Summary: There is true power in the church when the pastor and the people partner together to accomplish the work of Christ.

Power in Partnership

Exodus 17:8-13

February 8, 2004


World’s Fair Partnership

During the summer of 1904 an unlikely partnership was formed at the World’s Fair St. Louis. The summer was unusually hot and people were searching the fair for something to help cool them off and Arnold Fornachou had just what they were looking for, ice cream. People lined up for what seemed like miles to get some of his cool and satisfying ice cream but there was one problem. Arnold was not prepared for the demand and ran out of paper bowls and was forced to wash a few porcelain bowls over and over again. The result was too few bowls and people were getting tired of waiting.

Next to Arnold’s ice cream booth was the booth of a pastry chef named, Ernest Hamwi and he was making a Persian wafer desert called zalabia. Ernest also had a problem, his pastry was not selling. He noticed the problem Arnold was having and took some warm zalabia and rolled it into a cone shape. He then went over and show Arnold how the zalabia could hold a scoop of the ice cream. On that hot day during the World’s Fair, the ice cream cone was born because a partnership was formed.

What is partnership?

Partnership is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishment toward organized objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results… Simply put, it is less “me” and more “we”. Anonymous

This morning I want to take a biblical look at partnerships and how they can benefit the work and people of God. Open your bibles to Exodus 17:8-13.

I. Joshua partnered with Moses

Joshua was given the task of leading the counter attack against the Amalekites. It was crucial for Joshua to attack the threat with great physical effort.

Moses took the task of a different nature. Moses went to the top of the hill with the staff of God. It was crucial for Moses to attack the threat with spiritual effort.

Why was the staff so important?

It was a piece of ordinary wood, there was really nothing special about it. The staff Moses carried was just a simple tool used by shepherds to help guide sheep and defend the flock. That ordinary piece of wood was used to do some extraordinary things and it was that staff that God used to prove His power to the entire world.

When Moses stood before God at the burning bush that staff become a snake to prove to Moses God’s power and ability. When Moses went to Egypt he took the staff because God told him that miraculous signs would be done through it. God used that ordinary staff to change the course of nations. Every time that Moses carried that staff he also took this lesson with him, God can use the ordinary to accomplish the extraordinary.

Is it any wonder that Moses planned to carry that staff up the hill with him?

The staff became the symbol for Moses and all of Israel that not only was God powerful but He could use that power to help His people. The staff was a symbol of God’s care and concern for His people. It was the symbol that God was faithful and that His divine Word was true. It was a symbol of how great and awesome God truly is.

That staff had no magical powers or had any real strength of its own but it was the symbol of God’s power. The staff never left Moses’ side and when he took it up the hill with him, it was to show everyone that no matter what they faced, God was with them.

Both avenues were needed to confront the threat they were facing. Could Joshua have done both the physical and spiritual effort at the same time? No. Could Moses have done both the physical and spiritual effort at the same time? No.

They needed to partner together in order to accomplish the work God had for them. The same is true of this church; we need to partner together to accomplish God’s work.

The simple truth is this partners, accomplish more together than they ever could separately. What this church needs is some unity created through a spiritual partnership.

Partners don’t fuss over who does what. Partners don’t fight over getting their own way. Partners don’t give up when things don’t go right. Partners don’t focus on personal gain.

II. The soldiers partnered with Joshua

Not much is mentioned about this but you need to remember that Israel did not have any kind of an army at all. Up to this point there had been no need for one and this would have been the first major threat that they had since they left Egypt (God took care of the Pharaoh’s army at the Red Sea). Israel was forced into this fight and Joshua went to the men of the twelve tribes to raise an army.

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