Summary: This sermon is on prayer and the need to work together based on Moses, Aaron & Hur in the battle with the Amelekites.
Where The Action Is
Lord, we pray that You would hear our prayer right now. Descend upon us by the power of your Holy Spirit and free us from ourselves, that we may truly hear You. O God, open our ears and
our hearts and our minds, that Your word may be planted within
us. We pray in the might and name our Lord Jesus Christ Amen.
Once a sixth grader took her little brother to church for
the first time. The little boy started making noises. His sister
told him to stop and sit still. The little boy said, "but it’s
boring." His sister replied, "be quiet, its supposed to be
boring." Like that little boy, we don’t want to get bored. We
want to be in the place "where the action is."
We had the privilege of having a wonderful friend from South
Africa while at seminary. The whole time she was with us, she
continually told of one situation after the other in which she
shared how she had prayed to God about various circumstances, and
had watched God miraculously intervene and answer her payers. I
was just struck with awe of the power of God. The Holy Spirit
began to deal with me, and I began a new journey in my own life.
My people, we are convinced, that prayer is where the action is.
In the conflicts we experience, the outcome is not determined by
what is seen, but rather by what happens in the place of prayer.
Our text this morning is Exodus Chapter 17 verses 8-15. We
find the story of God’s people as they have left Egypt and are
now on their way to the promised land. Verse 8 says "The Amale
kites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim." As the
children of Isreal traveled through the wilderness on their way
to Canaan, many who were weak and sick fell to the rear of the
caravan and were left to keep up the best way they could. As a
result, the Israelites were stretched out many miles through the
desert. Estimates are that over a million people left Egypt.
The Amelekites were a nomadic tribe of that region. They
took advantage of this situation and attacked and plundered those
who fell behind. So the Israelites were forced to fight even
though they were far less prepared than the Amalekites. Now it
was no secret that the Israelites had walked out of Egypt loaded
down with as much wealth as they could carry. The Amelekites
were willing to take any risk to steal this wealth for them
We find in verse nine, 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." It’s
Joshua’s job to organize the soldiers for battle, meanwhile Moses
is going up to the top of the hill with Aaron and Hur at his
side. They want to be able to see the battle.
Look at Exodus 17:10 "So Joshua fought the Amalekites as
Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of
the hill." As the two armies continued to fighting, Moses
raised his hands before God above his head. The nation of
Isreal was winning in the battle. Look at verse 11 "As long as
Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenev
er he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning."
It quickly became apparent to Moses, Aaron and Hur, that the
determining factor in this battle was not which side had the
better army or the greater military strategy. The determining
factor in this battles was whether or not Moses held up his
hands. Holding up one’s hands was a symbol of appeal to God for
help and enablement. They came up with a solution to keeping
Moses’s hands lifted up. Look at verse Exodus 17:12 "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."
With Aaron and Hur on each arm, the Amalekites did not have
a chance. Even though the army of Isreal was at a disadvantage
because of their lack of equipment and preparation, that did not
determine the outcome for verse 13 says "So Joshua overcame the
Amalekite army with the sword." There is verse in Psalm 20 that
says "Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in
the name of the LORD our God."