There he was—the legendary Moses. Standing on a cliff, powerful arms outstretched, staff in hand, wind whipping his robe and long, white beard, eyes squinting into the sunset like an Old Testament Clint Eastwood. But he’s not overlooking the raging Red Sea; he is overlooking a raging battle. And he is not alone. There are two men beside him—his brother Aaron on one side, and a man named Hur on the other—holding up his powerful, but tired, arms.
The Israelites are not too far past the Red Sea, and already being attacked by the warriors of Amalek. So Joshua is given orders to choose Israelite warriors and battle it out, while Moses and the two men climb a nearby hill to watch. Moses raises his staff in the air, and the Israelites explode against the enemy! But after a few hours…Moses gets tired…his arms start to sag, and he just can’t hold them up any longer. Soon, the enemy army has the advantage over the Israelites!
Aaron, Israel’s first high priest, and a friend named Hur, see the desperate situation and know what they must do. They lead Moses to a rock so he can sit down, still overlooking the battle, and then they stand beside him, holding up his arms until the sun sinks below the horizon. And it’s a solid win for Israel.
Sometimes we are called to take a “lead role” in God’s work, and like Moses, learn through experience that humble dependence on Him is the only true power behind any leadership role. But sometimes leaders, whether great or small, get tired in the work we are called to do. We need help.
Jesus, our High Priest, quickly comes to our side and raises our hand, high and steady. Then he calls a friend over. This friend may not have any amazing titles or degrees—they are not called to center stage right now. They are called to help raise that other hand high and steady. And together this team can conquer the attacks of the enemy so that God’s work can continue.
Yes, sometimes we’re called to lead, and sometimes we’re called to be a friend like Hur, but either way, we cannot do it alone. We all need Jesus, and we all need each other.
These insights from Exodus 17:8-13 originally came from my friend Sonya Reaves who shared these thoughts with her church recently in Oakhurst, CA. I am thankful that she has often been my “Hur.”
*Twice a month, we send out a short devotional to our volunteers. This was written by Andrea Keele, and sent on March 2, 2015.